Everyone who has ever launched a website had to register a domain: first, choose a domain zone, then find a free beautiful name.
When the Internet first appeared, there were no domain names. Computers had numerical names – IP addresses. To connect to another computer, you had to know its IP address. For example, 228.57.318.120 is one of YouTube’s addresses.
Computers do not care, but it is difficult for a person to remember even one such figure. Therefore, people came up with text names. By the same logic, we create contacts on the phone – so that we do not have to remember a bunch of numbers.
At first, IP addresses were associated with friendly names manually. Stanford University, where the first version of the Internet was invented, kept a special text file with names. To assign a text name to a computer’s numerical address, one had to call the university.
With the development of the network, adding names manually has become inconvenient. They decided to automate the process and came up with domain names, a technology that we still use today.
Why do you need a zone domain?
The domain zone is the part of the domain that comes after the dot. Like the file extension on the computer. The first domains appeared in 1985. Then there were seven domain zones:
- .com – for commercial sites;
- .net – for network structures;
- .org – for non-profit organizations;
- .edu – for educational institutions;
- .gov – for government organizations;
- .mil – for military organizations;
- .arpa is for the Internet infrastructure.
The division into domain zones was invented for convenience. At first, it was easy to comply with it, because the Internet was only in the United States and few people used it. But in the 90s, the Internet became more accessible, users began to massively create sites and register short, memorable names for them. There were no strict registration requirements for .com, .net, and .org domains, so anyone could register them.
The .com zone quickly became the most popular – all three-letter names in it ended in 1997. So that everyone could register a memorable name for their site, they created new domain zones. If the short name in the .com zone is already taken, you can try to register it in another domain zone. For example, thedishwashertips.com is a USA-registered .com site for advice about dishwashers. Also, the site about washing machines and dryers thewasherdryer.com with the com domain zone is suitable not only for the USA, but also for Canada.
What are .zone domain
Domain zones are divided into general and national. General zones include endings in the form of abbreviations or whole words, and national zones include endings with two-letter state abbreviations. There are 1500 domain zones in total in 2019. Common domain zones help to understand what the company does. But this only works with more specific areas like .blog, .shop, .school, .gov, or .edu. With names in the .com, .net, or .org zones, things are not so simple, because everyone registers them. According to a study by W3Techs, these zones are in the top four most popular.
National domains indicate in which country the company is located. For example, .ua is the national domain for companies from Ukraine, .de is from Germany (For example, the domain bestrezepte.de is a site about recipes, which aims to promote in Germany.), and .fr is from France.
The abbreviations of some countries resemble other popular abbreviations, so companies from all over the world are in demand them. For example, .it is Italy or an IT company, .tm is Turkmenistan or a trademark, and .tv is the islands of Tuvalu or television.
The government of Tuvalu knowingly made registration open to everyone. In 2010, profits from the sale of domains brought the state 10% of revenue.
How do dynamic site name differ from each other
Different domain zones have different registration requirements. For example, most generic domains like .com, .net, or .org can be registered by anyone. It doesn’t matter what site will be on the domain: commercial or non-commercial, personal blog or corporate website, forum or online store.
But for some common domain zones, there are still restrictions. For example, only educational institutions can register a domain in the .edu zone. When registering, you will have to send documents on the accreditation of the school or university.
Most country code domains also have special requirements. Most often, only a citizen of the state can register such a name: When registering, you must specify an address within the country, a passport, or a driver’s license number.
The rules for registration are set by registration authorities – companies that are responsible for the operation of specific domain zones. We will cover them in more detail in future articles. This is the first article in a new column about domain names. In the next one, we will tell you how domain zones appear and what you need to launch your own.