Country-Code Top-Level Domain Name (or CCTLD)

Glossary of Web Design Terms

Country-Code Top-Level Domain Names, or CCTLDs (sometimes written as ccTLD), are top-level domain names that indicate the country that a business is from.

Country-Code Top-Level Domain Name (or CCTLD)

Country-Code Top-Level Domain Names, or CCTLDs (sometimes written as ccTLD), are top-level domain names that indicate the country that a business is in or targeting with their web site.

Why Does This Matter to Me?

If you are targeting users in a particular country, or if you particularly want to identify the country your business or organization is operating in, you may want to choose a domain with a CCTLD, rather than a Global Top-Level Domain Name. For a multi-national organization, having specific web sites for the specific areas the organization serves that are localized including a local domain name with the proper country code can help promote the business in that region.

Many countries have specific criteria you must meet to purchase a domain using their country code. These criteria can be as simple as an annual fee, or may involve paperwork and proof of a manned office in that particular country.

CCTLDs are easy to recognize. They are always two letters long, and all two letter TLDs are CCTLDs. Some of the more popular CCTLDs are .ws for Western Samoa, .tv for Tuvalu (formerly the Ellice Islands), .co for Colombia, and .ca for Canada. Despite the fact that some unscrupulous registrars promote these domains as having the same kind of meaning as GTLDs (i.e., promoting .ws as meaning "web site" or .tv as meaning "television"), these two-letter TLDs always refer to a country.

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