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Top Level Domains (TLDs) hold a significant position within a URL’s address structure, serving as the suffix that follows the domain name and are at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System.

Additional Information

Top Level Domain – TLD

For instance, in URLs like www.amazon.com or www.amazon.uk , the TLDs are the suffixes ‘com’ and ‘uk,’ respectively. Top Level Domain examples are Amazon.com and Google.com in the western world.

A URL is a Uniform Resource Locator know as the website address on the Internet.

The most popular top level domain on a global basis is .com.

Each TLD belongs to a specific group, encompassing various categories to help classify and communicate the purpose of the domain names they are a part of.:

Generic Top Level Domain – gTLD

These TLDs typically consist of three or more letters and are considered generic in nature. Generic TLDs (gTLDs) are some of the domain names that people are the most familiar with. They are administered by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). For a comprehensive list of current gTLDs, one can refer to ICANN’s official compilation.

The most common usages of generic top-level domains include:

  • .com – commercial enterprises
  • .org – organizations, mostly charities
  • .net – networks
  • .gov – US governmental agencies
  • .edu – educational institutions

Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD

These TLDs are composed of two letters and are primarily based on the ISO 3166 code, which represents specific countries, , sovereign states, and territories. ICANN oversees the management of ccTLDs. To explore the complete roster of ccTLDs, one can refer to ICANN’s official catalog.

Some top-level domain examples for country codes include: 

  • .us – United States
  • .uk – United Kingdom
  • .au – Australia
  • .de – Germany
  • .fi – Finland
  • .fr – France
  • .jp – Japan

Geographic Top Level Domain – geoTLD

Although considered to be an unofficial group of Top Level Domains, these TLDs are specifically associated with locations, languages and cultures, reflecting geographical affiliations. ICANN maintains a dedicated list of geoTLDs for reference.

How it Works

When a user enters a domain name, for example ‘amazon.com’ into their browser search bar, the DNS (Domain Name System) servers start searching for the domain name by communicating with the TLD server. In this example, the TLD is ‘.com’, so it will communicate with the TLD DNS server, which will then provide the IP address of amazon.com’s hosting server.

For more information on the DNS and how it works, click this link.

In Conclusion

By understanding these distinctions and the categorization of TLDs, businesses and individuals can make informed decisions while selecting appropriate domain extensions that align with their objectives and target audience.

There are numerous TLD options available, which can become a little overwhelming when trying to register a new domain name. For help on choosing the best domain name for your business, visit Blog: Choosing the perfect Domain Name

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