Domain Name vs URL: Difference and Comparison

With time passing, technology is becoming more and more advanced. So people want to stay updated as much as they can.

With more people taking an interest in the technology field, they need to know about the basics of computers and understand the differences between them.

A domain name and a URL are two basic terms used in computer networking.

A domain name addresses a particular website that a person has to type in the browser’s URL bar to visit that website. There are millions of websites globally, so each one needs a unique name to be identified by the users.

A domain name works with a domain name system. This system includes a top-level domain, DNS caching and an authoritative DNS server. 

URL stands for a uniform resource locator. a URL tells a user the location of a web resource. It is also used for transferring files, emails and database access.

It is displayed on the address bar of its page. It comprises various features such as HTTP, FTP and multiple parameters. It also includes a domain name, path port, etc.

URLs are of two types, i.e. absolute URLs and relative URLs.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Domain Name is a unique name that identifies a website and is used for address resolution, while a URL is a complete address that specifies the exact location of a web page.
  2. A Domain Name is easier to remember and promotes brand recognition, while a URL is a technical specification used by web browsers to locate web pages.
  3. A Domain Name can be purchased and registered, while a URL cannot be purchased and is automatically generated based on the website’s structure.

Domain Name vs URL

A domain name is a unique address that identifies a website online. It consists of a name, followed by a dot, and then an extension; a URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is the complete web address that specifies the location of a particular web page or resource on the internet.

Domain Name vs URL

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDomain NameURL
DefinitionIt is defined as the address of a website.It specifies the web resource’s location on a computer network.
UsesIt is used to find a particular website. It is used to refer a user to a specific web resource.
SubdivisionsA top-level domain, DNS caching and authoritative DNS server.It comprises parameters, ports, protocols, domains, etc.
First used15 March 1985. 1994.
Example maths.algebra.first.edu http://mathsfirst.com

What is Domain Name?

The domain name is the name or address a person types on the browser URL bar to visit a particular website. We can narrate it as an address of a website.

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The internet is full of various websites. It is a big network, so every website it contains needs a unique name or address to be identified among millions of other websites.

The working of a domain name includes a whole system known as the domain name system. This system provides a translation between the hostname and the IP address.

These hostnames are managed by the companies hosting the websites. The domain name system or DNS consists of various features that work together to run the system.

The DNS includes a top-level domain, DNS caching and an authoritative DNS server.

The DNS caching saves the domain names mostly used by a particular user, so they don’t have to go through the whole process again.

Top-level domain or TLD contains .org, .com, .edu and all the top-level country domains like .in, etc.

The authoritative server includes all IP addresses of the organisation servers. In brief, to create a website, a person needs to have a domain name for that website.

domain name

What is URL?

URL stands for uniform resource locator. It is used to refer a user to a web resource. It specifies the location of the web resource on a computer network.

We can also use URLs for transferring files, database access, email, etc. The URL of every web page is displayed on that web page’s address bar.

The resources pointed out by the URL can be a document, HTML page, image, video, etc.

However, these resources are handled by the web servers, so the owners of these web servers are responsible for managing the URL of the web pages.

Users can type a URL in the browser’s address bar to visit a particular web page.

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A URL comprises protocols, domain name, port, path link, parameters, etc. It includes HTTP, mailto and FTP protocols.

A protocol helps in the exchange or transfer of data between computers. It also consists of the port. A port is a technical “gate” used to access resources.

There are two types of URLs, i.e. an absolute URL and a relative URL. An absolute URL is the one that a user types in the browser address bar. It does not have the protocols or ports written in it.

In contrast, a relative URL is the one a user writes within a document. In this case, the browser is already aware of such URLs.

url

Main Differences Between Domain Names and URL

  1. A domain name is defined as a website’s address, whereas a URL or uniform resource locator specifies the web resource’s location on a computer network.
  2. A domain name is used to find a particular website, whereas a URL refers a user to a specific web resource. A domain name comes under URL.
  3. Domain name uses a complete system called a domain name system. It includes a top-level domain, DNS caching and an authoritative DNS server. In contrast, URL consists of features like parameters, ports, protocols, domains, etc.
  4. An example of a domain name is project.bluered.feature.edu. Whereas ab example of a URL is http://exampleurl.com
  5. The first-ever domain name was registered on 15 March 1985. on the other hand, a URL was first time defined by Tim Berners-Lee in 1994.
Difference Between Domain Name and URL
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-48683-2_27
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7024424/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Domain Name vs URL: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I had a solid grasp of domain names and URLs before reading this, but this article provided a more in-depth understanding with its detailed explanations.

    Reply
  2. It’s great to learn about the history and the first use of domain names and URLs. This article offers a comprehensive understanding of these concepts.

    Reply
  3. This article goes into detail about the domain name system and the various components of URLs. It’s certainly beneficial for those involved in web development.

    Reply
  4. As someone with a background in computer networking, I found this article accurate and well-researched. It’s a comprehensive guide to domain names and URLs.

    Reply
  5. I find this article informative and well-organized. It’s definitely beneficial for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of computer networking.

    Reply
  6. The article explains the technical specifications of domain names and URLs in a very approachable manner. It’s useful for beginners in the technology field like myself.

    Reply
  7. This article provides a comprehensive and clear explanation about domain names and URLs. It’s great to know the differences and the key takeaways between both concepts.

    Reply
  8. The article provides an extensive explanation of the working of domain names and URLs. It’s a valuable resource for those seeking clarity on these topics.

    Reply
  9. I appreciate the detailed explanation of DNS and its function within the domain name system. The clear examples aid in understanding these complex concepts.

    Reply
  10. The comparison table is particularly helpful to understand the differences between domain names and URLs. It provides a clear and concise overview.

    Reply

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