12

With the introduction of Generic Top Level Domains that groups can apply for, will it be possible to have a website's host consist of only a top level domain. For example, would it be possible for example company to use http://example/, after registering "example" as their TLD, instead of http://example.com/?

12

From a technical standpoint, it's possible, and there are some examples:

  • http://ai./
  • http://to./
  • http://uz./

These are country code TLDs, but the point is that DNS as a technology does support "dotless" domains. However, it appears that most generic TLDs are not allowed to have them due to ICANN polices. According to RFC 7085 such restrictions only apply to contracted TLDs, but it's not clear which TLDs fall under that restriction. Other sources suggest that the new TLDs would also be subject to such restrictions.

  • Browsers don't parse them well either if you just use the domain. Firefox and Chrome think you're searching. – Oli Dec 4 '14 at 14:18
  • @Oil These URLs all work for me in Firefox. Though I will admit that browser settings or plugins may interfere with their correct operation. – depquid Dec 4 '14 at 14:19
  • That is crazy...how did they pull off blank domains like that? FYI for those URLs: You have to "paste and go" in Chrome then it will fail, so you click "show details" then view the cached copy to see a recent snapshot. – dhaupin Dec 4 '14 at 15:02
  • 4
    Try uz. ai. to. (with periods) – Elmo Dec 4 '14 at 15:34
  • 1
    @StephenOstermiller did you try doing http://uz/ or http://ai/ or http://to/? That works for me. – semicolon Dec 5 '14 at 1:22
5

It is also worth noting that even if you can technically set up a "dotless" domain name (per depquid's answer), it might cost you a pretty penny.

ICANN just auctioned off the rights to control a bunch of new top level domains. The cost of owning a top level domain is $185,000. In addition to the money, the process also involved technical requirements for being able to operate that TLD, showing that the TLD would be put to good use, a public comment period, and fielding any objections.

Even then new top level domains may be restricted from operating a dotless domain based on RFC and ICANN rules.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.