What Does .com Stand For – And All Those Other Dot Abbreviations?

what does .com mean as a domain
For ease of identification this gold Ferrari is registered by location , as your website is registered in a domain such as .com.


What Does com Stand For?

If you have ever wondered what does .com stand for, there at the end of the domain name you just Googled? I am going to tell you. Not only what does . com means, but also .net.org and some of the other domain suffixes.

What does .com mean - it means commercial
The top level domain .com originally stood for commercial

It stands for commercial and was originally intended for websites that  were created for business, firms or enterprises, run for profit.  Nowadays you don’t have to have a profit motive. Anyone can have a .com domain. If you want the most popular top level domain extension you want a .com domain  A .com website invokes trust and there are still millions available; although you may have to play around with your words to find just the right combination for the name of your .com domain.

How It All Began

The domain name system  was conceived by Jon Postel and his colleagues at the University of Southern California’s Information sciences Institute; to enable a user of the web to type in a name for an address, instead of a string of hard to remember numbers. A domain name is composed of a series of character strings called labels. The top level domain (TLD) is the string on the far right, after the final dot, for example .com.  Each domain name is unique. There are no duplicates.

Thank goodness for Jon and his colleagues. As I am a member of the retired set and getting on in years, I am finding it harder to keep track of names let alone a string of numbers,

For You Trivia Buffs

  • 1984 The first six extensions were issued.  Along with .com they were: .org .net .gov .edu. and .mil
  • 1985 On March 15, the first .com domain was claimed by Symbolic. Inc . a computer manufacturer.
  • 1988 .int was added
  • 2000 seven new suffixes were selected: .aero, .biz, .coop, .museum, .name and .pro
  • 2003 six more suffixes added: .cat, .jobs, .mobi. .tel, .travel and . asia
  • There are now some in arabic and cyrillic
  • Almost half of all .com registrations are in english
  • There are over 100 million .coms registered


Top Level Domain Organization

The suffixes at the end the domain names (to the right of the dot) are called Top Level Domains. These are organized into two categories:

  • Generic Domain Extensions
  • Country Code Domain Extensions


Generic Domain Extensions

For reaching the whole globe use a generic top level domain
If your audience is everyone on the planet choose a generic TLD for your website.


The Generic Domain Extensions (gTDLs) are global domains and cover the entire globe. They are further divided into sponsored domains and unsponsored domains.  Sponsored domains are usually restricted. See the Wikipedia definition below.

A sponsored TLD is a specialized top-level domain that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain. The communities involved are based on ethnic, geographical, professional, technical or other theme concepts proposed by private agencies or organizations that establish and enforce rules restricting the eligibility of registrants to use the TLD



Name cheap, a domain name registrar, lists over 60 generic top level domains. Including the most recognized ones of .com, .org, .net, and .biz There is even an adult only one, .xxx, which costs a whopping $84.89 per year.

Some of the More Common Generic Domain Extensions Are:


Unsponsored Generic Domain Extensions

.com (commercial)
.net (network)
.org (organization)
.biz (business)
.info (information source)
.name (personal name)
.mobi (mobile friendly
.pro (originally restricted to licensed or certified professionals – no longer restricted

Sponsored (restricted) Generic Domain Extensions

.edu (educational)
.gov (government)
.mil (military)
.aero (aviation)
.coop (co-ops)
.jobs (for companies to post their job listings)
.travel (travel industry)

Not What You Might Think

.cat (Catalan language and/or culture) I was thinking cats or catalogs
.int (international treaty based organizations)
.tel (no website or hosting – allows you to manage contact information directly on the internet, includes entry in the Telpage Global directory)


Country Code Extensions

Top Level Domain country codes
Each country has it’s own TDL country code.


Country Code Extensions (ccTLDs) are two letters long and country or region specific. They allow you to reach a targeted audience in a country or area. This distinction has become blurred and some are now global in nature. Some are also restricted as to who can use them or for what purpose. There are over 250 Country Code TLDs. Sometimes the top level domains are accompanied by second level domains to their left (to the left of the dot).

Examples of Top Level Country Domains

.us (US citizens and businesses operating in the US)
.us.com ( US commercial website)
.ca (Canada)
.fr (France)
.de (Germany)
.de.com (German commercial websites)
.pe (Peru no restrictions)

Top Level Country Domains With Second Level Domains

.co.uk (United Kingdom).
.me.uk (personal website in the United Kingdom)
.org.uk (British non-profits and charities)
.org.au (Australian non-profits and charities)
.org.es (Non-profits and charities in Spain)

Some Have Been Intended For a Country But Have Now Been Re purposed

.io (Indian Ocean – tech-centered and startups
.bz (Belize – businesses)

Some Are Not Local But Available Globally

.me (personal website)
.pw (professional website)
.nu (what’s new}
.cm (anyone any use)
.cc (anyone can use no restrictions)

There are many more TLDs than I have listed here. If you are curious about one, just Google it. You may be surprised as I was when I saw the meaning of .cat, .tel and.int. This has turned out to be a more interesting subject than I originally thought it would be. you probably now know more about top level domains than you wanted to know. Do you know of anymore unusual top level domains? Please write a comment and tell us about them.









6 comments on “What Does .com Stand For – And All Those Other Dot Abbreviations?

  1. Intresting stuff! I guess you learns something new everyday, right? 🙂 I live in Sweden and Swedish websites got .se in the end of them 🙂 Just wanted to share that info as a thanks for yours 🙂

    Thanks for the post! /John

  2. Wow! Very informative, just learnt something new. I have a website but never knew what .com stood for until now. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. Hi Pat,
    An interest article on domain names. I want to know the companies which are selling domain names. Do you know which is the most expensive domain name?
    I was thinking the .cat domain is about cats, since there are so many cat lovers, lol.

    Have a good day.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for reading my post.

      Namecheap and GoDaddy are two places to buy domain names. If you Google “domain name registrars” you will find more.
      As far as I know the most expensive domain sold for $17 million. It is 360.com. This was for the domain name only. The topic of buying and selling domains is something I would like to cover in a future post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *