In this article, we will briefly explain the structure of Domains, which is basically an online identification code that leads people to your website. To show it in detail, we’ll use this domain name:
The example above is the complete “ domain”. First of all, when talking about a domain, it is very precise. It is read from right to left, and not the traditional left to right, which might prove confusing at first but it’s a fairly simple concept to grasp. Picture the Hebrew language. It is written with characters from right to left. Well, when talking about domains think like this. Not so confusing anymore right?
Next, a domain name consists of several levels: the first-level, second-level and other lower levels. The section on the far right of a domain is the top-level domain (TLD), remember our right – left principle. This part of the domain stands at the highest level in the hierarchy of the Domain Name System. Top-level domain names are installed in the root zone of the name space. In our example, “.uk” is the TLD in www.hosting.co.uk.
Who Regulates Domain Names?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), responsible for managing most top-level domains, delegate specific organisations which operate the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and is in charge of maintaining the DNS root zone.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) maintains the official list of all top-level domains in the Root Zone Database. IANA also manages the process for new proposed top-level domains. As of February 2017, root domain consists of 1528 top-level domains, while a few have been retired and obsolete.
Differnt types of TLDs
Several identifiable categories of domain extensions exists. Here’s a look:
- Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) are now classified as top level domains with three or more characters. For example .com or .info
- Restricted Generic Top Level Domains (grTLD) are generic TLD’s that are reserved for a particular use. For example .gov for the U.S government and .edu is for the department of education.
- Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD): These are two letter TLD’s that represent specific countries or regions go by the two letter ISO code of that country/region. (e.g. .us for the USA or .de for Germany (Deutschland))
- Internationalised country code top level domains (IDN ccTLD) are country code TLD’s that use letters other than Latin. For example, Chinese, Arrabic, Hebrew.
- Sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD or nTLD) are a specialised top level domain that has been sponsored by a certain organisation or agency that represents the specific community that is most affected and involved with the TLD. For example .xyz and .team
Top Level is the last part of a domain name, as mentioned before in our example, it is .uk. The 2nd level is typically the name you choose to represent your brand (example in bold: www.domain-names.xyz ). However, in our case, it is “.co”. Which means that the word “hosting” is pushed to the 3rd Level. To learn more about domain names and how to select the right one for your brand read this article with expert tips on how to select the perfect domain.