Top Level Domain

Joran Hofman
March 6, 2021

What Does TLD Mean?

TLD stands for top-level domain and is located in the last part of a domain name, after the last dot. Some known examples of TLDs are: .com, .org, .net.

What Is A TLD Used For?

Top-level domains can be used to know the purpose of a website, to whom it belongs, or its geographical location because they are classified according to what the website is related to.

An example would be a site with a .gov TLD that would indicate that it is related or belongs to a governmental institution.

Also, the same company can use different TLDs to separate functions. For example WordPress has two sites, - WordPress .com and - WordPress .org,

Who Is Responsible For Managing The TLDs?

The administration of most TLD registries is carried out by the non-profit organization "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers" (ICANN) through the IANA, which is the acronym for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

It should be noted that this responsibility can be delegated to other organizations.

How Many TLDs Are There And Examples?

There are several types of top-level domain TLDs, among the best known are:

gTLD : Generic top-level domains

sTLD: Sponsored top-level domains

ccTLD: Country code top-level domains

-ARPA: Infrastructure top-level domain

gTLD: Generic Top-Level Domains

This type of TLD includes the most popular TLDs such as:

.com

.org

.red

It also includes generic TLDs such as:

.xyz

.info

.business

Due to updates made by ICANN in 2011 allowing companies and different organizations to register their own gTLDs, today there are TLDs with names such as .google, .mitsubishi, .oldnavy. On this occasion several generic names such as .money, .mom, .realstate, ,republican, .democrat were also registered.

Within this type of TLD, there are subtypes of cities such as .paris, .berlin, .nyc, .istanbul.

sTLD: Sponsored Top Level Domains

This type of TLD is used by websites that are sponsored by a company, a group, a government agency, or others.

Among the most common examples are:

.gov : U.S. government.

.edu : educational institutions (post-secondary) authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

.mil: U.S. military.

Other not so common ones are also visible, such as:

.museum - museums

.jobs : human resource managers (sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management)

.post: post office (sponsored by the Universal Postal Union)

.travel: travel agencies and the like.

ccTLDs: country code top-level domains

These types of domains are generally intended to represent specific country codes. An example would be:

.us - USA

.de - Germany

.fr - France

.cn - China

.es - Spain

.ru - Russia

.ca - Canada

.nl - Netherlands

.in - India

.ch - Switzerland

.jp - Japan

.cn - China

.br - Brazil

.id - Indonesia

According to this type of TLD it is common to see well-known brands using ccTLDs to target different markets, e.g. Amazon.com, Amazon.cn, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, Amazon.nl, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.uk, etc.

ARPA Infrastructure top-level domain

ARPA is the only infrastructure top-level domain. It is reserved by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) for the IETF or Internet Engineering Task Force and is only used to resolve technical infrastructure difficulties.

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