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.com is the Top-Level Domain (TLD) under which the domain name is registered. You’ll find lots of different top-level domains out there, from the most recognizable (.com) to industry-specific (.mobi), and even country-specific top domains such as United Kingdom (.uk), Germany (.de – derived from Deutschland) and Italy (.it). Every domain name is registered under a TLD of some kind, and the following section describes those TLDs in more detail.

  • gTLD – Generic Top-Level Domains are the most common and the most sought after names. These include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and several others.
  • ccTLD – Country Code Top-Level Domains that were created specifically for a single country’s use. That country can put any sort of restrictions on it that they choose. Some countries only allow citizens to register domains under their ccTLD. Other countries ‘rent’ their TLD out for use by the global public, as in the case with .cc, the official ccTLD for the Cocos Islands, .ws, the official ccTLD for Western Samoa, and .tv, the official ccTLD for Tuvalu.
  • sTLD – Sponsored Top-Level Domains are actually a subdivision of gTLDs. These names are controlled by specific agencies within an industry. For example, .museum is a sTLD regulated by the Museum Domain Management Association. They reserve the TLD for museum websites.
  • uTLD – Unsponsored Top-Level Domains consist of all the gTLDs that aren’t sponsored. That would include .com and .info. This term is very rarely used. Generally, when someone refers to a generic TLD, they are talking about the unsponsored ones.

For more information about specific TLD’s, check out our TLD guide or our list of Domain Registries.

TLDs are also sometimes referred to as domain extensions. So, if someone asked what domain extension you currently have or want to purchase, they are referring to your TLD (and vice versa).

Pronunciation of TLDs is fairly intuitive. The .com TLD is pronounced “dot-com”. Other gTLDs, such as .net or .org are pronounced “dot-net” and “dot-org” respectively. ccTLDs on the other hand, tend to get spelled out. .jp is pronounced “dot-jay-pee” for instance. And then there are some that use both methods, such as which is pronounced “dot-co-dot-you-kay”.

Now that we’ve discussed the extension, let’s take a look at the rest of the domain name – the SLD (Second Level Domain)…

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