By simply typing in a URL or entering a search query in Google, you can find practically anything you want online. This process typically feels instantaneous, making it easy to be unaware of what’s going on behind the scenes.
To get a clearer picture of what’s really happening when you visit a website, you can think of the domain as an easy-to-remember phone number for the site. In some cases, businesses will represent their phone numbers as letters to make them easier to recall, such as 1-800-CALL-NOW.
Domains follow the same basic principle. Each website is stored on a server with an Internet Protocol (IP) address, such as 126.96.36.199. That’s essentially the phone number for the site. However, IP addresses are difficult to remember, since they’re just strings of numbers.
That’s why, instead of seeing those IP addresses, we use easy-to-remember names in their place. This functions thanks to the Domain Name System (DNS), which we’ll cover next.