TLD - Top Level Domain

What Is A Top Level Domain?

Simplistically, the TLD (Top Level Domain) is the bit that appears after the domain name itself. In the example carparts.com, the .com is the TLD. There is a huge number of TLDs and there is nothing stopping you registering yourdomain.com and someone else registering yourdomain.org. Obviously, that's not OK if there are trademark issues associated with the domain name. I couldn't (or shouldn't!), for example, register microsoft.nett if it was available. If I did, Microsoft might come knocking on my door "asking" for their trademark back.

Historically, different TLDs were put to different uses, however they are now open for use for any purpose. Here is a list of what they were once used for, which gives a clue about what peoples' expectations are when they arrive on a particular site:

  • .com - commercial
  • .net - network infrastructures
  • .org - organisations not clearly falling within other TLDs
  • .gov - government entities
  • .edu - post-secondary educational establishments
  • .info - informational websites

The above are known as general TLDs (gTLD). There are also country code TLDs (ccTLD). Some widely used examples of country code top level domains are:

  • .ca - Canada
  • .in - India
  • .it - Italy

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