Welcome to the Ultimate Domain Name Glossary!
This will eventually become an A-Z list of terms and phrases that you might need to know when working with your domains.
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If you see a term missing from the glossary then post in this thread and we can define it for you!
API – Application Programming Interface. Used to let different bits of software and code communicate with each other. Most Domain Resellers offer APIs as a method to integrate your own selling portal with their system.
Auth Code - Used for transferring domains from one provider to another. The auth code or EPP code is a randomly generated string of characters that is used to authorise transfers. This ensures that domains cannot change hands without the authorisation of both parties in the transfer.
Back Order (Domain) – When you place an order for a Domain that has already been registered by somebody else. When the Domain expires you may then have the chance to purchase the domain for yourself.
Cache – Cache is a temporary store of data that holds the most commonly used data on your PC or laptop to decrease access times. They can hold temporary copies of websites, which can prevent any changes your make from being displayed when you refresh the page. Cache can also be held on routers and even with ISPs. Cache generally clears itself after a period of time, but you can clear cache on your browsers and computers manually if you want to try and speed the process up.
Follow the Webwise Forum guide to Clearing your Cache
ccTLD - Country Code Top Level Domain – Country Code Top-Level Domains are domain names which are operated by a regional registry. i.e. Nominet operates the .uk ccTLD, DENIC operates the .de TLD etc. They can often be registered freely by anyone, although some ccTLDs can only be registered by citizens of the region that the ccTLD represents.
CMS - Content Management System. A system that you can use to build a website. Generally CMS makes building a website much easier for a new web developer as there is very little coding involved. Many Web Hosts offer one-click install apps to get your site up and running in no time!
Cyber Squatters - Cyber Squatters are individuals or organisations that register domain names which contain trademarked terms with the intention of using the trademark to generate profit. This may be by posing as the trademark holder to generate traffic or selling the domain back to the trademark owner at an inflated price.
DNS - Domain Name System. The system via which all domain names are directed to IP addresses. This system allows URLs to work. Without it you would be remembering an awful lot of numbers!
Domain / Domain Name – An identifications string (set of characters) that identifies a computer, service or network on the Internet. Domain Names represent IP Addresses in an easy to understand and memorable form.
Domain Locking – Domain Locking means that the domain name cannot be transferred, modified or deleted. This is often put on domains that are valuable or are in use by the owner. This status is shown in the WHOIS of the domain, to highlight that the domain name is likely to be renewed and has some significance to the owner.
Email Address – Identifies a mailbox and directs the appropriate mail to the correct mailbox.
Expiry – Domains are registered for a period of time. At the end of this period the Domain expires. The owner will always have the chance to renew the domain. Expiry will only occur if the owner chooses to let the domain expire. The domain can then be released for someone else to purchase.
Glue Record – A Glue Record allows you to set up your own Name servers for a domain name that you own e.g. ns1.mydomain.com, ns2.mydomain.com etc. Glue Records contain the IP address of a name server held at the domain name registry.
gTLD - Generic Top-Level Domain – A Generic Top-level Domain is a domain that do not have any regional affiliation. They are maintained by IANA and are considered general purpose domains. Anybody can register them and they can be used for any purpose.
ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - ICANN coordinate unique addresses across the Internet, from IP Addresses to Domain Names. They coordinate the Domain Name System (DNS), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, Generic Top-Level Domains and Country Code Top-Level Domains. They are the highest authority in the domain name industry.
IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol. An email protocol that allows mail to be received and stored by the mail server, which, in turn, allows youaccess your mail from any number of clients or web interfaces. This means a copy of your mail is always on the server and in your client. UnlikePOP3 where the client removes the mail from the server on download.
IP Address – A numeric code which is used to locate any device on a Network, using Internet Protocol to do so. It identifies what the device is andwhere the network should send communications to reach that device.
ISP – Internet Service Provider – This is the organisation that provides you with access to the Internet. This might be BT or Sky at home and Vodafone or Orange on your mobile.
Lookup – Another name for a WHOIS search i.e. Domain Lookup, WHOIS Lookup
Mail Servers – Mail Servers or Message Transfer Agents, are pieces of software that use a client to server architecture to submit messages around a network. They do this via the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
MX Records – A Mail Exchanger (MX) Record is a DNS record which specifies which mail server emails received by the domain name should be sent to. They include a priority setting to set different priorities for different mail servers. The MX Record uses SMTP to send mail to the correct server.
nTLD - New Top Level Domain – Recently, ICANN have allowed organisations to apply for a New Top Level Domain. Imagine .bank, .google, .eco, .wales etc. These will be classified as New Top-Level Domains if they are brought into use after the extensive application process. The first New Top-Level Domains should appear in Late 2012 – Early 2013.
POP3 – Post Office Protocol. An email protocol that allows you to access the emails received by a mail server. When you download email from a POP3mailbox into your client the email is removed from the server. This is in contrast to IMAP where mail is held on the server and your client unless manually deleted by the user.
Privacy Service – Privacy Services allow you to hide your personal information from the WHOIS database. This can help reduce spam and combat identity theft. The service provider will ordinarily remove your details from the WHOIS database and change them to some fake details of their own. This can be turned on or off at any time.
Redemption – When a domain name expires it enters a period called “Redemption” Once a domain name is in redemption it means that there is a set amount of time to renew the domain before the domain is no longer available to you and you lose control of the domain in question. The length of the redemption period is set by the registrar or registry of the domain name in question.
Registrar – A Domain Name registrar is an organisation that sells Domain names to customers. You should only use registrars accredited by ICANN and the relevant ccTLD registry to purchase domains.
Registry – Differs from a Registrar. A registry controls and maintains the database of all the domain names in a TLD. It controls the policies used to allocate the domains and sets up any relevant conditions on registration of the TLD.
SSL – Secure Sockets Layer. Protocol that encrypts communication over the Internet. It can be used for email submission, web browsing and for transmission of sensitive data.
SEO - Search Engine Optimisation. The process by which you can change aspects of your website to improve the popularity of your site in search engine queries. i.e. if your site was about domain names, how likely would somebody be do find you if they searched for "domain names". This is another topic that needs a forum of its own! Check the Search Engines section for more details.
TAS - New TLD Application System - The system that applicants use to process their application for a New gTLD with ICANN.
TLD - Top Level Domains – A top level domain is at the top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. This is the .xxx part at the end of a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), i.e. if the domain name was example.com the TLD would be .com. Other TLDs include .net, .org, .info etc.
Transfer Code - See Auth Code
UDRP - Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy is a process operated by ICANN to resolve domain name disputes. It is usually used by trademark holders to recover domains that contain their trademark. Often they have been registered by so called "cyber-squatters".
URL - Uniform Resource Locator - A global address that directs the user to a particular document or resource on the Internet. E.g. www.webwiseforum.com is a URL which brings you to this website!
WHOIS – A protocol to query the databases that hold all the registrant details of Domain Names, IP Addresses and Networks. This allows Domain Names tobe attributed to a certain person or organisation.
Web forwarding – Web Forwarding allows you to send visitors to your site to a different URL. E.g. we could forward webwiseforum.com to google.com. When you then visited our website you would be directed to Google instantly. This can be useful when multiple domains need to access 1 website. However A records and Name servers can also be used to point your domain at a different web host. Web forwarding can be Cloaked [Framed] (when people still think they are at the original address, but are shown a different site) or Uncloaked [Non-framed] (when the new URL will appear in the address bar so the user knows they are on a different domain name)
Web Hosting - This service gives you storage for the data that makes up your website. Use in conjunction with a Domain Name to build yourself a website. There are many different hosting options, so visit the Web Hosting Forum for more details and to ask questions!