You may have seen our website address has changed to Sov.Tech and be wondering why, or how that’s possible. Well, it’s called a Top Level Domain (or TLD for short). Still, you might be wondering what a top-level domain actually is!
Below I dive into the purpose of top-level domains, the hierarchy of domain names, and go into a few of the most common top-level domain extensions to help you get on board.
What Is a Top Level Domain?
A top-level domain is the final segment of the domain name; that last part that has always been a bit mysterious and fuzzy in terms of what it signifies. They’re also known as domain suffixes. It’s the section that follows the final “dot” in your URL. Top-level domains are broken down into two different categories, country-specific top-level domains, and generic top-level domains.
Top-level domains help to identify certain website elements, such as, the type of business, the country of origin, whether it’s a government site, school website, and more. The guidelines for top-level domains used to be very strict, however, in 2010 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN- the folk who control it all) relaxed their guidelines when it comes to generic top-level domains and company trademarks.
The Domain Name System
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the naming system for online services, computers, or any resources that are connected to the Internet. It works to associate domain names to each company, website, or service. It also translates the domain name into the numerical IP address that’s needed for the network protocols to functional correctly.
Common Top Level Domain Extensions
There are a variety of extensions you can now choose from depending on your style of business or organization, while others can purely be for fun. It’s important to choose a domain extension that’s in alignment with your business. Below are a few common TLD’s:
General Top Level Domains
- .com (used for a variety of purposes, but are mostly used for online businesses)
- .edu (commonly used for educational institutions)
- .net (used for a wide variety array of reasons, from online companies to personal projects)
- .org (commonly used for non-profit organizations)
- .co (used for companies)
- .biz (used for company names)
There are also more region specific domains, called Country-Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD), such as South Africa’s .co.za, .co.uk (United Kingdom), .au (Australia). For a full list take a look at this article from Wikipedia.
Creative Top Level Domains
- .tv (used for online television shows and other video-related projects)
- .me (used for personal branding related projects)
- .expert (used to convey your authority in a specific niche)
- .guru (same as above)
- .io (commonly used for technology-related companies)
- .name (used for sites catered around an individual)
- .tech (used by SovTech)
- .xyz (used by Google/Alphabet)
Restricted Top Level Domains
- .post (used for the post office)
- .gov (used for different government sectors and resources)
- .mil (used for military related websites)
- .museum (used by museums and related industries)
- .aero (used by the aerospace industry)
The top-level domain that you choose will also communicate a lot about your business. By far the most common top level domain is .com, but you’re free to choose the extension that’s most in alignment with your website. At SovTech we thought it would be a good move into the .tech TLD, as we embrace technology in everything we do so it only seemed fitting! If you’re thinking about migrating across to a TLD that you think will define people’s understanding of your company, speak to us, as we’ve done it before and can help you avoid most of the common mistakes associated with a migration such as this.