Most Popular Top Level Domains

Bruno Mircevski

Written by Web Hosting Expert

Most Popular Top Level Domains

Domains are a website's address on the Internet. Each of the 1.8 billion websites that exist today has its own unique domain name. Seeing as domain names come hand in hand with having a website, it's no surprise that there are over 367 million registered domains.

However, some domains are more attractive than others and are therefore considered top-level domains. These TLDs are the ones that are the most used and in demand. A top-level domain describes the website's purpose, business name, or location. Around 58% of all websites are registered under one of the top five TLDs. TLDs significantly impact customers' perception of a website's credibility and authenticity.

For example, if a website's domain name ends with .com, the customer will automatically think that the website is legit. So, let's see what are the most commonly used top-level domain names, how many top-level domains are there, and much more!

What Is the Top Level Domain in a URL?


The top-level domain or TLD in an URL is the final component of a website's URL and is located at the end or at the rightmost part. For example, in Verpex.com, Verpex is the domain name, while .com is the TLD or domain extension.

Top-level domains are also called domain extensions because the .com or .org is the extension on which a website's domain name is registered.

How Do TLDs Work?


Computers work through each domain name section when loading a website so that they can accurately locate the necessary data. This process starts with the top-level domain. All the information for all general TLDs or gTLDs is located in 13 root name servers.

So, for example, the root name server for .org will contain all information about .org websites, but not for .com and vice versa.

But who manages the top-level domains? ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the nonprofit, multistakeholder group that delegates the global coordination of domain names to other organizations.

How Many Top-Level Domains Are There?


most popular TDLs

There are around 1 514 TLDs as of June 2020, excluding the retired ones and those held as test domains. They are categorized by IANA or the Internet Assigned Numbers Assembly. IANA is a department of ICANN that is in charge of assigning TLDs with IP addresses.

The original TLDs are:

  • .arpa - Or the Address and Routing Parameter Area is used for Internet-infrastructure purposes.

  • .gov - comes from the word government and is used by government entities only.

  • .edu - Derived from the word education and is used by educational and academic institutions.

  • .com - Derived from the word commercial and is used by commercial entities like companies.

  • .mil - Derived from the word military and is used by subsidiaries or affiliate organizations of the United States Department of Defense.

  • .org - Derived from the word organization and is primarily used by nonprofit entities

  • .net - Derived from the word network and was originally created for companies that work with networking technology.

What Are the 5 Most Common Domain Extensions?


As of April 2022, the five top-level domains that are most commonly used are the following:

  • .com – Is by far the most common one, with over 53% of websites registering under this TLD.

  • .ca – Is the TLD for Canada, with around 11% of domains registered under this country-code top-level domain.

  • .org – Is third, with 4.4% of all domain names registered under this extension.

  • .ru – Is also another country-code top-level domain and belongs to Russia, with 4.3% of all registries.

  • .net – Has around 3.1% of domains under its wing.

Types of Top Level Domains


  • Generic (international) TLDs
    Contain the biggest portion of TLDs across all categories. All users can use these domain extensions. The list of generic top-level domains includes .com, .org, .net, .info, .club, etc. The .com, .org, and .net TLDs were the first ones available for public registration, which is why there are the most us ed and popular ones today.
Generic TDLs
  • Country code TLDs
    Are domain extensions that each country, dependency, and sovereign state that is registered with a two-letter country code under the ISO 3166 standard has. Once a country or a subdivision is registered under this standard, it is automatically available to be registered as a TLD with the IANA. After the registration with the IANA, regional authorities decide whether any restrictions will be placed on who is eligible to register a domain under the specific TLD. Examples of ccTLDs are .eu for the European Union, .us for the United States, .de for Germany, .ma for Morocco, .uk for the United Kingdom, .ca for Canada, .ru for Russia, etc.
Country Code TDLs
  • Generic country-code TLDs
    Are country-code TLDs that are so widely used that they start resembling generic TLDs. Generic country-code TLDs do not have any restrictions on who can register a domain under a specific generic ccTLD. The domain extensions that fall under this category are usually associated with other popular things and not the countries themselves. For example, the domain extension for the country of Tuvalu is .tv. Still, because many English speakers associate it with television, it has become a generic ccTLD that is used beyond the country's borders. Other examples of generic ccTLDs include .co-the country code of Colombia, .io-the country code for British Indian Ocean Territory,.me-the country code for Montenegro, .cc-the country code for Cocos Islands, etc.
  • New TLDs
    Were introduced as early as 2001 because of the rapid and unexpected growth of the Internet, specifically websites and their usage. New TLDs have been added on multiple occasions to satisfy the ever-growing need for TLDs. Some examples of new TLDs include .top, .icu, .xyz, .site, .shop, .app. There are also new TLDs that are made specifically for one industry, like .attorney, .property, .technology, etc.
  • Sponsored TLDs
    Are TLDs that are held and managed by private organizations. They are not available for registration to all users because you need to meet specific requirements to register a domain under these domain extensions. The most popular examples of sTLDs are .gov for government organizations, .mil for military organizations, and .edu for higher-education organizations. These three domain extensions are applicable for US organizations only.
  • Infrastructure TLD
    Refers to only one TLD, which is the .arpa domain extension which stands for Address and Routing Parameter Area. This TLD includes the domains that are used for reversed domain name resolution.
  • Brand TLDs
    This is a new type of TLD that enables corporations and businesses to use their brand or corporate name as their domain extension instead of using another type of TLD. This provides the corporation with a higher level of sophistication and allows it to have a completely unique domain name. Some examples are .abc for the American Broadcast Company, .audi for Audi, .gle, .goog, .google for Google, .hbo for HBO, .lancome for L’Oreal, ,moto for Motorola, etc.

How to Register a TLD?


The most common and easiest way to register a domain name is through a domain registrar. First, you need to pick the domain registrar that best suits your needs. When choosing a domain registrar, pay attention to the prices and included features.

Usually, you can see what top-level domains are available for you and how much it costs to register your website under one of them on the domain registrar's site.

But to have a website, you'll also need web hosting. To get both at the same place, choose an appropriate provider that offers both services.

For example, with Verpex, a free domain name is included in all web hosting plans. Additionally, Verpex offers free privacy protection and 24/7 domain name support, among other things.

The Most Expensive Domains in the World


Although you can definitely find a TLD with an affordable price tag, there have been instances when people have paid enormous amounts of money to get a particular domain name. For example, the most expensive domain name in 2021 was Christmas.com, which was sold for over $3 million. However, the most expensive domain name overall is CarInsurance.com, which was sold for over $49 million in 2010.

Final Remarks


Top-level domains are a big deal in the online world. They are vital to every website out there because they are essentially a business' address on the Internet. They can also define how customers view your business, and the more popular domain extension you use, the more credible you are in customers' eyes.

Something you should also know is whether top-level domains can contain numbers. The answer is yes, as long as the domain extension is not only numerical and contains letters as well.

And yes, getting the .com extension may seem like the best option right now, but even if you don't manage to get this one, you have over 1 500 other TLDs to choose from!

Frequently Asked Questions


What makes a certain domain valuable?

Valuable domains are usually memorable, easy to spell, pronounce, and short.

What is a top-level domain?

A top-level domain is the last part of the domain name, so it’s everything that goes after the final dot in the domain name.

What are some popular domain marketplaces?

Popular domain marketplaces include BrandBucket, Efty, Namecheap, Sed, and Flippa.

How much does a domain cost monthly?

Usually, domain names cost from $0.99 to $12 per month. However, at Verpex, we offer a free domain name with our hosting packages.

Bruno Mircevski
About the Author
Bruno Mircevski

Bruno Mircevski is a web hosting services expert. He has spent years researching the niche, exploring the most diverse aspects of Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Resellers, etc. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he can grant you meaningful insights on our blog, whether you are a beginner or a hosting pro.

View all posts by Bruno Mircevski
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