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To put it simply, a domain name is an address to simplify an Internet Protocol, or IP, address on the Internet. An IP address, often in the case of IPv4, comprises 4 numbers separated individually with a decimal point in between. Each number ranges between 0 to 255, and each combination will represent a destination on the Internet, hence the address.
It is not intuitive to remember, and usually erroneous to key in all 4 numbers to visit a website on the Internet. Therefore, the domain name is purposed to help users to land on a website correctly all the time without the hassle of remembering the numbers.
To demonstrate, let’s take Google as an example. One can visit google.com just by keying in the address, or through the hard way, 220.127.116.11. See the incredible difference a domain name makes!
When you buy a domain name, you will become the registrant for the specific domain name you have purchased. This means that you have the full ownership of the domain and you get to decide what to put up on the website on the Internet. This is very much similar to owning a piece of property or a land parcel.
Having a domain name is important to you in many ways. On a macro level, domain names facilitate communications and information transfer among continents much quicker and with such ease, thereby bringing our world closer. As a business, building a presence on the Internet will certainly help out with your sales outreach and engagement. As an individual, the online presence will certainly help in building your personal branding and extending the influence you can have all over the world.
You can own a domain name forever, only if you pay the registrar a small annual fee perpetually.