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Alphabet Soup: TLD

Posted By Ed Rooney Ed Rooney Posted On Sep 15 2021 at 01:23 PM Sep 15 2021 at 01:23 PM



In this serving of Alphabet Soup we scoop up some top-level stuff: T, L, and D.

Top-Level Domain (TLD)

T, L, and D. Those letters that come after the “dot” in the domain name? Those are the Top-Level Domain.

When you register a domain name for a website, you have to choose two things. The Second-Level Domain (SLD), which is what you want to call the site, and the Top-Level Domain (TLD), the “dot” that follows. For example, for this website “edgeworkscreative” is the SLD, and “.com” is the TLD.

TLD Types

Top-level domains are largely managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). They recognize the following types of TLDs:

  • Infrastructure top-level domain (ARPA): This group consists of one domain (.arpa) which is managed and used by IANA for a variety of reasons (see the learn more at end)
  • Generic top-level domains (gTLD): Top-level domains with three or more characters. This is where we find the ones you likely think of - com, net, org, gov, edu and others.
  • Restricted generic top-level domains (grTLD): These domains are managed under official ICANN accredited registrars. Examples of these TLDs include biz, name, and pro. These domains require that the registrant meet specific requirements.
  • Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD): These domains are proposed and sponsored by private agencies or organizations who manage the registration requiremenets which typically center on a theme. Examples include jobs, career, and cars.
  • Country-code top-level domains (ccTLD): Two-letter domains established for countries or territories. 


Learn More:

What Is a Top-Level Domain?

The official list of every TLD


Infrastructure TLD

Generic top-level domains

Sponsored top-level domains