The Internet domain name1 is the basic element of the addressing structure of the Internet.
The Internet is a huge network of hundreds of millions of connected computers all over the world. In order for them all to be able to communicate with one another, they need to know which device is located where on the Internet. Each device on the Internet has its own IP address, defined in accordance with the Internet protocol, and each such address is unique at the global level. These addresses are complicated numbers, very difficult to remember, and so Internet domain names were introduced. These are paired up with IP addresses and are much simpler for humans to use. These names are also unique at the global level and comprise the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the Internet’s addressing system.
An Internet domain name consists of at least two segments separated by a dot (e.g. domen.rs). There are also names with three segments (e.g. domen.co.rs), where the dot and last segment are the domain extension, in this case our national .RS domain designation.
A segment can contain numbers (0-9), letters from various alphabets and hyphens (-), and the length of a segment cannot be shorter than two or longer than 63 characters. A segment cannot contain a hyphen at the start or the end, nor two consecutive hyphens as the third and fourth characters.
When a domain name is registered, it is entered into a special database and is supported by an Internet infrastructure which enables it to function on the Internet. This database and infrastructure are managed by an Internet domain registry. The national registry for the .RS and .СРБ domains is the Serbian National Internet Domain Name Registry Foundation (RNIDS).
Originally, domain names only supported the letters of the English alphabet (ASCII code), but with the development of the IDN standard it became possible for domain names to use the scripts of other languages of the world. These scripts include Cyrillic, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and Indian, as well as Latin scripts containing letters which do not exist in the English alphabet (such as đ, š, ž, ä, ß, ů, to name a few).
Your Internet domain name defines both the web address of your website and your email address, and that is why it is an important part of your Internet identity or that of your company. Choosing and registering a distinctive Internet domain name are the first steps in creating an Internet identity and developing an online business.
1 Instead of the term “Internet domain name” we often simply use the term “Internet domain”.