A domain name is the Internet equivalent of a physical home address for a website. The name, such as "mywebsite.com" or "internetaddress.org" points to an exact location to a server, much like a postal address points to an exact apartment in a building. It is an easy and reliable way to remember a website's location.
A domain name is made up of two parts, a top-level domain and a second-level domain. The top-level domain is the part found to the right of the "dot" in the address, such as ".com" or ".org" and may include other "dots" such as those found in ".co.uk." The second-level domain is the part before the "dot," such as "google" in "google.com."
Every server or computer that connects to the Internet is allocated an IP, or Internet protocol, address. These IP addresses are a series of numbers such as 192.168.10.200 and a domain name forwards the connection from the user to the IP address of the server that the website is hosted on. The domain name is used because it is a much easier way to remember an Internet address.
It is possible to register a domain name through many different companies. These domains can be registered for a minimum of one year and renewed annually.