Law around registering ccTLDs (.io, .co, .in, .co.uk, etc)

It Takes Wits to Make Your .io Website the New It

Country code top-level domains show the country or state to which a website is registered. There are as much as 196 countries in the world today, considering Taiwan to be one of these countries. Hence, country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), which are only composed of two letters, would need to have as much as 196 combinations in order to comply with every country, sovereign state, or independent territory in the world. Two-letter permutations of the alphabet would yield as much 690 permutations, which is more than enough to service communities worldwide. But that would seem too purist for the English alphabet hence the existence of internationalized country code top-level domains (IDN ccTLDs or ccIDNs), where countries such as China and those in the Middle East use characters of their nation’s alphabet for as their ccTLDs.

ccTLDs differ from gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) as these are specific to countries, versus domains meant for the general public to use, such as .xxx or .sucks.

It has come to a point that ccTLDs are no longer limited to country states, but to different fields as well, such as the film, television, and music industries. This is due to small countries such as Tuvalu opening their country code domain for worldwide registration geared to commercial purposes, and these domains are known as open ccTLDs. Hence, websites ending in.tv are those with television content while .co of Colombia would be an alternative for .com of companies. Another popular domain is the .pe extension which has gotten a lot of recognition in the recent years.

Did you know that youtube.com is actually Youtu.be where .be corresponds to an open ccTLD of Belgium? It’s the rage right now: Instagr.am, About.me, Last.fm, and Redd.it. Popularity is achieved by marketing yourself as the new brand in the wittiest and most unique way possible. This is usually done through Domain Hacks, where the webmaster uses the ccTLD as part of the brand name—making these the finishing touches to a word or phrase. A clever use of ccTLDs doesn’t only give rise to a website name that sticks like a sore thumb and remains unforgettable, but is also an effective means of promoting your website, and hinting of its content to the users. These cease to be mere letters and domain names, but are clues dropped by the webmaster on the website’s nature.

ccTLds make the target audience more explicit, say, if a website has a domain extension .org.eu, which shows that the user will be looking at a website of an organization registered in Europe. The .io domain has become known for startups and innovative companies. These command, to some extent, the authority and trustworthiness of a website, at the same time contributing greatly to the number of views and visits by users worldwide. The likelihood of a website being visited would be higher if it raises confidence and enjoys excellent reputation in the internet. Hence, branding with creativity in the use of ccTLDs makes a website more credible and memorable, ultimately leading to success and a higher SEO value for country-based search results.

It is practical to first register with a commercial domain (.com), before registering to a ccTLD, in order to avoid potential skirmishes with rival webmasters in the future where your website’s reputation is damaged by taking advantage of your domain name and putting in content completely different from how you vision your website to be, hence discouraging future visits. Further, it is necessary to confirm the effectiveness of a ccTLD by checking its noteworthy performance records and if it’s banned in several countries. There are also problems involving ccTLDs are more expensive than generic top level domains, but the pros of using these promise considerable results, if used correctly.

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