Finally - and this is important for marketing reasons - domain names are NOT case sensitive. From a technically standpoint, it is possible to set up a
website's host server so that it recognizes upper and lower case characters in a domain name (so making a domain case sensitive) - however, this is
(virtually) never practiced, it being the standard operating procedure to set them up as being non-case sensitive.
The most common domain name suffix is the .com (dot com). This is the suffix for the USA and is considered to be the global name as it has no country
identification (such as uk for the UK) - in reality, it has no country identification because it was the first suffix made available (there is a rarely
used .us domain that is normally linked to state abbreviations, eg .fl.us for Florida).
There are over 250 countries with a country-specific domain, for example; .de for Germany .jp for Japan .fr for France and .gr for Greece. The need
for 'global regions' to have their own identity in a domain name has been addressed - the first of what is expected to be a number of regional
names, .eu for Europe is already established, with .asia going live in 2008.
There are over 250 countries with a country-specific domain, for example; .de for Germany .jp for Japan .fr for France and .gr for Greece - even
the Vatican City State has its own .va suffix . Two global regions also have their own suffixes, but although .eu - for Europe - and .asia have
become well established, plans for other regions have been dropped.
Author's note, 2018. Although .eu and .asia started well, they are now few and far between - how many have you seen other than
Whilst some countries impose restrictions on who can register their names, more than 80 countries are unrestricted meaning anyone anywhere can
register any names. Some of these unrestricted names have been heavily promoted, but they are still considered as novelties in the majority of
business fields - these include; .tv (Tuvalu) and .cc (Cocos Islands). Indeed, such is the use of the .cc for dubious websites that in 2011 Google
removed from its index all websites using that suffix.
As well as country specific suffixes that use Latin characters, there are also a growing number of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) - also
referred to as multi-lingual domain names - which use characters outside a-z, 0-9 and the hyphen. At the time of writing around 39 additional
character sets are available, supporting over 350 languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, Russian and Greek. Applications of IDNs for the
marketer are limited. The most obvious issue is that if the domain uses non-Latin characters only the keyboards of users in countries where
those characters are used can type the domain names into a browser.
Perhaps the biggest shake-up in domain name suffixes came in 2013 when ICANN introduced the model that allowed organizations to 'buy' permission
to use their own suffix. The idea is that, for example, Nike have the brand name as their suffix - and have sites on the likes of football.nike
and tennis.nike. Or perhaps a company - or the City council - could register .London, and 'sell-on' domain names such as hotels.London and
dining.London. As with the .com domain name gold rush of the early 1990s, generic words are also up for sale as suffixes. Applications for
generic words included Johnson & Johnson with .baby and L'Oreal with .beauty, .hair, .makeup, .salon, and .skin. Time will tell whether the cost
of these suffixes will benefit those who intend to use them, but you can be sure that at an initial fee of $185,000 plus an annual fee of $25,000,
you won't be seeing my website on a .charlesworth suffix anytime soon.
Author's note, 2018. So far, these domains have been pretty much a disaster - how many have you seen? An exception are the
the major brands; Amazon and Google.