The domain signifies the field in a hierarchical name on the Internet. It is served by a set of domain name servers (DNS) and is administered in a centralized manner. The domain is identified by the domain name.

The domain name is the address of the network connection, which identifies the owner of the address.

Registering the domains means submitting information regarding the domain and its administrator to the central database in order to assure the uniqueness of the domain, and also to obtain the rights for the administrator to administer the domain. The service of registering the domain is considered completed at the moment the information is submitted to the database. Registration of the domain is valid for one year, starting from the moment the domain is registered.

The concept of an address generally signifies the assurance that any interested party can be led to a specific place. For example, if the true postal address of a person is available, you can visit him without fearing that you will ring the doorbell of another person. Addresses function in a similar way in the Internet.

Addresses in the Internet are constructed according to the domain system of addressing (domain name system, or DNS), i.e., each address is made up of several levels.

In this regard, there are two basic ways of addressing: using symbols, which are devised for use by people, and using numbers, which are based on IP addresses and are used by computers.

Each one of the tens of millions of computers connected to the Internet has its own unique domain address, which is often also called the domain name of the computer, or simply the host name. This address appears to be a few words, abbreviations, or other chains of symbols without gaps (the letters must be Latin), running sequentially and separated by periods.

The parts of a domain address are called segments, and they form a hierarchical system. The last (furthest to the right) segment, called the top-level domain, determines the membership of the computer to the network of a country and is usually made up of two letters, for example, .su for Soviet Union, ,ru for Russia, or .ua for Ukraine.

The USA has traditionally used a different system, a thematic one. In this system, the top-level domain is made up of three letters and signifies that the owner of the address belongs to one of the following classes: .com for commercial sites, .edu for educational organizations, .org for other organizations.

Generally speaking, the domain is not the same thing as "a segment of the domain address." The domain (which denotes "area" or "region") is required to unequivocally indicate the location in the Internet of a certain aggregate number of hosts that are said to belong to this domain (from this point of view, the domain address itself may also be termed a domain to which only one computer belongs).

In just the same way that a "house" in a postal address is simultaneously situated on a street, in a city, and in a country, the same computer simultaneously belongs to several domains: for example, the computer www.rkom.spb.ru belongs simultaneously to the domain of the firm Rkom (rkom.spb.ru), to the city of St. Petersburg (spb.ru), and to the domain Russia (ru). Domains in the Internet like nesting dolls can be inserted into one another, and the smaller the domain, the greater the number of segments in its designation.

As can be seen from this example, the segment that follows the top-level domain (reading from right to left) may indicate the city, state, and similar geographical elements. For example, in Russia the second-level domain may designate (and usually does designate) the city or geographical region where this address is located.

However, frequently right after the top-level domain, there is a segment designating the organization or company itself, to which this Internet host belongs.

For example, company.com is a commercial firm "Company," Stanford.edu is Stanford University, USA, but ivanov.msk.ru is a personal computer of a person whose last name is Ivanov and who lives in Moscow.

Domain addresses of computers, as discussed above, are intended for persons. When one host seeks to find another on the Internet, it uses a different kind of address, the so-called IP address (or Internet Protocol). If the domain address may be compared with the name of a person, then the IP address is his "telephone number," which is the only thing that provides a real possibility of contacting him.

The IP address is similar to a domain address—it is also made up of segments in a hierarchical system. But in contrast to a domain address, the number of the segments in an IP address is always four, and the segments themselves represent not lines of symbols, but numbers from 0 to 255 (to the tens place). In addition, in IP addresses the hierarchical progression goes from left to right, and not from right to left, as was the case in domain addresses. This means that two computers that are neighbors in the Internet will probably be distinguished by the last segment of their IP addresses and the first segment of their domain addresses.

For example:
194.105.195. 17
147.115. 3. 27
represent two IP addresses.

To ascertain the IP address on the basis of a domain address there are Tables of Correspondence on special hosts of the Internet. Such hosts are called DNS servers (Domain Name Service). The address of at least one such server should be familiar to the computer. If this server does not know the IP address of the host that you require, it will query other servers that are close to it in the DNS system, i.e., his neighbors, etc. When the required IP address is finally found on one of the DNS servers, it is immediately sent to your computer.

Thus, the domain name is the first step on the path of gaining your own reputation in the Internet. Only a well-chosen domain name can assist the functioning of the site and can help you obtain a steady level of sales and the confidence of the visitors to the site so that they can become a vital component in the organization’s activities.

What guiding principles should be followed so that the domain name is "correct?"
1. The individuality of the domain. The main function of the domain name is to identify and set apart the site, the company, its services, and its activities from the many other similar ones. Accordingly, the domain must be different from the others, i.e., it must be original and unique.
2. The perception of the domain. How the domain is perceived is also of great importance. The associations that people make when they hear a name will supply an image that calls up memories and thoughts about the object. The most interesting and memorable domains arise precisely in such a confluence. The domain should transmit only good information in order to arouse in the Internet visitor the wish to return to the site again and again.
3. The function of the meaning of the domain. In choosing the domain, you should make sure that it is grounded in logic. It should contain a reference to the theme of the site. The domain name may contain keywords that have a relation to your activity. This will assist clients in easily remembering the name.
4. The ease of reproduction of the domain. The domain name should be easy to remember so that during a telephone conversation the listener will be able to write the name down without errors. For this purpose, it should be easy to say out loud, which means without requiring difficult sound combinations.
5. A domain name that is not too long. A domain name that is too long fails. Who wants to type more than 15-20 symbols in the address line? The probability of errors is too high.

In addition, several problematic aspects should be mentioned that can be encountered in selecting the domain name.
1. The use of a hyphen. There are various points of view regarding this question. Some maintain that a name containing a hyphen is difficult to remember, to read, and to pronounce. Others think the opposite.
2. The use of transliteration in the name. The possibility of writing the domain name as a transliteration also presents "underwater rocks." Without a doubt, such a name will look nice, comprehensible, and attractive (for example, www.sachar.ru), but in typing the address line with such names, the user will often make errors. Confusion ensues, and the potential number of visitors to the site will be reduced.
3. If you decided on a name in English, do not make errors in spelling, and do not scorn using the dictionary to see how a word is spelled. It is very unpleasant to look at the website of an important company and find irritating spelling errors.

For the Russian Internet, a special .ru zone has been set aside, where the overwhelming majority of Russian-language sites "live."

Domain names can be of various levels, but we speak only of second-level (www.your_name.ru) and third-level (www.your_name.provider.ru) domains. First-level domain names are expensive, and fourth-level domains are very rare because they are hard to write and to remember.

As a rule, second- and third-level domain names may be registered with the developer or provider of the site. In registering a third-level domain name, your imagination should be quite unfettered when choosing the name—there are more than enough unused domain names. Choose a domain name that “speaks to you." If you want, even give it the name www.russia.provider.ru or www.business.provider.ru, and feel good about yourself. In addition, an overwhelming number of providers furnish the services of registering and hosting third-level domain names without cost. This can be attractive.

A domain name may not be for business. In speaking of third-level domain names, it's impossible not to mention domain names that are placed on non-commercial hosting sites. Nowadays the Internet offers a huge selection of such services (www.narod.ru, www.chat.ru, www.boom.ru, etc.). Such a placement will not cost you anything, nor will you have to pay for the registration of the domain name, for its support, or for hosting services.

Nevertheless, pay attention to the shortcomings of noncommercial hosting services, which outweigh the advantages:
1. If your resource is placed in a noncommercial hosting zone, your site loses its individuality. This is of no small importance if your company is planning on becoming a successful business. For example, a domain name for an investment company such as www.invest.chat.ru comes across as somehow not solid, not serious.
2. Registration with a noncommercial hosting service invites the thought of the company’s unprofitability, with the idea that the organization simply could not find the money for registering a second-level domain. Exercising such economies with respect to the name cannot reflect positively on the image of the company.
3. Great dependency on the owner of the server himself. Today your site struts on the Internet, attracting thousands of users, but tomorrow it may suddenly disappear, thus affording an unpleasant surprise for the regular visitors to your site. The owner of the resource on which you will place your resource may simply take over your domain name, and there's nothing you can do about it.
4. If you should decide to change your address (to a second-level domain or to another noncommercial hosting service), be prepared for some of your regular clients to go missing somewhere in cyberspace. Say goodbye to the efforts that you made in promoting your site during the last month, and begin again from the beginning.
5. Some advertising will appear on your site. Don't be surprised if it is unseemly. What did you expect from the cheese in the mousetrap?

In conclusion, the following is important: domain names that are placed on noncommercial hosting services are appropriate only for personal pages with noncommercial information. If you're planning to engage in business on the Internet and not to find pen pals, then return to the top of this article and reread it down to the sentence, "A domain name may not be for business."