Top-Level Domain (TLD) explained.

One of the fundamental things you will face if you want to start a website is the domain name. Of course, you have lots of TLDs to pick from! Yet what precisely are the TLDs? Is there a method to determine the most suitable one for your website? Let’s explain a little bit more about it.

What does TLD mean?

TLD is the short acronym for top-level domain. In the Domain Name System (DNS), it is the second level from top to bottom. TLD is interpreted as the last element of a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). It stands after the domain name divided with a dot “.”.

The Domain Name System is international and saves a lot of effort for Internet users. The purpose of it is to translate domain names to IP addresses.

The DNS has a tree-like structure. On the top are the root servers, next are the TLD servers, and then the domain nameservers.

The IP addresses of all TLD nameservers are stored in the root servers. In addition, the top-level domain servers hold the IP addresses of the nameservers of every domain name they are answerable for.

In the example, nameservers responsible for .com TLD will hold the coordinates of,, and so on. 

Varieties of TLD

There are two main varieties of TLD – gTLDs and ccTLDs.

The gTLD is short for generic top-level domain. In this group of domain names exist hundreds of examples, so some popular ones are .net, .com, .info, and more. The reason why they are named generic is based on the fact that they are not related to any country. Also furthermore, all of them are possible to express various kinds of aims. For example, .info stands for information, .com is representing commercial, and so on.

It is possible, individuals or businesses to form a new register with a brand-new gTLD. The way is to comply with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers terms, and also they have to pay a certain fee.

The acronym ccTLD is or country code top-level domain. There exist a particular TLD for any country. Probably you have seen such examples as .de for Germany, .cn for China, .mx for Mexico, etc. To be able to register a ccTLD, you perhaps would need to have a working permit or living in the particular country that you desire to implement the ccTLD. These TLDs are going to work excellent if you own a company in a specific country. Your targeted audience is going to see it right away.

Who’s accountable for managing TLDs?

This is ICANN. Behind this short abbreviation stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a non-profit organization that is the one responsible for managing the TLDs. That is possible by the IANA. Another short abbreviation, which is for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

Simply put, the IANA is a department of ICANN.

Furthermore, ICANN/IANA delegate some of the responsibilities for certain TLDs to diverse companies.

Related article: DNS resolution-overview

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