Domain Names

One of the first things we think of when we talk about a website is probably its domain name.

If we want to visit the CNN website, we type into the address bar of our browser: "cnn.com" (or perhaps: www.cnn.com).

In this example, "cnn.com" is the domain name. It consists of two parts: "cnn" and ".com".

(For the "www"-version, see: subdomains.)

Top-level Domains

The second part of the domain name in our example, ".com", is called the top-level domain or TLD. (In domain names, the higher levels are found on the right, and the lower levels on the left.)

Dot-com domains are "generic" because they are not associated with a specific country; other generic TLDs are ".net", ".org", ".biz" and ".info".

There are also country-specific domain names; these end in two letters, for example: ".ca" (Canada) or ".nl" (The Netherlands).

Certain countries even have multiple domain name types.

For example, the United Kingdom has domain names ending in ".co.uk" that were originally intended for companies, and domain names ending in ".org.uk" for non-commercial organizations.