The domain name space is becoming bigger and bigger each day. As of this writing, there are more than 350 million domain names in the world, and more are being registered every day. According to ICANN, the body responsible for regulating the domain name business, domain names are projected to hit the 1 billion mark at the turn of 2020. It’s important to know the categories of Top-Level Domains to make informed decisions when you decide to buy a domain name. Here is a comprehensive overview of the Top-Level Domain categories:

1)   Top-Level Domains (TLDs)

What is a TLD? You might ask. It refers to the three letters that appear after the dot in your domain name, for example, .com, .net, or .org. TLDs appear at the apex of the DNS structure of the web. TLDs are subdivided into three:

·Generic Top-Level Domains

These are the most common types of Top-Level Domains. Generic Top-Level Domains include .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz. Generic Top-Level Domains have no restrictions. Anybody is allowed to register them wherever they are across the world. However, there is a new crop of gTLDs that are restricted to specific uses, for example:

·.gov – Restricted to governmental organizations

  • .mil – Restricted to the U.S.A. military
  • .edu – Restricted to educational institutions
  • .jobs – Restricted to employment sites
  • .int – Restricted to international organizations
  • .coop – For cooperatives
  • .pro – for particular professionals and much more

Country Code Top Level Domains

These kinds of Top-Level Domain names are specially meant for a country or sovereign territory. This is the rule set by ICANN, but humans flout the rules, and you can find people using them on other things. You can find country code Top-Level Domain names used outside a particular country that the domain name is not designed for. For example, .dj is a country code Top-Level Domain for a country called Djibouti. But, many DJ (Disco Joker) websites are using the domain to advertise their services. Some typical country code Top-Level Domain Name examples include:

  • .uk – For United Kingdom
  • .us – For United States
  • .ca – For Canada
  • .fi – For Finland
  • .eu – For European Union
  • .gb – For Great Britain
  • .gh – For Ghana

·  New Top-Level Domain Names

These are the newest kinds of domain names rolled out by ICANN due to the scarcity of the generic Top-Level Domain Names. Here is a highlight of some of the new Top-Level Domain names that are taking the market by storm:

  • New domain names that reflect what you do for a living, for instance, www.HarrisonFord.ACTOR
  • New domain names that reflect the party you’re affiliated to, for instance, www.JohnMaccain.GOP
  • New domain names that reflect your position in Church, for instance, www.bishop.CATHOLIC
  • New domain names that reflect your position in an organization, for instance, www.Musk.CEO
  • New domain names that reflect your position in a nonprofit organization, for instance, www.Rick.UNICEF

1)   Second-Level Domain (2LD or SLD)

These types of domains are directly below the Top-Level Domains in the DNS hierarchy. These are mostly organization that register their domain names with domain registrars and includes their identity in it. For instance, an academic institution in the U.K. would register its domain names as stoke.ac.uk. Or stoke.ac.com.

2)   Third-Level Domain (3LD OR TLD)

Third-Level Domains are directly below the Second-Level Domain. An example of a third level domain name is ower.computer.net or ower.computer.com. It’s a combination of the name of the organization or entity, a Second-Level Domain Name extension, and a Top-Level Domain Name extension.

Conclusion

With the expansion of the online space, more domain name extensions are projected to come up. This will only broaden Top-Level Domain classification. It’s good to be in the know about domain names so that when you decide to venture into the business of buying and selling them, you know where the money is.

As mentioned before there are different types of domain that you can use for your website, for more inspiration check out this domain name generator and choose the one that suits you better.

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