A domain name is the address or identity of your website on the web. The first part of the domain name is the name of your website. It can be the name of your business, your primary product or service or any name that you want your business and website to be identified by. There is a period or dot (.) after the first part of your domain name.
The second part of the domain name that appears after the dot is called the domain extension. Domain extensions are also called “top level domains” or TLDs. It identifies the type of your website and is useful in identifying what the website represents. This article explains the various TLDs or domain extensions and their purpose to help you decide which domain extension you should select for your website.
Domain extensions and their history
Back in the 1980s, there were just seven domain extensions or TLDs (.com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net, and .org). Out of these, .com, .net and .org domain extensions were unrestricted. This means, any individual or organization could use either of these extensions for their domain name.
The other four, .edu, .gov, .int and .net have a limited purpose and there are restrictions on who can acquire these domains. In addition to these, there are also country-specific domain extensions that are unrestricted
In 2001-2002, seven new domain extensions were introduced. Out of these, .biz, .info, .name, and .pro are unsponsored and open to anyone who wants to register their domain name with these extensions. The other three new domain extensions, .aero, .coop, and .museum, are sponsored. A sponsored domain extension is not available to everyone and is backed by institutions. The sponsored domain extensions are specialized TLDs representing the narrower community or industry that is most affected by the TLD. The sponsor or the domain extension is the body responsible for policy-formulation over matters that concern the sponsored domain extension.
.com domain name and who should use it
The .com domain extension was introduced in January 1985. It is an abbreviation of the word “commercial” and was meant for commercial or business websites. The .com extension is today the most common and widely used domain extension in the world. It is the most preferred domain extension simply because it is highly recognized and symbolizes the website of a business or commercial enterprise.
Who should use the .com extension?
Ideally, if you are creating the website of a business or commercial enterprise, you should opt for the .com extension. Although the .com extension was originally created for websites of commercial enterprises, even information-only websites use this extension.
END OF PART 1: Read more about domain extensions in the following articles:
- Org and Info Domain Names
- Info, Biz, Name and Pro Domain Names
- TV, Mobi and Country-specific Domain Names