A domain name is an easy to remember name e.g. example.co.za or example.com that refers or points to the IP address of the server where your website or email is hosted. An IP address is a unique numeric address (such as 188.8.131.52) that computers use to determine which website to display.
Imagine that an IP Address is a phone number and the domain name is “speed dial” listing in a cell phone. You don’t need to know the person’s phone number to contact the person. All you need is the name of the person in your speed dial listing.
Domain names and IP addresses work the same way. You don’t need to know the IP address of a particular website – you simply need to know the domain name. When you type a domain name into a web browser, you are telling the browser to retrieve the website that is associated with a particular IP address.
Domain extensions are categories of domain names e.g. .com, .co.za, .net