Domain Dictionary: Words you should know

You’ve probably come across a lot of strange words and acronyms referring to domain names. Here are some of the most common ones that you should be aware of so you can sound smart with your friends.

Registrar – a registrar is where you, the business owner, registers a domain name.

Registry – think of the registry as the wholesaler of domain names that provides them to the registrar. When you register a domain name at a registrar, the registrar reserves the domain name through the registry.

Top Level Domain (TLD) – this is what comes to the “right of the dot.” The top level domain in Namecheap.com is .com.

Second Level Domain (SLD) – when you register a domain, you’re actually registering a second level domain. The second level domain in Namecheap.com is NameCheap.

Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) – most of the top level domain names you’re used to are gTLDs, such as .com. There are now hundreds of top level domains that work like .com, including .rocks, .money and .lawyer.

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) – each country has its own ccTLD. For example, the U.S. has .us and Canada has .ca. Some ccTLDs have been marketed like gTLD for use by everyone. For example, .Co is actually the country code domain for Colombia and .Me is the domain for Montenegro.

Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) Code – you’ll often hear this referred to as the EPP code, Authorization code or Transfer code. This is a unique code required to transfer your domain name from one registrar to another. For example, if you want to transfer a domain name to Namecheap, you need to get this code from the current registrar for the domain name.

Aftermarket – people refer to the second-hand market for existing domain names as the aftermarket. If someone says “I bought the domain on the aftermarket,” they mean they bought it from someone who already registered it.

Domainer – a person who buys domain names as an investment.

WHOIS – WHOIS refers to the database that contains information about the owner of each domain name. When you register a domain, your name, phone number, address and email address are made public by default. You can shield your private information from WHOIS by using a privacy or proxy service like WhoisGuard.

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