Top Level Domain (TLD) is the suffix that you can find at the end of a website address. Basically it is the word after the '.' (dot). For example, the TLD of www.nominus.com is “.com”.
TLDs are generally available for registration by anyone from anywhere in the world. The most commonly used TLD is '.com' followed by '.net', '.info', .'org' and '.ws'. However, some TLDs have a strict registration guideline and not all people can register them legally.
An example of a restricted TLD is '.edu' which is especially reserved for universities, colleges, schools and other types of educational institutions.
There are two categories of TLDs:
- gTLD or Generic Top-Level Domain, each with a specific meaning signifying a type of web page. http://www.nominus.com/register/domain/gtld.asp
- ccTLD or Country Code Top-Level Domain, each assigned to a specific country or territory. It may require a local presence, residency or tax number.
Since November 2013, 1,500 new gTLDs have been launched; this allows people, businesses and different organizations to register specific domains in relation with their interests, business, communities or localities.