ccTLD

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ccTLD is an abbreviation for country code top-level domain, a top-level-domain that is specific to a particular country, thus governed by its additional laws, and often more restrictive and/or fragile than non-country-specific domains; used by some in the IndieWeb community for short-domains.

Domains

as

.as is the ccTLD for American Samoa.

No IndieWeb folks are using .as short URLs.

Projects that support some IndieWeb building blocks:

cx

.cx is the ccTLD for Christmas Island.

At one time it was very popular due to the domain being free for FOSS projects, and also being among the first to allow private registrations. However, one notorious shock site formed an unfortunate association in many Internet users' minds, and the shock site in question eventually led the registrar to apply censorship to the ccTLD as a whole, forbidding any content they considered to be sexual or obscene in nature.

IndieWeb users of .cx:

es

.es is the ccTLD for Spain (España). Spain is one of several nations that issue digital personal identifiers to citizens (eDNI), and it is required to create a new domain. However, a Spanish citizen can transfer an existing domain to a noncitizen if that noncitizen can produce photo-ID from their own nation. Can be useful for domain hacks. See: wiktionary:en:Category:English words suffixed with -es.

IndieWeb folks using .es short URLs:

  • Arlo James Barnes: arn.es (to be used for b.arn.es, arlo.james.b.arnes, arloj[U+40 COMMERCIAL AT]mesb.arn.es where 'mesb' obviously stands for "message board"... ;P [edit: I went with mes.b instead]), purchased for 100EUR from a friendly Spanish one-person-show domain broker.

eu

.eu is the ccTLD for the European Union.

Registration is extremely cheap with many providers, however, those are usually only for the first year and is open for organisations and residents of EU member states.

Even though there are millions registered .eu domain, it's still awkward to tell people you have a website ending in .eu; it seems like the general public is either unaware of it's existence or they simply don't expect a personal site to be on a .eu domain. (Based on personal experience in Hungary and in the UK. -- Peter Molnar )

  • Brexit oops loss of .eu domains: https://twitter.com/dassurma/status/1348758505348595722
    • "I lost access to a .eu domain i have because I used my UK address for the contact information. Apparently, since Jan 1st, UK citizens are not eligible for .eu domains anymore because #brexit.

      🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️" @DasSurma January 11, 2021

Past Examples:

  • Ton Zijlstra - https://tzyl.eu redirects to default host index page as early as 2021-04-29.

gs

.gs is the ccTLD for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

There are no known content restrictions on .gs domains, and the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British overseas territory, thus we can consider it as stable as .uk domains.

IndieWeb folks using .gs short URLs:

gy

.gy is the ccTLD for Guyana.

IndieWeb uses of .gy short URLs:

hr

.hr is the ccTLD for Croatia, and controlled by CARNet, the academic and research network of Croatia.[1]

Croatian private citizens could use their ID number (OIB) to register a single free .from.hr domain containing their full name. Free WordPress hosting was also offered, but as it doesn't allow installing or enabling any plugins, it was currently unsuitable for IndieWeb. Businesses could likewise register a single free .hr domain, provided it contains the registered name of the business or an abbreviation thereof.

Previously:

  • A beginner-friendly guide through the (fairly obvious) process could be found at for sometime at:
    • https://from.hr (unknown when it died, needs Internet Archive link for last known valid content)
  • Examples:
    • http://damjan-novak.from.hr - stub — also died at some point, needs Internet Archive link

im

.im is the ccTLD for the Isle of Man.

IndieWeb uses of .im short URLs:

Like .io, .im is rather expensive. The registrar is fairly easy to use but the number of resellars for .im are limited so people often use secondary nameserver services like FreeDNS to resolve their domain.

io

.io is the ccTLD for British Indian Ocean Territory.

Experiences with .io?

.io is comparatively expensive ($39 on gandi.net at the time of writing), but easy to set up, and perhaps valuable as a novelty TLD for IndieWeb purposes because of IO's input/output double meaning. There are no known administrative problems establishing .io domains.

The .io TLD has been criticized for generating profits for the British government instead of the people of the Indian Ocean Territory (unlike other ccTLDs for small island nations like .me or .tv).

"[P]rofits from the sale of each .io domain flow to the very force that expelled the Chagossian or Ilois people from their equatorial land just a generation or two ago: the British government."

from The dark side of .io: How the U.K. is making web domain profits from a shady Cold War land deal.

IndieWeb folks using .io short URLs as their primary site:

as a secondary / utility site:

  • p3k.io: Aaron Parecki - and subdomains quill.p3k.io, monocle.p3k.io, but is moving these to .app domains over time, e.g. xray.p3k.app

Criticism:

is

.is is the ccTLD for Iceland.

  • As of 2015 it costs $250 to renew!
    • In 2021 it cost me €20.90 to renew gurdy.is, and I’m not aware of it ever having cost significantly more than that. Perhaps it depends on the length of the domain, and shorter ones are more expensive? or perhaps a middleman was marking up the price? — Barnaby Walters (talk) 13:46, 20 May 2021 (PDT)
    • $250 was a guess based on my fuzzy recollection, not sure what the actual number was, but it was exorbitant Kylewm.com

Past Examples:

ly

.ly is the ccTLD for Libya.

.ly domains are subject to content restrictions, including but not limited to "obscene and indecent names/phrases, including words of a sexual nature" and "may not contain words/phrases or abbreviations insulting religion or politics, or be related to gambling and lottery industry or be contrary to Libyan law or Islamic morality."

The Libyan government is a dictatorship and "the most censored country in the Middle East and North Africa". In addition, Libya is an ongoing armed civil war.

There has been at least one case of a .ly domain name seizure / shutdown based on content restrictions:

For these reasons we recommend you AVOID USING ANY/ALL .LY domains, both for your own URLs, and linking to.

Alternatives:

  • bit.ly/*** — use j.mp/*** links instead

me

.me is the ccTLD for Montenegro.

There are no known content restrictions on .me domains, and the government of Montenegro is a democracy.

.me domains can be registered through many major domain registrars. We suggest you get a recommendation from a friend.

Thus we consider .me domains to be reasonably stable.

College and university students can get a "free" .me domain from Namecheap (one year).

IndieWeb folks using .me short URLs:

pk

.pk is the ccTLD for Pakistan.

There are no known content restrictions on .pk domains, and the government of Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic.

.pk domains can be registered directly from PKNIC for $24 per year with a minimum registration of two years.

Updating the registrant info for a domain (transferring ownership, or even just updating the address or phone number of the same registrant) requires sending a notarized letter by mail to the registrar.

IndieWeb folks using .pk short URLs:

re

.re is the ccTLD for Réunion (a French island).

IndieWeb folks using .re short URLs:

ro

.ro is the ccTLD for Romania.

There are no known content restrictions on .ro domains, and there are no registration restrictions for second-level domains. The .ro domains can be registered directly from en.html RoTLD for $51.26, which is a one-time fee with no annual renewal fee at present. However, there is a note on the payment page that indicates they may charge an annual fee in the future.

The registration is 51,26$+VAT(24%), one-time payment. There is no yearly fee at present. When yearly fee will be introduced, you will be informed.

No VAT is required when payment is sent in USD. If payment is sent by wire transfer, the wire transfer fees for sending and receiving are paid by the customer. The RoTLD bank does not charge a fee to receive USD as of 2011-03.

Payment must be made by wire transfer or by faxing a copy of your credit card and photo ID to the registrar.

IndieWeb folks using .ro short URLs:

so

.so is the ccTLD for Somalia.

Issues:

  • $102 / year (?!?). As of 2015-05-28, the renewal fee increased to $102 (for a year) in at least one instance:

    … my .so domain. Renewal fee going from $19 to $102.

  • $99 / year. iwantmyname informed Jonny Barnes by email, mentioned on IRC:

    received an email recently from iwantmyname that .so domains are increasing in price from $14.99 to $99!

  • 2015-06-09 no more registrations. as noted:

    No new registrations after June 9, 1 yr renewal periods afterwards, higher fees. …

tc

.tc is the ccTLD for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This TLD is going through pricing turmoil, raising prices from $50 to $120 per year in some cases. The new manager of the registrar, Meridian TLD, is offering current domain owners a domain transfer and a year renewal for $44 USD, effectively forcing domain owners to change registrars. More information on this racket can be found on the [https://iwantmyname.com/blog/2012/08/3-easy-steps-to-ruin-the-reputation-of-a-countrys-domain-extension.html iwantmyname.com blog.

Past Examples:

  • Bret: http://bre.tc - I do not recommend this tld. It has been nothing but pain and agony. using .io now.

to

.to is the ccTLD for the island nation of Tonga.

This one is very commonly used by tech companies as part of a "domain hack," as being a transitive verb it can form part of many English phrases.

Its use has become so pervasive in tech that it's uncommon for anyone to even associate .to with the nation of Tonga.

uk

.uk is the ccTLD for the United Kingdom.

Originally Nominet UK only allowed domains to be registered under certain subdomains, such as co.uk or org.uk. They have recently opened up the top-level domain itself. There is a potential difficulty in registering short domains though as people who have already registered the .co.uk variant get priority I believe.

Note The registrar requires that your WHOIS mailing address be a valid UK address, for details see [http://www.nominet.org.uk/uk-domain-names/registering-uk-domain/choosing-domain-name/rules section 7.

us

.us is the ccTLD for the United States.

Registration is cheap, a couple dollars less than than .com. Registrants must be US citizens/organizations or foreign entities with a US presence. Aside from the registrant requirements...there are few controversies with .us compared to country based tlds.

Unlike most ccTLDs, .us does not allow anonymous or proxy registrations, which is a potential privacy issue for some.

IndieWeb folks using .us short URLs:

  • David Shanske uses di5.us as a short redirect for his main site, david.shanske.com, and runs projects on gwg.us
  • Colin Tedford uses cted.us as a short redirect for his main site, colintedford.com.
  • fluffy uses a number of .us domains for various purposes (sockpuppet.us, e-snail.us)

Criticism

(this section is a stub, feel free to expand, e.g. with subsections)

  • More restrictive content — some ccTLDs have content restrictions specific to that country
  • Harder to acquire — some ccTLDs only allow residents and/or citizens of the specific country to register them
  • Appropriative — oftentimes these domain names are registered by people who want a cute/meaningful "domain hack" without any association with its respective country or cultural context, and many of them have been taken from unprivileged nations with no benefit to them
  • Likewise, some of the domain registration fees funnel funds into oppressive regimes
  • ...

See Also