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What are the disadvantages of owning a domain name that contain special characters?

Some special characters are, for example: áéíóú, àèìòù, äëïöü, etc.

These characters open the possibility of creative domain names and shorter names (like www.coffè.com) that would otherwise be already registered because it is a very common word.

I'm specially interested on getting more info on this issues that come to my mind:

  • Domain name translation, www.coffè.com would be translated to www.xn--coff-8oa.com. Will users see www.coffè.com or www.xn--coff-8oa.com on their browsers?
  • Sending emails to an address like contact@coffè.com. Possible?

Thanks.

  • Are you targeting users (by region/language) that know how to type such characters? – MrWhite Jan 11 '15 at 21:34
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The characters will need to be supported by the RFC for Internet Naming Standards, if they aren't you won't be able to register them, developers have written their software to work with the standards, so e-mail, name registrars etc won't accept your domain name if it's not part of the standard. Check first to make sure they are valid characters, then it's a matter of getting people to use the correct characters to get to your domains. You can find more information on the naming standard here

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    Punycode is a perfectly valid way of encoding Unicode characters in domain names. Even the question shows samples of Punycode, and the question was about Punycode support in browsers etc. – Tero Kilkanen Jan 12 '15 at 13:05

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