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Domain names

Find out more about domain names and website naming guidelines.

About domain names

A domain name is a meaningful and easy-to-remember name for an internet address.

The domain name system (DNS) is the way that internet domain names are located and translated into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and vice-versa. It's a hierarchical system, meaning that each parent domain is authoritative to its child domain.

In the N3, all non-trust (external) name resolution is provided by forwarding requests to the N3 name servers.

Guidelines for naming websites

Your main domain name should be recognisable nationally. Generic names ( are not advisable unless aimed nationally. Sub-domains should sit below the main domain name ( These are often used for:

  • adding host names
  • applications
  • services

This improves the performance of the NHS DNS servers and maintains a hierarchical naming structure. NHS England guidelines should be followed, but contact us if your site needs to be named differently.

Delegation is prohibited

Delegating control of a namespace to a local name server isn't allowed because we need to assure the quality, timeliness and accuracy of DNS entries for important domains. This provides us with resilience and extra security.

The namespace is dedicated for use within our private N3 Network, so we are also unable to delegate the domain name to external providers.

View our namespace policy.

Adding an application or service to the N3

Adding applications or services to the N3 involves the same procedure as adding the web server - simply complete the DNS form , but request without the nww prefix.

DNS naming schema for spine end points

Last edited: 2 October 2020 9:36 am