Internet domain name

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Internet domain name

An organization's unique name on the Internet. The chosen name combined with a generic top-level domain (gTLD), such as .com or .org, make up the Internet domain name. For example, computerlanguage.com is the domain name for the publisher of this encyclopedia. By the end of 2016, there were more than 300 million registered domain names.

Dot-Anything
Under ICANN's "New gTLD" program, communities, industries and organizations can create their own top-level domain names (see New gTLD).

Dub-Dub-Dub
In order to access the Computer Language Company website, www.computerlanguage.com is typed into the browser's address bar (see URL). The WWW, often verbalized as "dub-dub-dub," is a mnemonic commonly used for the hostname of a company's Web server. However, WWW is only recommended for uniformity, and Web servers can have any hostname. In addition, most companies configure their DNS records to send all Web traffic to a particular Web server without a hostname. For example, computerlanguage.com without the WWW is sufficient. See hostname and DNS.

Different mnemonics are also widely used to identify sections of a site; for example, support.computerlanguage.com could be a valid address, in which case the word SUPPORT could not be omitted when typing the name.

Registration
Internet domain names are registered with any one of hundreds of registrars. To find out if a domain name is taken, two popular registrars are Network Solutions (www.networksolutions.com) and Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com).

Generic Top-Level Domains


Following are the original top-level domains, created in 1985. Known as "generic" TLDs (gTLDs), the .com gTLD is the most desired, because all major corporations worldwide use it. Although the .com, .net and .org domains were created for particular categories of registrants, anyone can register an unrestricted gTLD if available.

Original Unrestricted Top-Level DomainsgTLD  Purpose.com   commercial
 .net   network oriented
 .org   non-profit organization


  Original Restricted Top-Level Domains.edu   accredited U.S. educational
 .gov   U.S. government agencies
 .mil   U.S. military
 .int   international treaties (1988)


More Domain Names
Starting in 2000, ICANN added more domains. Sponsored domains means that their use is reserved for a particular community, or registration is restricted to a certain type of applicant (see sTLD).

Sponsored Top-Level DomainssTLD    Purpose.aero    global aviation community
 .asia    Pan-Asia/Asia Pacific region
 .cat     Catalan community
 .coop    cooperatives
 .jobs    human resources/employment
 .mobi    mobile products/services
 .museum  museums
 .post    postal sector
 .pro     licensed professionals
 .tel     contacts (see  .tel)
 .travel  travel industry
 .xxx     X-rated


  Unsponsored Top-Level Domains.biz     businesses
 .info    information service
 .name    individuals


Countries Also Have Domain Names
Every country has a top-level domain; for example, .ca for Canada and .fr for France. The U.S. country code is .us, but it is not widely used. See country code, New gTLD, ICANN, IP address and FQDN.
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