Whether you are a business, want to market your brand, pursue a hobby, or create your portfolio, having a website is a must in today’s world. Having your content hosted on a website requires two necessities – a domain name and web hosting. Your domain name gives your business or portfolio a unique identity. In the early 1980’s websites were accessed using an IP address. To simplify the process, a DNS system (Domain Name System) was created. With this system, domain names associated with their IP addresses were generated. For example, if the IP address is 188.8.131.52, the user just has to remember the URL connectreseller.com. The scheme, subdomain, second-level domain, top-level domain, and subdirectory are the basic parts of a URL. TLDs are categorized into Infrastructure top-level domains (ARPA), Generic top-level domains (gTLD), Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD), and country-code top-level domains (ccTLD). In 1985, the first five TLDs were created namely .com, .net., .edu, .mil, .gov, and .org. In 2000, ICANN introduced seven new TLDs namely, .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, and .pro. We will be discussing gTLDs and ccTLDs in this article. We will learn about the other types of TLDs and their categories. Keep reading to learn them.
gTLD stands for generic top-level domain. These TLDs are maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for usage in the Internet’s Domain Name System. .com, net, .org, .co are few commonly used gTLD’S. Other examples of gTLD’s include .edu,.gov, .biz,.info,.mil, .online and .store. One of the widely used gTLD is .com(.commercial) since it is the oldest domain extension introduced in 1985. The first five dot-coms registered in 1985 were: Symbolics.com , BBN.com, Thnk.com, MCC.com, DEC.com. According to Wikipedia, gTLD are further classified into sponsored, geographic and brand types. For example, Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques has sponsored aero TLD. Examples of geographical TLDs include .asia, .kiwi, .paris. Brand TLDs help create short brand awareness creating URLs such as iphone.apple. A generic URL example would be www.connectreseller.com. In this, connect reseller is the domain name and .com is the gTLD.
ccTLD stands for country-code top-level domain. These are two-letter ccTLDs reserved for their respective countries. Examples of ccTLDs include .au- Australia, .be – Belgium, .in – India, .us – United States.
IDN ccTLDs (Internationalized domain name) have the country-code top-level domain in a language-native script. Examples of IDN ccTLDs include – .भारत, .இலங்கை, .الجزائر, .中國. For understanding, let’s take an example .भारत. To use this ccTLD, a Punycode is generated by the company which takes the user to their designation. The server understands the Punycode language and hence using a Punycode converter .bharat will be converted into text. If that text along with the domain name is inserted into the navigation bar, you will be taken to the .bharat website of your domain name. Let’s take another example, https://xn--i-7iq.ws/. Here the website is i(heart emoji).ws, but the text inserted in the URL is written in Punycode. So, whoever buys an IDN ccTLD, the registrar will give the domain buyer a Punycode for his website, which can be used for accessing the website.
Now that you know what gTLDs and ccTLDs mean, let’s compare both and understand which one is a suitable option for purchasing. If you are someone who works under a particular niche and are unable to find .com, .net or .org TLD’s for your domain name, try .brand or .niche gTLD’s such as .food, .fashion, .design, .travel. This will help you target international SEO based on your niche. In case of ccTLD, if you wish to keep a short website URL, and want to be creative at the same time then try creating websites such as food.ie, subscribe, beach.es, check.in. A downside of ccTLD is that they can be quite expensive since their registration has to be done within the local market.
Selecting a perfect domain for your company or portfolio requires consideration of a number of aspects. Since the competition is high, it is mandatory to reserve the best domains and their extensions before it is taken. Hope you have got an idea about how gTLDs and ccTLDs differ from each other. And if you want to know which one’s better, just know that there’s nothing much better than your creativity in choosing one!