Beginner’s Guide: What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work?

We are often asked by beginners: what is a domain name and how do domains work? Many of our beginner users confuse domain names with hosting and other services. In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is a domain name and how domains work.… Read More »

The post Beginner’s Guide: What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work? appeared first on WPBeginner.

We are often asked by beginners: what is a domain name and how do domains work? Many of our beginner users confuse domain names with hosting and other services. In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is a domain name and how domains work.

Domain names and how do they work?

What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.

In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.

A more detailed explanation:

Internet is giant network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. Each computer on this network can communicate with other computers.

To identify them, each computer is assigned an IP address. It is a series of numbers that identify a particular computer on the internet. A typical IP address looks like this:

66.249.66.1

Now an IP address like this is quite difficult to remember.

Domain names were invented to solve this problem.

Now if you want to visit a website, you don’t need to enter a long string of numbers. Instead, you can visit it by typing an easy to remember domain name in your browser’s address bar. For example, wpbeginner.com.

What happens when you enter a domain name in your browser?

How domains work

Your browser sends a request to a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System. These servers then look up for the name servers associated with a domain and forward the request to those name servers.

For example, if your website is hosted on Bluehost, then it’s name server information will be like this:

ns1.bluehost.com
ns2.bluehost.com

These name servers are computers managed by your hosting company. Your hosting company now forwards your request to the computer where your website is stored.

This computer is called a web server. It has a special software installed (Apache, Nginx are two popular web server software). The web server now fetches the requested website and sends it to back to the browser.

How is Domain Name Different from Web Hosting?

web hosting

If domain name is the address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives.

This is the actual computer where your website’s files are stored. These servers are offered as a service by hosting companies.

To create your website, you need both domain name and web hosting.

However, it’s important to remember that they are two separate services, and you can buy them from two different companies.

Now you may be wondering, how would it work if you bought them from two separate companies?

You just need to edit your domain name settings and enter the Name Server information provided by your hosting company. Name Server information defines where to send user requests for your domain name.

We recommend getting both your domain name and hosting from the same company. This allows you to easily manage your domain and hosting under the same account.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?

Choosing domain name

Domain names are available in many different extensions. The most popular one is .com. There are many other options like .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, and more.

There are also country specific domain names which end with country code extension like .uk for United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .in for India.

We recommend using .com, mainly because it is the easiest to remember and works best for business websites.

For more on this topic, please take a look at our guide on how to choose the best domain name.

How to Buy a Domain Name?

You can buy domain names from many companies. These companies are called domain name registrars. A domain name typically costs 14.99 per year. Some popular domain name companies are:

However, a domain name registration does not automatically give you hosting service. For that you will need a website hosting account as well.

Many WordPress hosting companies offer domain name registration services as well. This allows you to manage both services under one account, and you also don’t need to worry about changing name server settings for your domain.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and 60% discount on hosting. Basically you can get started for $2.75/month.

We hope this article helped you learn what is a domain name and how do domains work. You may also want to see our list of best free domain name generators to find cool ideas for your next domain name.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Beginner’s Guide: What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work? appeared first on WPBeginner.

14 Best Free Domain Name Generators on the Internet

Do you want to start a blog or website, but not sure which domain name to use? Picking the right domain name isn’t easy. Specially when you come up with something unique, memorable, and meaningful only to find out that it’s already taken. In this… Read More »

The post 14 Best Free Domain Name Generators on the Internet appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to start a blog or website, but not sure which domain name to use? Picking the right domain name isn’t easy. Specially when you come up with something unique, memorable, and meaningful only to find out that it’s already taken. In this article, we will share 14 best free domain name generators to help you find the perfect domain name for your business.

Best Free Domain Name Generators

Before You Start

Before we start looking at the domain name generators, we want to share with you some domain name best practices as well as show you how you can get your first domain name for free!

Let’s get the basics out of the way.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. This is what people type to get to your website (such as google.com or wpbeginner.com).

When choosing a domain name, you should keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Try to register a .com (it’s the most recognized)
  • Make sure it’s easy to pronounce
  • Make it as short as you possibly can
  • Use keyword if you can
  • Avoid hyphens
  • Don’t infringe on others trademark

Now that you know what a good domain name should have, how much do these things cost?

Domain names typically cost around $14 per year (that’s for .com).

If you get other obscure extensions, then they’ll cost you even more.

How to Get a Free Domain Name

Chances are if you’re looking for a domain name, then you’re trying to start a blog or website which means that you also need web hosting.

Top WordPress hosting companies like Bluehost and Siteground have agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain name registration when they purchase a web hosting plan using the links on our site.

On top of the free domain name, you also get 60% off on their web hosting packages. All you need to do is use the WPBeginner Bluehost coupon or the Siteground coupon to start your website.

Remember these coupons only work when you click on the link from our site, so use the domain name generators below to find the domain name that you like, and then come back to our website to use the coupon.

Having that said, let’s take a look at the best free domain name generators on the internet.

14 Best Domain Name Generators

Word of advice:

These domain name generators are artificial intelligence, so they are not perfect.

However they are good enough to get the creative juices flowing in your head, so you can pick the best domain name for your website.

Name Mesh

Name Mesh

There are a lot of complicated domain name generators that require you to tweak different settings to get the results you’re looking for. Name Mesh isn’t one of them. This tool is incredibly simple to use. Just type two or three keywords into the search bar and the generator produces a variety of available domain names categorized under headings like “common,” “new,” “short,” “similar,” “ and “fun.”

Lean Domain Search

Lean Domain Search

Lean Domain Search is consistently ranked as one of the best domain name generators on the internet, and rightly so. All you have to do is start with a keyword and you’ll get a bunch of results. (And I mean a BUNCH.) You can list them by popularity, length, or alphabetically. You can also set search term filters for more focused results.

Bust a Name

Bust a Name

While the tool’s layout and design may not be as attractive as some of the more modern tools, don’t confuse its bland look with a lack of results. Bust a Name has a ton of features that other tools simply don’t have. These include the ability to set prefixes, suffixes, hyphens, plurals, and even the option to drop the last vowel of a word.

Domain Puzzler

Domain Puzzler

Some people just want a simple interface that does everything for them. If you fall into this category, Domain Puzzler is a good option. Type in a bunch of words, set your extensions, and you’re ready to roll. If you want some more advanced sorting options, you can always select the “advanced” tab.

Shopify Business Name Generator

Shopify Business Name Generator

Shopify is known for offering free tools to its visitors and the Business Name Generator tool is a good one. There isn’t a ton that sets this tool apart from the others in terms of features, but it’s one of the quickest and easiest to use.

DomainsBot

DomainsBot

One of the neat things about DomainsBot is that it will actually notify you when a domain name that’s currently taken is about to expire. This gives you the ability to earmark certain names and possibly claim them if they do end up expiring.

Name Station

Name Station

NameStation is more than a domain name generator, it’s a community. In addition to searching for domain names, you can also host a contest and crowdsource name suggestions. So, not only are you getting automated results, but you also get creative input from other people.

Panabee

Panabee

Panabee is aesthetically pleasing, which matters to some people. It also gives you a list of related terms, which can help point you in another direction. An added bonus is the feature that checks social media usernames on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Dot-o-Mator

Dot-o-mator

Considering the simple look of this generator, Dot-o-Mator is fairly functional. Start by developing a list of beginning words and then create a list of endings. Hit the combine button and you’ll get a bunch of results. There’s even a mobile app so you can generate names on the go.

Domainr

Domainr

Domainr doesn’t mess around with superfluous elements or functions. It’s designed to be a tool that you can access and use in just a few seconds. It produces a handful of available top-level domains and then ranks the best purchase options based on name, features, and price.

NameSmith

NameSmith

There’s some speculation amongst online entrepreneurs that name generators record your searches and then use that data in the future to purchase certain domain names that they feel like they could resell at a higher price. Whether that’s true or not, nobody knows. However, Namesmith doesn’t make you speculate. They promise not to share your data or sell it to others. All keywords are promised to be safe.

Wordoid

Wordoid

Wordoid is one of the few domain name generators that will let you set languages, word length, and patterns. Plug in a few keywords and see what you get. You can even save past searches for future reference.

Cool Name Ideas

Cool Name Ideas

Cool Name Ideas is, well, really cool. The tool asks you a few different questions – such as the type of business you’re naming, what benefits you’re providing to customers, and what style of business you run – and generates custom names that are tailored to your brand.

Instant Domain Search

Instant Domain Search

As the name suggests, Instant Domain Search is a super fast almost instantaneous search tool. It starts showing you results as soon as you start typing. It also tries to show different variations and combinations as you type.

What’s Next

Once you have chosen your domain name, the next thing you need to choose is the best WordPress hosting, so you can setup your website.

We have a step by step guide on how to install WordPress to help you get started.

You may also want to consider creating a professional email address for your website (such as [email protected]).

Once your website is ready, you may want to use these 19 actionable tips to drive more traffic to your new site.

That’s all. We hope these domain generators helped you pick the best domain. If you want to continue learning WordPress, check out our guide on how to learn WordPress for free in less than a week.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 14 Best Free Domain Name Generators on the Internet appeared first on WPBeginner.