What You Need to Know
A domain name comprises two parts, separated by a full stop, usually referred to as dot.
The first part is the unique name, such as "amazon" and the second part is the short TLD, which stands for "top level domain". For example, "amazon.com" is a domain name, where "com" is the TLD and the whole domain name is pronounced as "amazon dot com". The TLD is also referred to as an "extension".
Originally, there were only four TLDs. They were
- com, for commercial sites
- org, for non-profit organizations
- info, for purely informational sites
- net, for everything else.
As the internet evolved, three things happened.
- The distinctions between the different purposes blurred, then disappeared. As the internet generally became more commercial, .com became what everyone wanted but if it wasn't available, they would grab one of the others instead
- Local variations started to appear, such as .co.uk for British sites and .com.au for Australian ones
- Additional TLDs began to proliferate. As of June 2020, there were 1,514 TLDs, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit that regulates and coordinates the internet domain namespace. Despite there being such a large number, a vast majority of those have been launched within the last decade. They are mainly in specialist areas, such as .accountant and .adult, but some have attempted to be more universal, such as .biz and .us.
And a few years ago, the maximum length of a domain name was extended to 253 characters and the first part, before the "dot" was allowed to include hyphens.
Interestingly, the main effect of all this was to make the most valuable and most desirable domain names those as short as possible, without hyphens and with the .com extension.
So in Lesson1: Finding the Perfect Domain Name, that's what we'll be looking for.