Brief History of Domain Names

History & Overview of Domain Names

The Domain Name System (DNS) was first invented by Paul V. Mockapetris and Jon Postel in 1983. Both were American computer scientists and pioneers of the Internet. The primary purpose of DNS was to translate words that humans could easily recognise and remember into the numerical IP addresses that that computers were using on networks. The DNS service was first used on what we know today as the Internet in 1985. Here, on March 15 1985 a computer company registered the first .com domain, For the next 10 years, registration of .com domain names remained free. This changed when Network Solutions was given the responsibility to administer domain names and charge for its service.

In 1998 the domain name system started to be privatised away from the US Government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created as a non-profit organisation to oversee and coordinate names on the internet as well as protocols.

Every domain name on the internet belongs to a top-level domain. This is the right most part of the domain such as .com, .net & .uk. Each domain in one of these is therefore a sub-domain of the top level. There are also second level domains, an example is, where the .org is the second level domain of .uk. Further levels of domains can exist in the hierarchy and these are created by separating the terms with a full stop character.

Country Code Domains

The .UK domains are country code top-level domain’s (ccTLD) which are administered by Nominet. Nominet was founded in 1996 and is also a non profit organisation that was one of the first ccTLD’s to operate. Currently, Nominet administers the following top level domains:
.uk – top-level domain for the United Kingdom
.cymru – top-level domain for Wales
.wales – top-level domain for Wales

New Top Level Domains

Over time more TLD’s have been added. As of 2018, there are now over 1500. Whilst the list of TLD’s may keep growing public recognition and preference for the early TLD’s continues to remain strong. For this reason, premium domains in these early TLD’s will always be more valuable than the new ones, with a few exceptions. This has recently been shown with the sale of ($1.2 million) and (rumoured to be over $5.5 million). is a premium domain names trader that has been established for over 15 years and supplied some of the UK’s best online brands. We have a portfolio of over 2000 domain names, the majority of which were registered in the late 1990’s.

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