Domain Name Registry
Technically speaking a domain name registry is a database of all domain names registered in a top level domain. Examples of top level domains are .com, .net and .org.
The entity that operates and manages this database is called a registry operator. It is responsible for the management of domain names within the top level domains and the control of policies of domain name allocation.
A registry operator is often referred to as a domain name registry. When someone refers to a domain name registry it can mean the database or the operator depending on the context. An examples of domain name registry operator is Verisign who operates the .com and .net top level domain and DotAsia who operates the .asia top level domain,
Difference between Domain Registry and Domain Registrar
There is a distinct difference between a domain name registrar and a registry. A domain name registrar is an organization or commercial entity that contracts with domain registries to provide registration services to the public.
An example of a domain name registrar is GoDaddy who contracts with multiple domain name registries such as Verisign to provide domain registration services to the public in accordance to the guidelines of the designated domain name registries.
A domain name registrar pays a fee to the Domain Registry operator and to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for each name that is registered.
The more successful domain name registrars include GoDaddy, Enoms and Tucows.
For a list of domain name registry operators please visit
Domain Name Resellers
Domain Name Registrars e.g. GoDaddy and NameCheap are allowed to appoint domain name resellers to sell or register domain names on their behalf. Domain Name Resellers are usually web hosting company who bundle domain registration services with their hosting packages.
Types of Top Level Domains
First there are Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD). Examples of generic top level domains are .com, .net, .org and .name.
Next there are Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD). With some exceptions, the country code top level domains (ccTLD) have two letters and adhere to the ISO 3166 code standard publish by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This standard defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, special areas of geographical interest, and their principal subdivisions (e.g., provinces or states). Some examples are .my for Malaysia and .ca for Canada.
Country code top level domain registry operators are usually different entities from generic top level domain registries. Some examples are MYNIC who manages the .my domain and CIRA who manages the .ca domain.
New GTLD Program
ICANN has decided to allow organizations globally to apply for licenses to operate new gTLD of their choosing and introduce them to the World Wide Web. Over 50,000 domain name are registered every day and it is becoming increasing difficult for businesses to find a decent name for their business. Hence ICANN has decided to open up the domain name space.
Application for this first round of new gTLDs opens in Jan 2012 and ends in April 2012. Evaluation will take a while but the new gTLDs may be available for registration as early as 2013.
While GTLDs like .com, .net and .org are commonplace today, do not be surprise to see new ones for example .film, .shop, .bank, .green, .phone or .sport appearing in the not so distant horizon.
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- DNS - Domain Name System
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- Domain Names Trivia
- Who is a Domain Name Registry
- What are Top Level Domains?
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- Domain Name Generator
- About EDU Domain
- Find a Domain Name
- Domain Name LookUp
- Canadian Domains
- Malaysian Domains
- A Beginner's Guide to Internationalized Domains
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- Different Types of Web Hosting
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