The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Decide on a Domain Name

Reference Number: MTAS-1768
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: August 10, 2016
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Deciding on a domain name is important as this will become your web address. The domain name could also become part of your city’s identity on business cards, stationery, etc. A domain name consists of a top-level domain and a second-level domain. A top-level domain (TLD), or domain extension, is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot, e.g., .com, .edu, .org, .gov, or .net. The part of the domain name to the left of the dot is called the second-level domain (SLD) name. This is the readable part of the domain name that refers to the entity or organization behind the Internet address.

The most common TLDs or generic TLDs (gTLDs) are .com, .net, and .org. These common extensions have certain guidelines, but are all options for a city to use. One additional option for a city to use is the www.ci.CITYNAME.tn.us form, which is part of the Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs). Some cities may register a name in all four TLD spaces. For example, if you are the city of MTAS you could register the names www.MTAS.com, www.MTAS.net, www.MTAS.org and www.ci.MTAS.tn.us. Shorter names are easier for people to remember, but if you want to include additional identifiers such as “town of” or “city of” that is acceptable as well. That might look like www.townofmtas.org or www.ci.townofmtas.tn.us.

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