Choice of Domain name extensions

The Domain name extension is the part of a domain name after the dot eg. www.your-domain-name.extension

Your choice of domain name extension can affect how your website and business is perceived. Domain name extensions are divided into three main groups

  1. Global Top Level Domains
  2. Country-specific domain names
  3. The "new" Generic Top Level Domains

Global Top Level Domains

There are other top level global domain extensions .int (international organisations) eg un.int, .edu (education organisations) .gov (us government), .mil (us military) but their use is severely restricted. Note use of .com, .org or .net does not signify the country you are based or wish to indicate you are based.

Country specific Top Level Domains

Each country is allocated a two letter domain name extension and allowed to allocate domain names either directly with that domain name extension or at the "second level" to a sub-division of that domain name extension

Three examples of country specific domain name extensions are:

A full list of country specific domain names is detailed in the wikipedia article at the foot of this page whilst further information concerning each country's domain name extension is also available on wikipedia

We will look more closely at the UK domain name extension. Only recently have people been able to register directly under the top level country extension thus www.your-domain-name.uk. Registrations have been done at the second level under a number of sub-divisions (sub-domains)

There are a number of restriced use domain names which include .ac.uk (education), .gov.uk (uk government), .mod.uk, .mil.uk (uk military), .net.uk (network companies), .nhs.uk (the National Health Service), .police.uk (police), .sch.uk (schools)

There are two restricted domain name extensions that may be of interest... .ltd.uk and .plc.uk for limited and public limited companies. The domain names are further restricted to the actual registered legal company names.

The "new" Generic Top Level Domains

I have used the term "new" to describe the remaining non-country specific domain name extensions that have been added over a period of time since the original domain names

These are a couple of the more popular extensions:

A full list of the available domain name extensions is on wikipedia. Some of these extensions have negative associations and have been used extensively for spam and scam websites. It is advisable to fully research these extensions before registering a domain name with one.

Another domain name extension that is sometimes registered is .uk.com "dot uk dot com". This is essentially a subdomain of the domain name extension .com for the UK zone.

 

Further Reading

List of Internet Top Level Domains (wikipedia)

Original Top Level Domains

Country code top-level domains

ICANN-era generic top-level domains

 

Discussions

Should I use a .biz or .info domain?

Should you use .info domain for your website?

.com vs .net differences in domain extensions

Com vs Net – What’s the Difference Between Domain Extensions

Domain Name Extension Pros and Cons

.com or .co.uk? - Domain Name Choice & Factors to Consider

 

Michael Fowler

 

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