We are occasionally asked about the significance of different domain endings (e.g. .com .co.uk .biz .mobi)
Top Level Domains (TLD)
There are three types of top-level domains:
TLD – Top Level Domains
The most common extensions that you’re probably familiar with. They include .com, .net and .org domains.
ccTLD - Country code domain name extensions
These are usually 2 characters. Some of the ccTLD extensions that you’re probably familiar with are .de for Germany, .fr for France, and .cn for China. For UK domains you cannot register .uk by itself - it has to have a sub-level such as .co.uk or .org.uk
gTLD - generic Top Level Domains
These are usually 3 or more letters such as .biz .info, .name .mobi
What do the Domain Endings Mean?
There are hundreds of domain endings - however if you are a company trading in the UK we recommend you get at least the .co.uk and .com versions. Here is a brief explanation of the most common domain endings:
.com (Commercial) – The DotCom is generally intended for commercial use. This is the premium extension and by far the most recognised and most difficult to get.
.co.uk (United Kingdom) – If you run a business in the United Kingdom you really should get a .co.uk domain. However you don't have to be a business you may use a .co.uk domain for your personal use..
.net (Network) – This was originally intended for network oriented organisations such as internet service providers, Telecommunications and IT companies. This definitely isn’t the case any longer. Anyone can register a .net for example for a memorable domain such as fishing.net or tennis.net
.org (Organization) – This extension was originally intended for non-profit or Charitable organisations. Again, anybody can register this
.org.uk (Organization in the UK) – This is the UK version originally intended for non-profit or Charitable organisations. Anybody can register this.
.biz (Business) – This is a gTLD that is generally registered to classify their website as a business. It can be used to symbolise B2B (Business to Business) companies.
.info (Informational) – This gTLD is generally used as an extension for informational websites or knowledge-base.
.mobi (Mobile) – This domain extension tends to be used for mobile versions of websites. However many owners have registered their .mobi domain name merely to protect their brand.
.tv (Television) – used primarily for media, primarily video, related websites. (interestingly the domain belongs to the island of Tuvalu who happen to have been assigned this domain)
.ws (Website) – Another domain that is actually a ccTLD for Western Samoa but was converted to a domain extension commonly used as an acronym for ‘website’. Not very commonly used (yet)
.name (NAME) – This is a gTLD that’s intended for personal use. You’ll find that this extension is used for personal / family websites or simply used for name related email addresses.
.eu (Euopean) – This is a ccTLD reserved for European wide businesses.
.co (Columbia - Now General) – Originally reserved for Columbia this domain ending has recently become available for anybody to register - Useful if you cannot get the ideal .com
.uk (United Kingdom) - Only since June 2014 has it been possible to register the direct .uk domain (read more about .uk domains here)