TLD: What is it, and how to choose one?

One of the first things that you will encounter when you want to start a website is the domain name. You have plenty of extensions to choose from! .com, .net, .info, and countless new and interestingly sounding TLDs. But what exactly are the TLDs? Is there a way to choose the best TLD for your site? Let’s find out!

What is TLD?

The TLD is the second level from top to bottom in the Domain Name System (DNS).

TLD stands for top-level domain, and they are represented as the last part of a fully qualified domain name after the domain name and separated with a dot “.”.

The DNS is an international system that has the purpose of translating domain names to IP addresses and saving a great effort for the Internet users.

The DNS is a tree-like structure where on top are the root servers, then the TLD servers, then domain nameservers.

The Root servers have the IP addresses of all TLD nameservers. The TLD servers have the IP addresses of the nameservers of each domain name they are responsible for. For example, .com nameservers will have the coordinates of Google.com, Yahoo.com, and so on.

Types of TLDs

There are two types of TLD – ccTLDs, and gTLDs.

The ccTLD stands for country code top-level domain. There are specific TLDs for each country like .it for Italy, .de for Germany, .cn for China, and so on. To register a ccTLD, you might need to be living or having a working permit in the country that you want to use the ccTLD. These TLDs are great if you have a business in a particular country and want the audience to see that right away.

The gTLD stands for generic top-level domain. There are hundreds of domain names in this group, including the most popular like .com, .net, .info, and more. All of them are labeled generic because they are not related to a country, and each of them can stand for a different purpose like .com stands for commercial, .info – information, and so on.

Companies or individuals can create a new register with a new gTLD if they comply with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers requirements, and they pay the fee.

How to choose a TLD for your website?

  1. If you want to focus all of your efforts on a single market like a particular country, choose their ccTLD. That way, just from entering your site, the people will know that you operate in a specific country. They can be calmer about shopping on it, and better know what can of perspective, news and articles from that site can have.
  2. Keep it short. Nobody wants to write an eternal domain name into their browser. Check shorter names and abbreviations to save space and make it easier for your visitors to remember them.
  3. Exact match with your brand. There are many gTLDs out there. You can try to search for an exact match with your brand name with a less known gTLD if the .com or another popular one is busy. Many people will search in a search engine for your companies name, and if you registered a misspelled domain name, they might think the site is not legit.
  4. Consider new gTLDs. There are many new generic extensions, and many of them might help you create great domain names. There are industry TLDs like .film, .press, .digital, and more. Other TLDs might create a great combination with the domain name like kiss.me, wiki.docs, Johnson.doctor, and more.
  5. Check the prices for registration, transfer, and renewal. Many new TLDs will be almost free to register, but they might cost 100 or more dollars per year when it comes time to renew them.

Conclusion

Now you know what TLD is and how to choose a TLD. Go ahead and find the best match for your purposes. Good luck with your new site!

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