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Top-Level Domains – What .COM Means in a URL | Examples & Function


.Com is one of hundreds of top-level domains

On the Internet, “com” is one of the top-level domain names that can be used when choosing a domain name. Usually, it describes the entity owning the domain name as a commercial organization. Along with the second-level domain name — for example, the “whatis” in — the top-level domain name is required in web and email domains

“Com” is also short for “commercial,” although operation of a commercial website isn’t required to own a domain suffix.

The .com at the end of many web addresses (such as is called a top-level domain (TLD). The .com ending is the most common generic top-level domain. The .com TLD represents a commercial domain, which conveys the type of content that’s published. It differs from other top-level domains that are meant for content that is more specific, such as .mil for U.S. military websites and .edu for educational websites.

Using a .com URL doesn’t offer any special significance other than perception. A .com address is seen as a serious website because it’s the most common TLD. However, it doesn’t have any technical differences over .org, .biz, .info, .gov, and other generic top-level domains.

A Quick History Lesson

Let’s head back to 1985 when .com was introduced to help in the organization of the World Wide Web.

Interestingly, MIT Internet pioneer Jack Haverty, believes that .com originally ‘…derived from “company” rather than “commercial”. He went onto explain that at the start they were for companies doing government contract work.

Despite these beginnings, the meaning behind .com and any website that uses it has changed. Today .com is the most well-established domain and a trusted choice for businesses and individuals across the globe.

Register a .Com Website

Six top-level domains categorized the few hundred websites that were around at the inception of the World Wide Web. Addresses ending in .com were meant for publishers who made a profit through their services. The six TLDs that existed then and are used today:

top-level domains
  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .edu
  • .gov
  • .mil

Now there are hundreds of top-level domains and millions of websites.

A .com domain name does not mean a website is a licensed business. The internet registration authorities have expanded their criteria to allow anyone to have a .com address, regardless of whether the registrant has commercial intent.

Buy a .Com Website

Domain registrars reserve domain names. They serve as middlemen between buyers and the quasi-governmental agencies that attend to the internet’s complex structure. General registrars allow buyers to choose any available TLD when they register a domain name. In most cases, domain names can be purchased relatively inexpensively, but some highly desirable domain names are for sale only at top-dollar prices.

Domain-name registrars that sell top-level .com names include:

Who assigns and manages domain names?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has overall responsibility for assigning domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and many other Internet parameters. Day-to-day responsibility is delegated to specific registrars, such as Network Solutions and several competing companies for .com, .org, .net and .edu top-level domains. Although .com is the most popular domain extension, .net came first. The Nordic Infrastructure for Research and Education first debuted in 1985.

Today, we also have domains such as .agency, .co, .fund, .media, .shop, .store, .solution, .xyz, and many more. Specific criteria are set forth for the use of the top-level domain name in RFC 1591: Domain Name System Structure and Delegation. The top-level domain names administered by ICANN and its delegate agencies are .com, .edu, .gov, .io, .net and .org.

Other Top-Level Domains

Hundreds of top-level domain names are available to the general public, including .org and .net, which were originally used to denote nonprofit organizations and network and computer topics, respectively. Those TLDs, just like .com, aren’t limited to certain organizations or individuals; they’re open for anyone to purchase.

Most TLDs use three letters, but there are also two-letter TLDs called country code top-level domains, or ccTLDs. Some examples include .fr for France, .ru for Russia, .us for the United States, and .br for Brazil.

Other TLDs that are similar to .com may be sponsored or have certain restrictions on registration or use. The Root Zone Database page on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority website serves as a primary index of all the TLDs.

5 Fun Facts About .COM

We hope that you feel well-informed! Before you go straight to our bulk domain name generator to uncover and register exciting .com domain names, we thought we’d tell you a few interesting facts about .com.

  1. The most expensive (publicly announced) domain is It sold for $30 million.
  2. According to Moz, at the time of writing, the top eight websites on the internet all use .com.
  3. As of June 2020, 50.9% of global websites used a .com top-level domain.
  4. You can’t purchase an ‘A’ .com address. Every domain name from to are already registered.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments section below and we’d be happy to answer them.

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