What is a Country Code Top-level Domain (ccTLD)?
A Country Code Top-level Domain (ccTLD) is a unique 2-letter Internet top-level domain. It is used for a specific country, territory or geographical area to serve the community within it. It follows the internationally recognized country codes and can identify a particular country or geographical area that a website is serving. Anyone can do ccTLD domain name registrations, provided that he/she meets the requirements of said ccTLD and buy the service from a credible ccTLD domain reseller. WebNIC invites you to become a ccTLD domain reseller. Sign up now to get the best domain reseller price for ccTLDs.
The History of ccTLD
The ccTLD policy began when scientists Jon Postel and Paul Mockapetris developed the Domain Name Server (DNS) in 1983. Under a contract with the U.S. government, Postel, and later the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), managed the DNS and delegated ccTLDs to external parties. The first ccTLD, “.US” (United States) was created and delegated in March 1985. Two other ccTLDs, “.UK” (United Kingdom) and “.IL” (Israel), were also delegated in the same year. Back then, ccTLDs were delegated on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the Internet soon exploded and political problems arose, making this approach to ccTLD delegation no longer feasible. Therefore, Postel started assigning ccTLDs by using the ISO 3166-1 country codes by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to shield itself from political pressures. By the mid-1990s, IANA delegated every possible ccTLDs to all existing countries, including those with limited Internet access.
The Current Status of ccTLD
As of the time of writing, a Verisign publication cited source from Zooknic showed that there is now a total of 304 ccTLD domain name registrations, including Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) worldwide, and 158.7M domains are registered under a ccTLD. The Total number of ccTLD registrations increased 1.9M, or 1.2% from Q1 2019 to Q2 2019, whereby registrations increased by 8.9M, or 6.0% year-over-year.
The data above shows that ccTLDs are very popular and continue to enjoy a high registration rate from the public. The top 10 most popular ccTLDs include .CN (China), .TK (Tokelau), .DE (Germany), .UK (United Kingdom), .TW (Taiwan), .NL (Netherlands), .RU (Russian Federation), .BR (Brazil), .EU (European Union) and .FR (France). These top 10 ccTLDs alone, combine to make up 65.7% of all ccTLD domain name registrations. The most popular ccTLDs by the number of domains registered are listed out below, starting from number 10 to number 1.
.FR was introduced in 1986. It was one of the few earliest ccTLDs to be delegated to a foreign manager by Postel. It currently sits at number 10 by the total number of domains registered, 3.4M. Some example websites include orange.fr, free.fr and lemonde.fr.
.EU was launched in 2005. It was relatively young in terms of age compared to other ccTLDs, but it has received a high level of popularity. It currently ranks number 9 in the total number of domains registered at 3.7M. Some websites using .EU include europa.eu, eurid.eu and politico.eu.
.BR was introduced in 1989. It was one of the oldest ccTLDs to be delegated. It currently places number 8 in the total number of domains registered, 4.1M. Some example websites include uol.com.br, mercadolivre.com.br and correios.com.br.
.RU was launched in 1994. It was one of the many ccTLDs that was delegated to all existing countries in the 1990s. It currently sits at number 7 by the total number of domains registered, 5.7M. Some websites using .RU include yandex.ru, mail.ru and ok.ru.
.NL was introduced in 1986. It was one of the oldest ccTLDs to be delegated. It currently ranks number 6 in the total number of domains registered, 5.9M. Some example websites include telegraaf.nl, ad.nl and funda.nl.
.TW was launched in 1989. It was one of the oldest ccTLDs to be delegated. It currently places number 5 in the total number of domains registered, 6.5M. Some websites using .TW include shopee.tw, ltn.com.tw and pchome.com.tw.
.UK was introduced in 1985. It was the first few earliest ccTLDs to be delegated to a foreign manager by Postel. It currently sits at number 4 by the total number of domains registered, 13.3M. Some example websites include bbc.co.uk, indeed.co.uk and next.co.uk.
.DE was launched in 1986. It was one of the oldest ccTLDs to be delegated. It currently ranks number 3 in the total number of domains registered, 16.2M. Some websites using .DE include web.de, bild.de and t-online.de.
.TK was introduced in 1997. It enjoyed a high acceptance due to its free policy. However, it is also suffering from a bad reputation due to many hackers and spammers abusing the free policy. It currently places number 2 in the total number of domains registered, 22.5M.
.CN was launched in 1990. It was one of the many ccTLDs that was delegated to all existing countries in the 1990s. It currently sits at number 1 by the total number of domains registered, 23.0M. Some websites using .CN include 360.cn, gmw.cn and youth.cn.
A Summary of the Most Popular ccTLDs
|Rank||ccTLD||Number of Registrations|
ccTLDs are excellent for websites serving specific geolocation. It serves as a powerful indicator to search engines that a website is targeted for a particular country or location. As a result, websites which use ccTLDs have a higher chance to rank higher on localized search results page for users. Also, ccTLDs provide a higher level of trust and confidence for local users.
We believe that ccTLDs will become more welcomed by website owners soon, as the trend shows Internet users prefer localized search results as they are more relevant to them. ccTLDs might play a considerable role in such a scenario. Join us now and become a ccTLD domain reseller partner of WebNIC. Sign up now to get the best domain reseller price for ccTLDs. Grab the chance now to ride the wave to the future where ccTLDs are even more common than now, or even preferred by Internet users all around the world.
WebNIC is accredited registrar for ICANN, and various countries including Asia, Europe, America, Australasia, and Africa. With offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan, we serve 4,500+ active resellers over 70 countries. To join us and become a reseller, live chat with us or email us at [email protected].