Understanding the Different Types of Domains

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Understanding the Different Types of Domains

 June 21st, 2022

All you need to choose when launching a website is its name, right? Actually, it's not quite so simple.

When choosing a name for your website, there are several types of domains that you'll need to know about. Each of these domains will be a piece of your final website's name, so you need to consider all three of them carefully during domain registration.

In this guide, we'll help you understand the different types of domains and domain names.

Top-Level Domains (TLDs)

Top-level domains (TLDs) are commonly known as domain name extensions. These come after the website name. 

Common TLDs

While there are many TLDs, some are used much more often than others. Here are some of the main TLDs that you should know about.

.com

This extension stands for commercial. It's now commonly used by businesses as well as individuals and all types of organizations.

.net

This extension stands for network. It's now commonly used by all types of organizations online.

.edu

This extension stands for education. It's used by all types of schools, universities, and educational institutions.

.org

This extension stands for organization and was originally intended for use by nonprofits. Now, it's also commonly used by other types of organizations as well.

.mil

This is a military domain name extension. It's restricted to use by U.S. military branches only.

.gov

This is an extension that is restricted to government use. It's used by U.S. government agencies and organizations, government personnel, and websites for U.S. cities and regions.

Types of TLDs

Under the category of TLDs, there are also a few subcategories. Here are the ones that you should be aware of.

Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD)

Generic top-level domains (gTLD) include many of the domain extensions that you're probably already familiar with. 

Some of the domains in this category include .com, .net, .org, and .info domains. However, this also includes TLDs that have restricted usage for certain industries and types of organizations including .edu, .gov, .mil, .asia, .travel, and more.

Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)

Another type of top-level domain that you should be aware of include country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). As you would expect, these are domains that are specific to certain countries or geographic areas.

Some of the most common examples of these domains include .uk for the United Kingdom, .au for Australia, and .ca for Canada.

Second-Level Domains

A second-level domain is what is commonly known as a website name.

It comes before the top-level domain and will typically be the same as the name of a business or brand. Unlike other domains, the second-level domain will be unique to a specific website and won't be reused like TLDs such as .com or .org will.

When choosing a domain name, you'll want to consider your choice carefully and make sure that it aligns with your brand. You'll also need to be sure that it is available. 

Third-Level Domains

The third-level domain is the third part of a domain and comes before a second-level domain. The third-level domain will almost always be www but may also be www1 or www2.

In some cases, large companies will use various third-level domains to differentiate different departments within a company or different areas of a website. 

Understanding the Types of Domains

If you're trying to pick the perfect website domain name, be sure that you understand the types of domains that are available. The second-level domain will be the most unique part of your website name, but it's important to carefully consider the top-level domain for your website as well.

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