A domain name is a string of text that maps to a numeric IP address, used to access a website from client software. In plain English, a domain name is the text that a user types into a browser window to reach a particular website. For instance, the domain name for Google is ‘google.com’.

The actual address of a website is a complex numerical IP address (e.g. 103.21.244.0), but thanks to DNS, users are able to enter human-friendly domain names and be routed to the websites they are looking for. This process is known as a DNS lookup.

Domain names are all managed by domain registries, which delegate the reservation of domain names to registrars. Anyone who wants to create a website can register a domain name with a registrar, and there are currently over 300 million registered domain names.

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