An organization's unique name on the Internet. The chosen name combined with a generic top-level domain (gTLD), such as .com or .org, make up the Internet domain name. For example, computerlanguage.com is the domain name for the publisher of this encyclopedia. By the end of 2016, there were more than 300 million registered domain names.
Under ICANN's "New gTLD" program, communities, industries and organizations can create their own top-level domain names (see New gTLD).
In order to access the Computer Language Company website, www.computerlanguage.com is typed into the browser's address bar (see URL). The WWW, often verbalized as "dub-dub-dub," is a mnemonic commonly used for the hostname of a company's Web server. However, WWW is only recommended for uniformity, and Web servers can have any hostname. In addition, most companies configure their DNS records to send all Web traffic to a particular Web server without a hostname. For example, computerlanguage.com without the WWW is sufficient. See hostname and DNS.
Different mnemonics are also widely used to identify sections of a site; for example, support.computerlanguage.com could be a valid address, in which case the word SUPPORT could not be omitted when typing the name.
Internet domain names are registered with any one of hundreds of registrars. To find out if a domain name is taken, two popular registrars are Network Solutions (www.networksolutions.com) and Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com).
Generic Top-Level Domains
Following are the original top-level domains, created in 1985. Known as "generic" TLDs (gTLDs), the .com
gTLD is the most desired, because all major corporations worldwide use it. Although the .com
domains were created for particular categories of registrants, anyone can register an unrestricted gTLD if available.
Original Unrestricted Top-Level Domains
Original Restricted Top-Level Domains
accredited U.S. educational
U.S. government agencies
international treaties (1988)
More Domain Names
Starting in 2000, ICANN added more domains. Sponsored domains means that their use is reserved for a particular community, or registration is restricted to a certain type of applicant (see sTLD
Sponsored Top-Level Domains
global aviation community
Pan-Asia/Asia Pacific region
contacts (see .tel
Unsponsored Top-Level Domains
Countries Also Have Domain Names
Every country has a top-level domain; for example, .ca
for Canada and .fr
for France. The U.S. country code is .us
, but it is not widely used. See country code
, New gTLD
, IP address