Everything You Need To Know About Top-Level Domain Names

Top-level domain names (TLD for short) is what you call the last part of a domain name. It comes after the final dot. For example, “.com” is the TLD in “www.google.com”. 

While .com is the most common TLD, there’s more to top-level domain names than meets the eye. Putting careful thought into choosing your TLD can be the difference between a good and a great online marketing strategy. Let’s discuss TLDs in greater detail below so you can make the most of them.

Top-Level Domain Names – Do You Need One?

We know that if you’re not a domain broker or knowledgable about digital marketing in general, then picking the right domain name can be slightly challenging. You’ll want to choose words or phrases that are clear and memorable and you’ll also to make sure you’re choosing the right TLD. This step is a critical part of building your online presence. 

For pretty much the entire age of the internet, choosing the right TLD has been a relatively straightforward process, since the options are commonly .com, .net, and .org. But over the past few years, new top-level domains have gained popularity.

Keep reading as we go over some of the different types of TLDs and how they differ from one another. We’ll include some of the benefits and advantages for certain websites and businesses to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing one for yourself.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s discuss the types of top-level domain names. 

Types of Top-Level Domain Names

Before we can talk about how to use them, we need to learn the intricacies of top-level domain names and how they work. 

The IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) differentiates three types of TLDs: generic top-level domains, sponsored top-level domain names, and country-code top-level domains. Each TLD has a different and important role to play in a website’s DNS (Domain Name System).

Generic Top-Level Domain Names (gTLD)

True to their name, generic top-level domains are most commonly seen domain extensions across the internet. They are considered generic, and that means you can register them at any time for your personal or business website.

There are hundreds of options, but some of the common ones include .com, .org, .net, .xyz, and .info, among others. A policy introduced by the ICANN in 2011 allowed organizations to register their own gTLDs and that led to TLDs like .google, .oracle, or .money.

Sponsored Top-Level Domain Names (sTLD)

In general, sTLDs are unique domain extensions used only by specific organizations. They are not open to use for the general public and typically occupy a specific niche. Only certain entities that ‘sponsor’ these domain extensions can use them.

Examples include .gov (used by the government), .edu (only for use by registered educational institutes), and .post (used by the postal service). There aren’t many sTLDs, but they have their own use.

Country Code Top-Level Domain Names (ccTLD)

These are country-specific TLDs like .uk, .us, .ca, and so on. They help Google to geotarget your audience and are often used by big sites. 

Importance of Choosing the Right TLDs

Top-level domain names are crucial in communicating the purpose and nature of your website. Additionally, special ones like ccTLDs can be vital for firms who want to geo-target their target audience. 

There’s always a give and take with choosing TLDs. Newer TLDs will have better domain names available for you to choose from and will usually be a lot cheaper than the more popular alternatives like .com or .org. 

On the other hand, many people have difficulty remembering domain names that don’t end in .com, and a lot of users have trust issues with websites ending in new TLDs.

Choosing one is all about your priority. At Name Experts, we can help you make the right decision and help you sort through your goals so that you can make this decision with confidence.

Need Help? Leave Choosing Your Domain To The Experts

With everything in mind, here are some key points that you should consider. 

  • What is your purpose and goal? The industry you’re in and the type of site you’re running should be your number one consideration. If your business relies on being trusted, it might be best to avoid new TLDs. Entertainment sites have a better chance of having good results with other TLDs than just .com.
  • Don’t forget about your target audience. Younger internet users are more likely to trust new TLDs than older customers. 
  • Another thing to consider is your brand. A problem with legacy TLDs like .com that matches your business name or brand is that they are hard to find. But newer options give you more opportunity to find the name that you want and vanity URLs to go with it.
  • The last thing to consider is the price. Getting the right domain name can be costly. When you include new TLDs in your search, you’re more likely to find the keyword phrase that you desire without all the expense that comes with a .com or .net domain.

Still confused? We don’t blame you. Buying the right domain name can be a complicated business and something that requires years of experience in the online world to truly master. 

Our specialists at Name Experts are committed to finding and brokering the best domain name for your website. We can help save your time and energy by doing all the boring work for you. 

Fill this simple form, and one of our experts will contact you to guide you through the whole process.

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