There are many terms in the Internet world, and sometimes all the lingo can make your head spin. In this article, I’ll explain just a few of the most common terms, specifically those related to website addresses and how people get to particular sites. These definitions should help you better understand how the internet works.
An Internet Protocol or IP is a numeric address that computers use to connect to one another. IPs are used for most Internet services, for example e-mail, websites, and even business networks.
DNS or Domain Name Server. Simply put, your DNS is what links your website’s phone number (or IP address) to a certain domain name. Every single domain name has an IP address – for instance the domain name www.example.com might have an IP address of 123.456.789.101. So instead of remembering the actual numbers that the computers use, you just have to remember the name of the website, also known as the Domain Name, then the domain name server will direct you to the correct website.
URL or Uniform Resource Locator is closely related to Domain Names and is best described as the address of your website or web pages. For example, “http://www.example.com/page.html” describes the type of access method being used (http – protocol), the server location that hosts the website (www.example – Domain name), suffix (.com), and the particular page being viewed (page.html – file). Every single website and page has its own unique URL based on a mixture of protocol, domain name, suffix, and file.
HyperText Transer Protocol or also more commonly known as HTTP or http, is the standard Internet protocol for the exchange of information on the World Wide Web. There are other protocols used, such as https which indicates a secure website.
Domain Name Suffix is the .com, .net, .gov, etc. in a URL. There are dozens of suffixes for domain names; each one has its own meaning and use. www.example.com and www.example.net are two totally different domains. You can register multiple suffixes (if available) and have them link to a single website (using a domain name alias).
Simply put, a website address is built from a protocol, domain name, and suffix. Once the DNS is set up, and you upload your files to the IP address, your customers will be able to view your website via the URL.