If you are new to the world of domain names and domain investing, welcome! The realm of domain names is a genuinely fascinating landscape. Things can get technical quickly and it’s paramount to have complete knowledge of all the jargon that is frequently used within the domain industry.
To help you better understand the domain industry’s ins and outs, we’ve created a glossary of terms and domainer lingo. And if you are a novice domain investor, learning these terms will help you understand the domain investing game and enable you to become a big wig in the domain industry.
Domain Lingo and Terminology
- ICANN – The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers is the organization that coordinates and manages the Internet’s naming system. ICANN plays a major role in regulating the domain industry.
- Domain Name – The part of your website address after ‘www.’ is your domain name. For instance, in ‘www.namecheap.icu’, ‘namecheap.icu’ is the domain name.
- Domain Extensions – The part of your address after ‘www.namecheap’ is your domain extension. In ‘www.namecheap.icu’, ‘.icu’ is the domain extension, also referred to as a top-level domain. Domain extensions include Generic Top-Level Domain extensions (gTLDs), Country Code Top-Level Domain Extensions (ccTLDs), and New Generic Top-Level Domain Extensions (nTLDs).
- Generic Top-Level Domain Extensions (gTLDs) – These include some of the most commonly used domain extensions like .COM, .NET, and .ORG.
- Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) – These are two-letter domain names representing a specific country’s initials, such as .IN for India, .US for the United States, or .CA for Canada.
- New Top-Level Domain Extensions – These are relatively new domain extensions launched under ICANN’s New gTLD Program in 2013 to enable the largest expansion of the domain name system. Over 1200 new domain extensions have been launched including .ICU, .CYOU, and .BOND, to name a few.
- Subdomain – This is a separate website address on an existing domain name. For instance, if www.namecheap.icu is the domain name, then discounts.namecheap.icu will be one possible subdomain.
- Registry – The ICANN-accredited organization that owns and operates top-level domain extensions is called a Domain Registry. They generally don’t sell domain names to the public and instead sell via appointed registrars. For instance, ShortDot is a leading nTLD domain registry that owns and operates .ICU, .BOND, and .CYOU domain extensions.
- Registrar – These are ICANN accredited organizations that sell domain names to the public. For example, Namecheap is a leading domain registrar.
- Registrant – This is the owner of a domain name. A registrant could be an individual, a company, an investor, or anyone who owns a domain name.
- Renewal – Every domain name needs to be renewed regularly, usually on an annual basis.
- Premium Domain Names – These are short, easy to remember, category-killer domain names usually attached to a hefty price tag. Typically, a premium domain name is already under ownership by a domain registry or an individual and usually consists of a single generic word or phrase. Despite the higher cost, premium domain names are some of the most valuable domain names on the market, given their keyword-rich and authentic nature.
- As a domain investor, investing in the right premium domain names can prove to be highly fruitful.
- URL – Universal Resource Locator (URL) is the string of numbers, characters, and symbols located in your web browser’s address bar. The URL includes all necessary information for your browser to find the right page, image, video, or document on a website.
- IP Address – Internet Protocol (IP) Address is the string of unique numbers that works as a label assigned to a specific computer or network that uses Internet Protocol for communication.
- DNS – Domain Names System (DNS) translates the numbers of an IP address into a more human-friendly, easy-to-read domain name.
- Nameserver – This web server doubles up as a directory for websites on that or another server. Nameservers help connect website links or URLs with the IP address of web servers. Nameservers are an essential part of the Domain Name System (DNS).
- A Record – This directs a domain name to a specific IP address.
- WHOIS Look Up – This is a database system that functions as a search tool to discover if a domain name is available for registration and the domain’s registrant information.
- Domainer – An individual or organization that buys and sells domain names. Domainers are also referred to as domain investors.
- Parking – Domain Parking involves registering a domain name and then using it to earn revenue through ads. This is usually done with the notion of reserving the domain name to develop a website on a future date and to leverage that otherwise inactive domain name to generate cash through ads.
- Cybersquatter – This is an individual who registers domain names that match a trademark or typos of trademarks or any other variations associated with a trademark of another business or brand.
- Monetization – Monetization refers to domainers making money from domain parking.
- Buy Now – This indicates a domain name listed for sale at a fixed price. This is also sometimes referred to as “fixed price” as anyone is free to buy it from the seller without negotiating the price.
- Make Offer – This refers to a domain name that is on sale without a fixed price. The potential buyer will have to negotiate the seller’s final price by making an offer to start the negotiation process.
- Drop – This is another term domain names that are about to expire.
- Backorder – This entails placing an order with an expired domain service to acquire a domain name on the verge of expiry. This service is also called “drop catching”.
- Auth Code/EPP Code – This is the code needed to transfer domains among registrars. This is required when a buyer wants to maintain their domain name at a different registrar from that of the seller.
- Push – This refers to transferring a domain from one owner to another at the same registrar.
- UDRP – Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a seamless and inexpensive way to settle cybersquatting issues and claims.
- GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU) data privacy regulation that serves as a framework for how companies use users’ personal data from the EU. GDPR came into effect on May 25, 2018, and has changed how WHOIS stores and uses data. The WHOIS lookup now only shows non-personal data of the registrant.
- ACPA – The Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act was enacted in the United States in 1999 to curb and prevent cybersquatting.
- Aftermarket – This is where interested buyers and investors can bid or negotiate for the domain name if it is on offer.
- Domain Appraisal – This is a tool to gauge the current value of your domain name.
- Domain Broker – They buy and sell domains and also act as a negotiator on behalf of the buyer to purchase the domain name at the best possible price.
- Domain Flipping – This is a method of investing in domain names and then selling it for a higher price later.
- Domain Name Hack – This is the process of finding a domain name that uses the domain extension to create a readable word or a complete meaningful phrase. For example, www.gold.bond is a smart way to denote a website on gold bonds.
- Domain Portfolio – This is a list of all domain names purchased by an investor to sell later.
- Domain Resellers – These individuals or companies offer domain name registration opportunities to interested parties.
- Escrow – This is a secure way of protecting the buyer and seller’s interests during a domain sale transaction. The escrow company or individual is usually a trustworthy third party. The domain is released to the buyer when the amount is deposited in escrow.
- Evaluator – They are domain evaluators assigned by ICANN.
- Expired Domain – When the owner of a domain name fails to renew it, the domain name has expired.
- Pending Transfer – This is when a domain name is about to be transferred from the existing registrar to a new registrar.
Ready to Register Your Next Domain?
Domain investment is nowhere near as complicated as it may sound. And now that you are aware of all the basic terms used in the domain industry, this is the perfect time to start your domain investment journey.