Domain Name Glossary


Accredited Registrar

A Registrar that has been accredited by auDA as meeting certain minimum criteria to act as a Registrar for a specific 2LD.

Administrative Contact

The administrative contact is an individual, role or organization authorized to interact with the registry or registrar on behalf of the Domain Holder. The administrative contact should be able to answer non-technical questions about the domain name’s registration and the 2LD Holder. In all cases, the Administrative Contact is viewed as the authoritative point of contact for the domain name, second only to the Registrant. The Administrative contact is a required contact within a valid domain registration


.au Domain Administration Ltd auDA is the manager of the .au domain, and independent regulatory body for the Australian domain name industry. auDA is responsible for ensuring that the .au domain operates for the benefit of the entire Australian Internet community


Billing Contact

The billing contact is the individual, role or organisation designated to receive the invoice for domain name registration and re-registration fees.



Contacts are individuals or entities associated with domain name records. Typically, third parties with specific inquiries or concerns will use contact records to determine who should act upon specific issues related to a domain name record. There are typically three of these contact types associated with a domain name record, the Administrative contact, the Billing contact and the Technical contact.

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)

ccTLD’s represent the TLD’s used by Countries in the world, they account for about 250 of the 260 TLD’s. Some examples of ccTLDs are ‘.uk’ for the United Kingdom, and ‘.au’ for Australia.


DNS – See Domain Name System

Domain Holder – See Registrant

Domain Name

An addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. Domain names provide a system of easy-to-remember Internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Name System (DNS) into the numeric addresses (Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) used by the network. A domain name is hierarchical and often conveys information about the type of entity using the domain name. A domain name is simply a label that represents a domain, which is a subset of the total domain name space. Domain names at the same level of the hierarchy must be unique. Thus, for example, there can be only one .COM at the top-level of the hierarchy, and only one at the next level of the hierarchy.

A valid domain name registered with Aust Domains must:

  • be from 2 to 63 characters long in the 3LD
  • only use the characters a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and “-” (the hyphen)
  • not have a hyphen in the 3rd or 4th character position in the 3LD
  • be a valid domain type

Domain Parking

Domain parking lets you get the domain name that you want now and gives your domain a temporary home while you are working out what you want to do with your domain name. It’s similar to URL forwarding but for those that don’t already have and existing website and just need a placeholder.

Domain Name System (DNS)

The DNS is the hierarchical system by which easy-to-remember, human-friendly names like “” are associated with Internet locations.


Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)

EPP is the latest protocol utilised by our internet registry to enable multiple Registrars to administer domain name information.


Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)

A top level domain name that is open to registrants around the world in contrast to country code top level domains that are often restricted to registrants located in a particular country or region. .com, .net and .org are all generic top level domains.


Host or Name Server

Also called a name server. A computer that has both the software and the data (zone files) needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.


Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

The non-profit organization that officially coordinates the technical management of the Internet’s domain name system. It was founded to assume responsibility for items such as IP address space assignment, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management.

Internet Protocol (IP)

The communications protocol underlying the Internet, IP allows large, geographically-diverse networks of computers to communicate with each other quickly and economically over a variety of physical links.

IP Address

An Internet Protocol Address is the numerical address by which a location in the Internet is identified. Computers on the Internet use IP addresses to route traffic and establish connections among themselves; people generally use the human-friendly names made possible by the Domain Name System.


Name Server – See Host

Name Service

Providing individuals or organizations with domain name-to-Internet Protocol (IP) number resolution by maintaining and making available the hardware, software, and data needed to perform this function. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operate name servers and provide their customers with name service when they register a domain name. Most individuals are not in a position to operate a name server on their own and will need to make arrangements for name service with an ISP or some other person or organization.


OT&E – See Operational Test and Evaluation

Operational Test and Evaluation

A process in which accredited registrars develop client systems and software to register and manage domain names and name servers prior to live operation in the Shared Registration System. The Shared Registration System includes an isolated, shared Operational Test and Evaluation server environment that is used for both initial registrar system development and ongoing registrar development and testing.

Optimize / Optimization

A page is said to be optimized when it has been structured in such a way that it ranks well for those keywords it targets. It is a fairly subjective concept. What some see as optimization might be termed spamdexing by others. In the strictest sense, optimization means simply making a page spider-friendly


Registrant (webname license holder)

The individual or organization that registers a specific domain name. This individual or organization holds the right to use that specific domain name for a specified period of time, provided certain conditions are met and the registration fees are paid. This person or organization is the “legal entity” bound by the terms of the relevant service agreement with the registry operator for the TLD in question.

Registrar (retailer of webnames)

A person or entity that, via contract with Registrants and a Registry, provides front-end domain name registration services to registrants. These services form the public interface to registry services. As the reader of this document you are most likely to be a budding or active registrar for the Australian Registry. Registrars may be providing registration services for names from one or more 2LD‘s within Australia or a multiple of TLD‘s around the world.

Registry (wholesale provider)

Has the exclusive responsibly for maintainence of a centralised registry for its particular TLD. AusRegistry maintains the Root Name Servers for these 2LD’s in Australia.

Registry Registrar Protocol

A protocol for the registration and management of second level domain names and associated name servers in both Top Level Domains (TLDs) and country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). Also see EPP

Registry Whois

Whois services made available by specific registries for the domain names that they are authoritative for.


The term used to describe the process by which domain names are matched with corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. “Resolution is accomplished by a combination of computers and software, referred to as name servers that use the data in the Domain Name System to determine which IP numbers correspond to a particular domain name.

Root Server

A machine that has the software and data needed to locate name servers that contain authoritative data for the top-level domains (e.g., root servers know which name servers contain authoritative data for com, net, fr, UK etc.). The root servers are, in fact, name servers and contain authoritative data for the very top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. Currently, technical specifications limit the number of root servers to 13. These machines are currently located around the globe, in the U.S., the UK, Sweden, and Japan.


Second Level Domain (2LD or SLD)

The alphanumeric string before the dot and the TLD.

Secure Socket System (SSL)

SSL is an acronym for “Secure Socket Layer”, a security protocol that provides communications privacy over the Internet. The protocol allows client/server applications to communicate in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery.

Shared Registration System (SRS)

A domain name registration system in which registry services are shared among multiple independent registrars. The AusRegistry SRS enables registrars to connect to the central Australian internet registry.

Sponsoring Registrar

The Registrar responsible for the submission of the domain name to the Registry.


Technical Contact

The technical contact is the individual, role or organization who is responsible for the technical operations of the delegated zone. This contact likely maintains the domain name server(s) for the domain. The technical contact should be able to answer technical questions about the domain name, the delegated zone and work with technically oriented people in other zones to solve technical problems that affect the domain name and/or zone.

Third Level Domain (3LD)

The alphabetic string before the dot and the 2LD. Between 2 and 63 characters long, this is the ‘yahoo’ in

TLD Zone

A file that contains data describing a portion of the domain name space for a specific top-level domain. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers.

Top Level Domain (TLD)

Superset of gTLD’s and ccTLDs. Every domain name must end with a TLD. Australian domains all have the TLD, which is a ccTLD, which is .au. TLDs are the names at the top of the DNS naming hierarchy. They appear in domain names as the string of letters following the last (rightmost) “.”, such as “net” in “”. The administrator for a TLD controls what second-level names are recognized in that TLD. The administrators of the “root domain” or “root zone” control what TLDs are recognized by the DNS. Commonly used TLDs include .com, .net, .edu, .jp, .de, etc.


A name, symbol, or other device identifying a product, officially registered and legally restricted to the use of the owner or manufacturer.


URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

URL or domain name is basically an alpha-numeric name or address used to identify a computer. It’s like a phone number except it uses words instead of numbers and allows us to locate websites on the Internet

URL forwarding, (URL cloaking)

Lets you point your domain to your existing website without spending a cent on hosting. For example, if you register both and you can point the .com to your website and people can find you even if they forget to put the .au on the end. You might like to register you can point it to your

If you are using a free hosting site, a sub-domain or your ISP’s hosting which usually has a long URL address such as you can brand it with your own domain making it easier for your visitors to type in the domain name and gives your business a more professional look.


Web-based Whois

A World Wide Web interface to Whois services.


A TCP transaction based query/response server, that provides a netwide directory service to network users. This can be used to determine if domain names (webnames) are registered and by whom. More complex queries can result in multiple results showing lists of domains registered to specific entities or residing on specified host machines. View Whois

Whois Server

The application server providing the Whois service

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