What is a domain name?
A domain name is what you call your website: in my case, it’s beingfreed.com. When you add https:// to the beginning, any web browser will guide you to my website. So, to get to my site you would use https://beingfreed.com. It works just like a street address; you’re just using a search engine instead of GPS.
What is a subdomain name?
A subdomain is a domain within a domain. For example, to find my Library, you use https://beingfreed.com/library/. In this case, library/ is the subdomain extension, also called a slug. Continuing with our street address analogy, this is akin to an apartment or suite number.
HTTP vs. HTTPS
You may have noticed that some domain names start with www.https:// and some start with www.http://, which does not have the “s”. The “s” indicates that all of the requests and responses to and from the website are protected with an encryption system. Encryption makes a website more secure, so all the websites I build all include this feature. That’s your chain lock and peephole.
Where can you buy a domain?
You can buy your domain name from any number of places, often including wherever you host your site. For people who build their own sites this can be a good option as your assets will be located all in one place. Fewer accounts means less fuss. I buy domains from Namecheap. I find the site easy to navigate, and managing domains there is straightforward and uncomplicated. I host at SiteGround, but that’s a topic for a different post.
So, what is a domain name? It's, well, your address.
Check out my post on setting up a WordPress website. It explains how a domain name works in concert with hosting and the WordPress installation to create a website.