Top-Level Domains (TLD) at a Glance
Are you familiar with top-level domains (TLD)? What makes .org different from .com or .tech from .io? What do these letters even mean in website addresses, and what makes them essential in the first place?
Just so you know, these letters are examples of TLDs, and they give your potential visitors a good idea of what your website does, who it is meant for, and if they can trust it.
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What are Top-Level Domains (TLD)?
TLDs, top-level domains, or domain extensions, are the last portion of your website’s domain. The most common and famous TLD is .com, although there are still a lot out there, such as .tech, .org, .edu, and .net, to mention a few.
TLDs don’t only appear out of nowhere. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN manages their usage and development. ICANN is a nonprofit organization that maintains and coordinates IP addresses, root servers, and domain names, essential functions that maintain a navigable and stable global internet.
Examples and Types of TLDs
TLDs have several types recognized and managed by the ICANN, each serving different registry requirements and purposes. Here are the types and examples of TLDs:
Country Code Top-Level Domains or ccTLD
ccTLDs represent countries like .us for the USA, .br for Brazil, and .uk for the United Kingdom. Some ccTLDs are restricted to the specific area’s residents, while the rest are open to everyone. Google and the other major search engines may also use ccTLDs for geotargeting your website.
Generic Top-Level Domains or gTLD
Generic top-level domains are domain extensions most of you might already be familiar with, like .org and .com. Although the intent is for websites to use domains relevant to their purposes, such as .org for organizations and .com for commercial businesses, anyone can use gTLDs.
When the internet was just getting started, only three gTLDs were available back then: .com, .net, and .org. With the growth in demand, ICANN came up with more available domain extensions. It was in 2011 when the organization started to allow individuals or companies to have their branded gTLDs registered.