According to experts at Verisign, there were 354 million active domain registrations in April 2023. Don’t know about you, but we feel that’s a huge number. It’s hard to even imagine that number, let alone all the unique name variations.
The need for domain names is ever-growing. In Q1 2023 alone, businesses and individuals registered 3.5 million new domains. The only way to satisfy such a high demand is through adding new domain extensions. In this article, we’ll show you what a domain name extension is, list the most popular extensions, and introduce you to some new ones.
What Is a Domain Extension?
A domain extension is the last part of a domain name, i.e., the section that comes after the last dot. For instance, our domain name is businessnamegenerator.com, and our domain extension is .com.
Extensions are also called top-level domains (TLDs), whereas businessnamegenerator is our second-level domain. Extensions are predetermined, while you can choose anything for your second-level domain, such as your company’s name, brand, or anything else you want as long as that domain name is available.
The domain extension determines the domain type. It lets servers know the location of the website in the domain name system (DNS). Aside from the technical aspect of it, the extension also serves to give users an idea about the location, organization type, and content they can expect on the website. For example, when we see a domain name ending in .gov, we know it’s a website belonging to a U.S. government agency.
Extensions allow for more room in the DNS. For instance, if your preferred second-level domain is ShoeStore, you’ll find that ShoeStore.com is taken. But, you can still use the same name with a different extension.
NOTE:Purposefully copying someone else’s name to trick users into thinking you represent a different company is a crime called cybersquatting. If the original company has trademark protection, it can file a lawsuit resulting in monetary payments and handing over domain name usage rights. Make sure you don’t infringe on anyone’s trademark when picking a domain.
There is also a third-level domain that shows the website’s host or subdomain, but that’s a different topic.
List of Domain Extensions – How Many Are There?
As we’ve already mentioned, the number of registered domain names is growing all the time. As a solution to satisfying the demand, the number of domain extensions available is following suit.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is a standards organization in charge of IP address allocation and the distribution of extensions. The organization decides what new extensions should be introduced (and when).
On the other hand, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) maintains and updates the DNS. In practice, IANA creates new extensions, and ICANN makes them available to the public.
10 Most Common Domain Extensions
According to Verisign, dot-com domains are by far the most popular among users worldwide. There are almost eight times as many dot-com domains as the second-placed .cn. The top 10 most popular domain extensions (by the number of registrations) are as follows:
|#||Domain Extension||Number of Registrations|
When compared to all registered domain names (354 million), we can see that the .com extension accounts for around 45.6% of all domain names.
Other Domain Extensions List
There are two main types of extensions: generic and country-code.
Generic extensions (gTLD) are used globally to represent different types of organizations and content and are not geographically restricted. On the other hand, country-code extensions (ccTLD) point to a specific location, whether it’s a country or a geographical or political area (for instance, .eu or .nyc).
In the last few years, there’s been a change in the meaning of some ccTLDs. Some of them represent industry-relevant abbreviations and have attracted a global user base. As a result, Google no longer geo-targets such domains, effectively turning them into generic extensions. Here are some of the examples:
|Generic ccTLDs||Country of Origin|
|.cd||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|.fm||Federated States of Micronesia|
|.io||British Indian Ocean Territory|
List of New Domain Extensions
The ICANN started introducing new sets of extensions in 2013 and has been adding them on repeatedly. Since then, the list of domain extensions has grown to over 1,400 entries.
These new extensions are more specific than traditional TLDs. As a business, you can use them for branding purposes and to be more specific about what your website has to offer. For example, if you’re a company that focuses on toddler products, you can use the .baby extension.
New extensions can be categorized as:
TIP:When choosing a domain name, make sure to research the extension. Some TLDs (especially new ones) have a poor reputation and are often associated with spam and phishing sites. Users trust the extensions they are used to; there’s a reason why almost half of all websites are .com domains.
With so many existing and new domain names being registered, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find an available domain name that’s brandable. Luckily, the list of all domain extensions is extensive (is this a pun?), and you can still own a domain name that’s catchy and memorable.
If you’re having trouble coming up with such a name on your own, you can use our AI-powered domain name generator and get 1,000+ catchy name ideas instantly. Our generator will automatically check domain name availability for you.