Such a simple question, but a lot of people who are new to the internet misunderstand this most basic of things.

Just a name

A domain name is exactly what is says on the tin. It is a name. Nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t include a website, or email or anything very much at all. Think of a name for your house. You might have paid money for a nice sign saying “MaryCake” and hang it on the wall outside, but if you told people that your address was simple ” MaryCake”, they’d never be able to write to you.

Important: if you are transferring to Stone Hosting from another provider, it’s not enough to simply transfer your domain name. You also have to transfer your website files to us. This is covered elsewhere.

 

Who regulates domains?

Domain names are managed at the highest level by a small number of agencies around the world (all .uk domain names are regulated by Nominet, for example). A bit like DVLA in Swansea manages car registration numbers. Then, people further down the chain, like Stone Hosting are authorised to act as registrars. We take your money and (for a very small fee) we register your domain with the registration authorities.

 

How does it actually work then?

When someone types in your website address http://mywebsite.com, how do they get my website? Well, part of the service we provide includes telling the world who looks after the services that are associated with your domain name. This is done via something called a nameserver. Stone Hosting currently operate two nameservers, called ns1.stonehosting.co.uk and ns2.stonehosting.co.uk

 

Everything is a number

Every service on the internet, including email and web servers, are identified by a numeric IP Address (e.g. 109.109.225.34). These addresses are awkward to remember, so some clever people created a way to use a friendlier name instead – such as stonehosting.co.uk instead of 109.109.225.34. Nameservers do the conversion between your domain name and your web and email servers’ IP addresses.

When your web browser goes looking for stonehosting.co.uk it uses the DNS (Domain Name System), and the nameservers that make it up to work out what the IP address is of the website you want to look at.

 

in Domains