A domain name is the name of your website that people type in the browser address bar to access your website. If you are wondering what the letters at the end of every URL link mean, they are known as its top-level domain (TLD).
In order words, TLD refers to the last segment of a domain name that comes after the last dot, for example .COM, .SG, .ORG. It tells you the nature of the domain name, such as its purpose, geographical area or even the organization that owns it.
There are 6 types of top-level domains which are regulated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
- Country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
- Generic top-level domains (gTLD)
- Infrastructure top-level domain (ARPA)
- Restricted generic top-level domains (grTLD)
- Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
- Test top-level domains (tTLD)
Choosing The Right TLD
The TLD you choose will eventually have an impact on your website. Therefore, it is important to consider your objectives and end goals.
Generic top-level domain (gTLD)
It is the most common domain that allows all general users to register.
Examples of gTLDs:
- .COM — Commercial > Business/ eCommerce
- .ORG — Organizations > Non-profits/ Forums/ Technology
- .NET — Network > Internet Provider/ Services/ Technology
When deciding a domain name for your personal blog, business, forum, or website, choose the gTLD that best describes your brand. Most users choose .COM domain for its versatility and added advantages, especially when it comes to building backlinks for your website. It works well for businesses that wish to promote their products and/ or services on online platforms. This boosts your brand awareness and search engine optimization. It also further authenticates your brand to your target audience and potential clients.
However, someone else might have already taken your desired domain name. In this case, you might want to consider domain names with other extensions or even consider getting a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD).
Country-code top-level domain (ccTLD)
The country code TLD denotes the location or ISO code. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) code is an internationally designated code for every country. Most areas either have a two-letter suffix or a three-letter suffix. A two-letter suffix is often used in top-level domains. In other words, it is an acronym that represents a country or a state.
Examples of ccTLDs:
- .SG – Singapore
- .MY – Malaysia
- .ID – Indonesia
If you want to register for a ccTLD in a specific country, you must be a citizen or you have a business that is registered in the specific country. It is highly recommended to register a .SG domain, for example, if you are targeting the local market. The downside of getting a ccTLD is not being able to register a WHOIS privacy protection. It is a service to keep a registrant’s personal details private. However, these details are mandatory for registration and authentication as part of the government regulations. By owning a .SG domain, it is a great way to brand your business and gain trust as you target the local market.
At this point, you might be considering getting a Generic top-level domain or a Country-code top-level domain. Hop over to check your preferred domain availability now! If you are looking for other related website solutions such as web hosting solutions, this might interest you.