All about Generic Top-Level Domain (TLD) .com .net & .org
In this article you will find all about generic top level domain mainly about .com, .net & .org.
Generic Top-Level Domain
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3 generic top-level domain names .com .net & .org
.com is the short version for commercial. It is one of the first top-level domain names. This is how we call the last part of a domain name, even if it isn’t the .com itself. Other examples of top-level domains are .net, .org, .info, .gov. There are actually over 1500+ like them! Sometimes we refer to a top-level domain as an extension or suffix. You will see that terms too when you try to buy a domain name but they mean the same thing.
Let’s give the explanations for the other popular top-level domains:
.net stands for network - It was intended for technology companies that related to networks.
.org stands for organization - It was intended for non-profit entities like charities, religious organizations etc.
It might look that .com is only for business but in reality, anyone can register it. There are no limitations as long as you pay the annual fee.
It is true that the initial usage was for companies but nowadays this doesn’t apply. For example, even if you are a non-profit you can get a .com domain.
The same applies to .net and .org. They do not have limitations on who can own them.
Top-level domains were introduced back in 1985. The internet was mainly an experiment that connected research organizations, government entities, and universities.
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As the network was growing there was a need for better organization amongst the participants.
Without the existence of domains, there was not an easy way to identify an organization/individual and connect with him (for example by sending emails).
There was only 1 directory that kept these details and it was much more complex. With the introduction of top-level domains, everything was easier.
In general domain names are used because we can memorize them better than long numeric or alphanumeric strings (IP addresses - meaning the language of machines).
A domain name points to specific IP address (the online address for devices) where the server (computer) stores the site or handles the email communication.
When you start a website you need to have a domain. It is like in real life when you start a business. You need to register a company name.
Your domain name should be unique. You can create a combination of letters, numbers, and hyphen.
In addition to the top-level domain. For example, abcdsite.com is different than abcdsite.net. The “abcdsite” part is called second-level domain.
The .com is the most popular top-level domain since it was the only choice at the beginning for companies or individuals with commercial intent.
As the only player, it got traction and consider that in the beginning and for many years domains were free. Whoever was faster could claim a good domain.
Only from 1995, you needed to pay a fee and it was 50 dollars per year. Now the wholesale price for .com domain name is around 8 dollars.
It isn’t the same for the rest of the top-level domains. You see some .com with prices less than 8$ but some with a bigger price.
The very cheap prices for .com domains (even free) are because of the marketing efforts of the retailers. They know that you will keep a domain name for a lot of years. So, they can cover the cost of first-year from the renewal fees.
They can also sell you additional services like domain privacy and hosting. That way they have profit from them that covers their loss from the domain name registration.
The reason that you see bigger prices for some .com domains is that they are already owned by others that want a profit from the resell.
Let’s describe a bit who handles the .com infrastructure. There are 3 entities that you need to remember: ICANN Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit organization that oversees the rest participants of the industry.
They actually own a critical part of the infrastructure (like the servers needed) so domain name system can work properly.
Second is the registry with the name Verisign, we can call them as the wholesalers of the space. They have a contract with ICANN and they own also a critical part of the infrastructure. They are the ones that keep records for the domain names like who is the owner and critical information for the correct domain usage.
The last part is registrars and they are the ones that interact with final clients (us). We can think of them as the retailers of the space. These are all the companies you have heard like Godaddy and Namecheap. They are accredited by ICANN and they need to comply with many rules.
A registry can handle different top-level domains. So for other top-level domains, there are other entities responsible for them Let’s see a brief history of .com. Back in 1985, the first domain registration of .com happens. It was the symbolics.com, a computer manufacturer.
Until 1990 a bit more than 1150 .com domains were registered. Domains were free until 1995. From that year the annual registration cost was 50$. During the years the price decreased around 8$-14$.
From the middle 90s, the internet started to be more popular for average consumers in the USA. 1993-2000 .com sites started to get traction and visitors. As a result, more and more companies started to register a .com and trying to establish a solid online presence.
A similar shift happens in the stock market and there is a demand for companies that own .com domains even without a solid business plan.
During 2000-2002 many .com companies bankrupted and the stock market declined by more than 70%.
Despite that setback from 2002 until now, billions of people got access to the web. New companies and individuals registered domain names with a clear preference to the .com domain.
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