Stepping into the world of domain names can feel like learning a new language. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! If you’re scratching your head wondering what a domain name actually is, our article What Is a Domain Name and How Do They Work? A 2023 Guide is your perfect starting point.

Once you’ve got the basics down, this handy glossary is here to guide you through all the key domain name terms. Whether you’re new to domain registration, contemplating a domain transfer, or just wanting to become a domain name whizz, this alphabetical guide is your secret weapon.

This glossary is not only a one-time read but a perfect reference to bookmark and come back to whenever you need. So, ready to make the domain name jargon a thing of the past? Let’s dive in!


301 Redirect: A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another, informing search engines that the old URL has been permanently replaced by the new one.

302 Redirect: A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect from one URL to another, telling search engines that the old URL is still valid and will be used again in the future.


A Record (Address Record): An A Record is a type of DNS record that maps a domain name to an IPv4 address.

AAAA Record (Quad A Record): An AAAA Record is a DNS record that maps a domain name to an IPv6 address.

Addon Domain: An addon domain is a separate domain that is hosted on the same account as another primary domain. This allows users to manage multiple websites under a single hosting plan.

Alias Domain: An alias domain is a domain name that points to the same website as another domain, effectively creating a duplicate of the original site under a different web address.

Authoritative Name Server: An authoritative name server is a DNS server that holds the complete and current DNS records for a particular domain.


Bulk Domain Registration: Bulk domain registration is a service offered by some domain registrars that allows customers to register multiple domain names at once, often at a discounted rate.


CNAME Record (Canonical Name Record): A CNAME Record is a DNS record that maps one domain name (the alias) to another (the canonical name).

Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): A ccTLD is a top-level domain that represents a specific country or geographical region, such as .uk for the United Kingdom or .eu for the European Union.

Cybersquatting: Cybersquatting is the practice of registering a domain name that closely resembles a well-known brand or trademark with the intention of profiting from the association or selling the domain to the rightful owner.


DNS (Domain Name System): DNS is the internet system for converting alphanumeric domain names into numeric IP addresses.

DNS Propagation: DNS propagation is the process of updating every server across the web with the latest DNS information, such as a change in your site’s IP address.

DNS Record: A DNS record is a database record used to map a URL to an IP address.

Domain: A domain is a user-friendly naming system that allows people to easily navigate web servers and web pages. It forms the URL or web address that users type into their web browsers to visit a website.

Domain Auction: A domain auction is a marketplace where expired, parked, or previously registered domain names are bought and sold.

Domain Backorder: Domain backorder is a service offered by many domain registrars for securing a chance to register a domain name as soon as it becomes available.

Domain Extension: A domain extension, also known as top-level domain (TLD), is the last part of the domain name, such as .com, .org, or .net.

Domain Flipping: Domain flipping is the practice of buying domain names at a low cost and reselling them at a higher price for profit.

Domain Forwarding: Domain forwarding is a technique used to redirect a visitor from one website to another.

Domain Hacks: Domain hacks are creative domain names that combine the domain name and its extension to form a word or phrase, such as or

Domain Name Registrar: A domain name registrar is a business that handles the reservation of domain names and the assignment of IP addresses for those domain names.

Domain Parking: Domain parking refers to the registration of a domain name without that domain being associated with any services such as email or a website.

Domain Privacy: Domain privacy, also known as WHOIS privacy, is a service offered by a number of domain name registrars. It provides the option to hide the registrant’s contact information from public WHOIS lookups.

Domain Registration: Domain registration is the process of registering a domain name, which identifies one or more IP addresses with a name that is easier to remember and use in URLs to identify particular web pages.

Domain Renewal: Domain renewal is the process of extending the registration of the domain name after its expiry.

Domain Squatting: Domain squatting, also known as cybersquatting, involves buying and holding onto a domain that uses the name of a popular brand with the intention of selling it back to the company who owns the brand.

Domain Transfer: Domain transfer refers to the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name.

Dot (.): In the context of domain names, a dot (.) is a separator used to split the different parts of a domain name.

Drop Catching: Drop catching is a practice where domain registrars or individuals attempt to register a domain immediately after it expires and becomes available for registration again.


EPP Code (Extensible Provisioning Protocol Code): EPP Code is a password provided by the current domain registrar which is needed to authorise the transfer of a domain name to another registrar.

Expired Domain: An expired domain is a domain name whose registration has lapsed and has not been renewed by the registrant.


Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN): FQDN is the complete domain name for a specific computer or host on the internet. The FQDN consists of two parts: the hostname and the domain name.


Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD): gTLDs are one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Examples include .com, .net, .org, and .edu.

Geo-targeting: Geo-targeting is the practice of customising website content or advertisements based on the geographical location of a user.

Glue Record: A glue record is a DNS record that associates a name server’s domain name with its IP address, allowing it to resolve other DNS records within its own domain.


Hostname: A hostname is a label assigned to a device (a host) on a network and is used to distinguish one device from another on the same network.


ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers): ICANN is a non-profit organisation responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the internet.

IDN (Internationalised Domain Name): IDN is a domain name that contains at least one character not represented in the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) character set. IDNs are formed using characters from different scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, or Devanagari.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address): An IP address is a unique string of numbers and/or characters that identifies a device on a network.


Landing Page: A landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link in an email, or ads from Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or similar places on the web.

Link Farm: A link farm is a group of websites created solely for the purpose of increasing the link popularity of other websites by increasing the number of inbound links.


MX Record (Mail Exchange Record): An MX Record is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System that specifies a mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of a recipient’s domain.


Nameserver: A nameserver is a computer that is permanently connected to the internet and translates domain names into IP addresses or vice versa.

Name Collision: A name collision occurs when a private domain name used within a closed network overlaps with a public domain name, causing confusion or disruption in DNS resolution.

Name Resolution: Name resolution is the process of converting a host’s name into an IP address on a network.

Name Server Record (NS Record): An NS record is a DNS record that specifies the DNS servers responsible for a particular domain or subdomain.

Namecheap: Namecheap is a domain registrar and hosting service company.

New gTLDs: New gTLDs are the new generic top-level domains that have been released as part of ICANN’s new gTLD programme, adding to the traditional gTLDs like .com, .net, and .org.


Page Rank: Page Rank is a search ranking algorithm used by Google that ranks websites in search engine results. It is named after Google co-founder Larry Page.

Park Domain: To park a domain means to reserve a domain name for future use. The parked domain will not be associated with any services such as email or a website.

Parked Page Monetisation: Parked page monetisation is a method of making money from a parked domain by displaying adverts on the page.

Premium Domain: A premium domain is a domain name that is considered valuable due to its short length, brandability, or the inclusion of popular keywords. These are often sold at a higher price than standard domains.

Private Registration: Private registration is a service provided by some domain registrars that hides the registrant’s personal contact information from the public WHOIS database.

Propagate: Propagate refers to the time it takes for updates to a domain name server to spread or propagate throughout the internet.

PTR Record (Pointer Record): A PTR record is a type of DNS record that resolves an IP address to a domain or hostname, which is often used for reverse DNS lookups.


Redemption Grace Period (RGP): The RGP is a period of time after a domain name has expired where the original registrant can still renew the domain, typically lasting 30 days.

Redirect: A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested.

Registrar: A registrar is an entity that provides domain name registration services to the public. A registrar is accredited by both ICANN and the relevant national registry to sell domain names.

Registrar Lock: Registrar lock is a status code set on a domain name by the domain’s registrar that prevents unauthorised, unintended or accidental changes.

Registry: A registry is a database of all domain names registered in a top-level domain, maintained by a domain name registry operator.

Registry Operator: A registry operator, or network information centre (NIC), is an organisation responsible for managing the registration of domain names within one or more top-level domains.

Reseller: A reseller is an individual or company that purchases domain names from a domain registrar and then resells them to their customers.

Reverse DNS (rDNS): Reverse DNS is a method of resolving an IP address into a domain name, just as the domain name system (DNS) resolves domain names into associated IP addresses.

Root: In the context of DNS, the root is the highest level of the domain system structure, represented by a period (.).


SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Subdomain: A subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain. It’s an additional part of your main domain name. Subdomains are created to organise and navigate to different sections of your website.


Top-Level Domain (TLD): TLD is the last segment of a domain name, or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol. Examples of some top-level domains are .com, .org, .gov and .edu.

Transfer: In terms of domain names, a transfer refers to the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL): A URL is the address of a resource on the internet. It includes a protocol (such as HTTP or HTTPS), a hostname, and a file or resource location.


Web Hosting: Web hosting is the service that allows individuals and organisations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.

Website: A website is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server.

WHOIS: WHOIS is a query and response protocol that’s used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system.

WHOIS Database: The WHOIS database is a searchable list of every single domain currently registered in the world, including the names, addresses and other details of the people who own them.

WHOIS Lookup: A WHOIS lookup is a way to search the WHOIS database to find the details of the owner of a domain name.

WHOIS Privacy: WHOIS privacy is a service offered by a number of domain name registrars. It provides the option to hide the registrant’s contact information from public WHOIS lookups.

Wildcard SSL Certificate: A wildcard SSL certificate is a digital certificate that is applied to a domain and all its subdomains.

Wildcard Subdomain: A wildcard subdomain is a subdomain that will match requests for non-existent subdomains.

WWW (World Wide Web): WWW is an information system where documents and other web resources are identified by URLs, interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the internet.


XML (Extensible Markup Language): XML is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.

X.509: X.509 is a standard defining the format of public key certificates.


Zone File: A zone file is a text file that describes a DNS zone. It is defined by RFC 1035 and RFC 1034.

Zone Transfer: A zone transfer is the process of copying the contents of a DNS zone from a primary DNS server to a secondary DNS server.

And there you have it – a comprehensive list of key terms and definitions in the world of domain names. Whether you’re a newcomer to the internet realm or an experienced webmaster, this glossary will help you navigate the jargon-filled landscape of domain names. With a firm understanding of these terms, you can better manage your online presence and make informed decisions about your website.