Do you know what a Domain Name is?

If you don't know, this section is for you.

Domain name definition

An Internet Domain Name is a name that is unique within its Domain Namespace, and defined according to the rule set for domain names and exists as a result of, and for the duration of, its registration (usually through a Domain Name Registrar).

In order to be registered, the registration must include certain attributes about the registrant and the names of the DNS servers with which the domain name registration record claims that the domain name is associated.

Purpose of a domain name

The sole purpose of an Internet Domain Name is to spend its life in a Domain Name System (DNS) server table, waiting for... you guessed it: a request from your resolver. Good guess, Grasshopper. Pretty exciting stuff... eh? But wait, there's more.

Why does my domain name need to be resolved?

Your domain name gets resolved because someone or some program requested your domain name, but the IP Address of the web server is still unknown to the software.

A primary function of a DNS server is to return the IP address of a web server for domain names about which that DNS server is the authority.

If your domain name is among the records in a DNS table and your domain name is requested, the DNS server will return the IP address corresponding to the web server to your resolver software.

Simplified example of a
DNS server table record
Domain Name IP Address of web server
INTERCLIX.NET 208.109.165.21

In the case of a web page request, basically, the resolver software on your computer then passes the IP address to your web browser. The browser then sends a request to the corresponding IP address for the web page you requested. On very fast networks this can all happen in the time it takes to blink an eye.

Next: What a domain name is not

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General domain name Q's & A's

What if my web server does not have a domain name?

If you don't have a domain name set up for your web server, then the IP address of the web server would need to be requested in order to get a response, such as sending back to you the home page on your web site. In this case the request would not contain a domain name, and a DNS server would not be involved in getting the IP address for the web server.

What if I am using a shared hosting service?

The fundamentals of the descriptions above still apply, plus there will be some fancy stuff going on at the web server itself that allows the web server to handle more than one domain name. Shared hosting service allows for reduced hosting costs because less hardware and fewer software licenses are required to make it all work. Said another way, the costs of computer hardware, networking, maintenance and some of the software licenses are shared among several website owners thereby reducing the fee each owner pays for their share of the hosting service.

While the concept of shared web site hosting is beyond the scope of what is explained here, domain names work just fine with shared hosting services. Generally, shared hosting services work, in part, because several websites (each with its own domain name) can share a single IP address on a web server.

What is a "dedicated IP"?

A dedicated IP is pretty much what is says: This is when an IP address is assigned to your web server and that IP address is NOT shared with any other web site(s) or domain names anywhere. In theory, when an IP address is dedicated to your webserver, that IP address is then unique on the entire Internet.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL works together with an SSL Certificate (a.k.a., Secure Certificate) installed on a web server to encrypt data during its tavel between a surfer's web browser software and a web server when the HTTPS protocol is being used for surfing.

In some cases you may need to get a dedicated IP address for your website, such as when your web site project requires an SSL certificate to be issued for and installed on your web server. An example of this would be when the data to be transmitted to and from the surfer is "sensitive", such as for credit card transactions or HIPPA information, or for any other reason you choose.

ALL secure certificates for webservers require that the web server has a static IP address. This way, the secure certificate can be associated with both the domain name and the IP address when it is issued.

When you purchase a secure certificate for your domain name from Interclix Domain Name & Hosting Service for use on your Interclix-hosted website you also get a dedicated IP address assigned to your web server as part of the deal. The dedicated IP address is then assigned automatically to the web server during the installation process for the SSL Certificate.

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