What Is a Domain?

A Domain name is a unique combination of characters (letters, numbers, and dashes) that a DNS server decodes into the IP address of a website using the available DNS records.

Each domain name consists of two or three parts separated by dots. The rightmost part is called the top-level domain (TLD), which can be either generic (like "com" and "org") or country-specific (like "us" for the United States and "jp" for Japan). The next part to the left of the TLD is the second level domain (2LD), which usually contains the information that explicitly identifies the website (i.e., the website name). Any domain parts to the left of the 2LD are called the third-level domain (3LD).