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Fall 2021 Updates
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Types of Top Level Domains and their Uses
As a starting point for evaluating websites, one might use the part of the web address immediately after the "dot" (for example, .com) to try to determine the reliability of the information. This part of the address (or URL) is called a "top-level domain" that someone asks to have when creating their website. The websites you most frequently visit have top-level domains, or TLDs, that likely fall into one of the following categories:
Country Codes - two letter representation for a country, individual countries determine who may receive a website within their country code
Unrestricted - three or more letter, no requirements necessary for a website ending with these TLDs
Sponsored - three or more letters, a Sponsoring organization determines what requirements must be met and regulates whether they are met before allowing that website to exist.
This table provides some common top-level domains, the category they fall into, and their typical usage
A site with this TLD can be registered by...
An accredited US-based college or university approved by EDUCAUSE
federal, state, or local governments within the US approved by an independent government agency
officials of the Vatican
mainly South African citizens and businesses, but no policy excludes others from registering