Your web address or domain name typically has several levels, separated by a dot. The right-most level is known as the top-level domain and is often represented by a country code, such as .nz. Within .nz, a range of second-level domains have been created for specific uses (eg. .co.nz for commercial users and .school.nz for schools). Some second-level domains are subject to moderation and have a restricted usage (eg. .govt.nz). Using Spiral as an example we see:
* third-level domain = spiral
* second-level domain = co
* top-level domain = nz
Third-level domains are managed in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom on a 'first come, first served basis'. Australian domains are available only to registered Australian businesses, companies or ABN holders
How do I choose a domain name?
1. Choose the top-level domain based on your market and possibly your location
2. Choose the second-level domain based on your activities
- .co or .com for companies pursuing commercial aims
- .org for non-profit organisations
- .net for organisations directly related to the NZ Internet
- .school for pre-school, primary and secondary schools
- .maori for Māori people, groups, and organisations
- .ac for tertiary educational institutions
3. Choose a third level domain based on one or all of the following
- your company name eg spiral.co.nz
- the name of your product eg wondercap.co.nz
- an easy to remember abbreviation eg nzrab.org.nz
- something made up and memorable eg Ilovemydog.co.nz any combination of letters and numbers. You may also include a hyphen anywhere in the string, except the beginning or end.
What about the www?
The fourth-level domain is also known as a sub-domain and typically we see www as the sub-domain, as in
Other factors around trust will be in my next post.