Domains FAQ
Updated

All you need to know about domains

What’s a domain name?

A domain name, sometimes known as a URL, is your website’s address on the internet. It’s usually made up of easy-to-remember words, and guests type it into their web browser’s address bar to access your website. 

For example, the domain name for Booking.com is: www.booking.com

What are top-level and second-level domains?

A top-level domain is the actual domain name, like ‘.com’, ‘.de’ or ‘.net’. A second-level domain is the page name you bought from your domain provider, such as the ‘booking’ in ‘booking.com’, without the ‘www’ prefix.

What is a subdomain?

A subdomain is used to give a particular section of your website a memorable address that your guests can find easily. For example, you might create a help section that your guests can navigate to directly. If your usual domain name is ‘booking.com’, your subdomain for this section might be ’help.booking.com’.

What is a domain provider?

A domain provider or domain host is an organisation that sells and registers domain names on the internet. Popular examples are GoDaddy, 1&1 and Enom. You usually pay your domain subscription fees monthly or yearly.

How can I find out who my domain provider is?

There are online tools – like this one on the GoDaddy website – that let you look up a domain’s details, including the name and website address of the domain provider.

What is an IP address?

An IP (internet protocol) address is a unique series of numbers (for example 172.16.254.1) that identifies your web site. An IP address is assigned to each internet-connected device to allow it to communicate with other devices.

What is a DNS?

A DNS (domain name system) translates a domain name into an IP address. When a guest types ‘www.booking.com’ into their browser’s address bar, the DNS servers direct it to the IP address where the website is hosted, and the website loads.

Depending on your domain provider, you might also see DNS called DNS settings, DNS records or Resource records.

What is an A record?

In the DNS, an A record (address record) or host record connects a domain name with a computer’s IP address. That means that, when a guest types the domain name into their web browser, the A record knows how to access the website.

What is a CNAME record?

Just like an A record connects a domain name to a specific IP address, a CNAME record connects a domain name with another domain name. To do this, in the DNS a CNAME (Canonical Name) record shows that a domain name is an alias for another domain (the canonical domain). 

What is an MX record?
An MX (Mail Exchange) record is the part of the DNS that delivers email using your domain (with email addresses like info@booking.com). For your email to be delivered,  your MX records need to point to the correct location. Your domain provider can help you set these up.

What is email forwarding?

Email forwarding automatically resends an email from one email address to another. This is helpful if you want to receive emails sent to your domain email address (such as info@booking.com) using services like Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo. Please contact your domain provider for help with setting this up.

If you are connecting your domain to a WebDirect website and you have already enabled email forwarding for your domain, don’t change your MX record settings or your emails may not be delivered correctly.

What is WHOIS?

Using the WHOIS  service, you can find information about a domain, such as its owner, registrar and expiration date. If the domain owner has chosen to hide their personal details, you might see the registrar’s or hosting company’s information instead.

What is ICANN?

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the organisation that manages DNS and other internet protocols.