What are country-specific TLDs
ccTLDs - that's what country-specific domains are all about
The fact that every country has the right to determine its own guidelines for the allocation of its domain makes for big differences in this regard. In order to register for the French top-level domain .fr, for example, it is necessary that the owner of the domain has his or her place of residence or company headquarters in France. In Germany, until 2009, all domains under the .de TLD had to consist of at least three characters, one of which had to be a letter. Since the new regulation are now also one- and two-digit addresses as well as only numeric addresses permitted for the use of the top-level domain .de. Many smaller or poorer countries have made use of the domain allocation scheme and marketed their ccTLD in a targeted manner:
- .to: The ccTLD of the island state Tonga has been administered by the Tonic registry since 1997. The award takes place in an automated process and regardless of the applicant's place of residence. Since Tonic does not allow whois queries, the owners of a .to domain remain completely anonymous, which is why the domain is very popular with file hosting and copyright problematic video services.
- .tv: The ccTLD of Tuvalu brought in around $ 50 million for the dwarf state by selling .tv to DotTV and marketing it as a television domain. The money was used to finance IT infrastructure and the United Nations admission fee was paid.
- .ag: The top-level domain .ag is actually for the independent state Antigua and Barbuda provided, but is used specifically in companies in German-speaking countries whose legal form is a stock corporation.
- .me: The country-specific top-level domain of Montenegro experienced a veritable flood of registrations after it became available in August 2008. However, the .me domains that can be used to form statements such as love.me (dt. "Love me") etc. are openly registered and then auctioned - ie not registered by the interested party himself. The sale of the meet.me domain for $ 450,000 in 2011 caused a particular stir.
In addition to the more than 200 existing ccTLDs, there are a number of internationalized TLDs that contain umlauts, diacritical marks or letters from non-Latin alphabets. These IDN top-level domains have been around since 2010. They basically allow almost all Unicode characters, with each registry individually regulating which characters are allowed. A complete country-specific top-level domain list as well as a collection of active internationalized TLDs can be found in this Digital Guide article.
Check the availability of your desired Country Code Top-Level-Domain (ccTLD):
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