A Guide to Domain Name Terms

Domain Name – If you’re new to website building in general, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of jargon associated with domain names.

In this article, we’ll give a detailed overview of some of the key vocabulary that you will come across on a regular basis when building and managing websites.

Domain Name Terms


The Domain Name System (DNS) is described by experts as the ‘phonebook’ of the internet. The DNS resolves domain names to unique IP addresses so that browsers can download internet resources from a website.

Every machine connected to the internet is assigned a unique IP address that other devices use to locate it. DNS organizes all of these IP addresses for ease of use and simplicity. Without the DNS, navigating the internet would be a grueling task.

Thanks to DNS servers, humans won’t need to memorize complex IP addresses such as (in IPv4) or numbers such as 2200:db003:2032::c432:e8b3 (in IPv6).

Domain Forwarding

Domain forwarding (sometimes known as pointing, redirecting, or connecting) allows you to automatically redirect a domain name to a different address on the internet.

It is a very similar concept to when a web page redirects a visitor to another website, but instead of using a script or HTML to redirect websites, the domain name itself redirects the website.

When the domain name forwards visitors to a different website, the domain’s name no longer stays on the URL bar.

The new website’s URL is displayed instead. But if you want to keep your domain’s name in the URL bar, you will have to use stealth forwarding.

It is worth noting that domain forwarding does not automatically configure email forwarding. That has to be done separately.

Stealth Forwarding

Stealth forwarding works just like domain forwarding with the exception that the domain name stays in the URL bar instead of being replaced by the new website’s URL.

This is why most users refer to it as ‘stealth’ forwarding because it appears as if the new website is part of the domain when it’s not.

Suppose you have a domain name mykeyboard.uk, and you decide to use stealth forwarding to have your domain point to newkeyboard.ca. With stealth forwarding, mykeyboard.uk will load the home page located at newkeyboard.ca,

however, the URL will be displayed as mykeyboard.uk instead of newkeyboard.ca.

Domain Parker

Parked domains are registered domain names that are not currently linked to a website or email hosting server.

In other words, the domain name is not being actively used. Instead, it is being parked for later use. Most people make it a point to use their domain name right away by linking to a hosting service such as Bluehost and DreamHost.

Others prefer to simply reserve the name and park it for later use. Domain names are being claimed rapidly fast and can sell for a fortune if they are particularly rare.

Domain Transfer (of Domain Name)

A domain transfer refers to the process of changing the registrar of a domain name. There are many reasons why owners of a domain choose to transfer their domain to another registrar,

this could be due to a better quality of service, price, etc. During the domain transfer process, the domain name will keep working as it is and the whole process goes smoothly.

In most cases, each domain transfer will be renewed for another year from the current expiration date. Transferring a domain name successfully from your current registrar to a new registrar will take anywhere from 2 days to 7 days.

60 Day Lock

ICANN requires all registrars to impose a lock of 60 days to prevent the transfer of a domain name to a new registrar.

The 60-day lock applies to all domains that fulfill one of two criteria below:

  • It’s been less than 60 days since initial registration
  • It’s been less than 60 days since it was transferred to a new owner

Transfer Hosting

Transfer hosting, as the name suggests, is when you use a different hosting provider to host your website’s file and folders. Your domain name remains with the original registrar. However, you will have to configure your nameservers to redirect to the new hosting provider. This allows your visitors to use your website and its services once again.

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)

A ccTLD refers to country-code top-level domain extension to different countries around the world. The first ccTLDs were.US for the United States, .IT for Italy, and .UK for the United Kingdom. Some ccTLDs are restricted for registration only by citizens of the country, while others have open registration policies.

Generic Top Level Domain (gTLDs)

There are over 1000 TLDs available for registration, but the most popular of them are referred to as generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Generic top level domains are the most valuable and sought after domain names. The most popular gTLDs include:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .net
  • .mil
  • .edu
  • .int
  • .gov

Chances are, you’ve probably seen most of these, including .com.

IP Address

IP stands for Internet Protocol. The “Address” refers to a unique number that is linked to every device and machine connected to the internet.

This unique number allows devices to send and receive information across the internet. Every device connected to the internet, whether it is the computer you are using now or a web server, requires an IP address to stay connected to the internet.

Whois Privacy

Many domain registrars offer a service (often as a free service) to hide the owner’s registration details from the public database. Whenever you register a new domain name, all your details related to ownership will be displayed on the Whois database for the whole world to see.

This allows anyone to run a check on your domain name details and get more information about you. Here’s a nice online tool to help you conduct Whois checkups on different websites.

But by opting in for the Whois privacy service, you can replace your information with generic information, usually related to the registrar.

So there you have it. These are most of the domain name terms that you will come across. If you feel we missed something, let us know in the comments below and we’ll update this list.

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