Thinking about scooping up a three-letter domain name? How about one named after Uncle Ben? That’s not going to happen for you. All three-letter combinations of domain names have been scooped up years ago. The same pretty much goes for male names … but, you can always try to get Aunt Meredith in on the action, since female names are still somewhat available. The domain registration process seems pretty straightforward, but there’s actually a lot of history and entertainment wrapped up between the “www” designation and top-level domains … otherwise known as TLDs.
Here are some more fun facts:
- Most Popular TLDs: The most frequently registered Top Level Domains are .com, followed by .cn, which denotes a site registered in China.
- Least Popular Domain Names: According to a study done through Google, .gw, which refers to countries in Guinea-Bissau, has the least amount of sites associated with it. Other non-contenders are .mobi, denoting a mobile site; .um, referring to U.S. minor outlying islands; and .ax, which points to the Aland Islands, a group of islands off the coast of Finland.
- Cheapest Domain Names: Until 1995, domain registration was actually free. Hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago! Now, the process typically costs about $18 for a .com name.
- Most expensive Domain Names: The Big Three are: insurance.com, sex.com and fund.com. Insurance.com sold for $16 million in 2009 to an aggregator site. Sex.com sold for $14 million in 2010, and fund.com sold for $10 million in 2008. Fund.com is, somewhat ironically, now under construction and in disuse.
- The Longest Domain Names: A site named after a town in Wales has the distinction of being the longest domain registered for legitimate purposes, but the class clowns of the world have also registered nonsensical domains that are exactly the maximum of 63 characters. The Welsh town’s URL is http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.com/, but it appears to have been bought from the original owners.
- The shortest Domain Name: Google notoriously has had trouble advertising in China because the search engine’s name is hard to pronounce for native Chinese speakers. In an attempt to solve that issue, Google bought http:///www.g.com. China and Google still aren’t BFFs because of censorship laws, but the domain name really is easy to remember.
- The First Domain ever Registered: The distinction belongs to symbolics.com, which now serves as a somewhat prestigious digital billboard. It allows those who pay up a small circular ad on the first domain ever created. With the tagline “It all started here,” Symbolics.com is pretty intent on cashing in on its Internet fame.
Looking to start your own website? You might not get to register http://www.iamtheproudownerofthelongestlongestlongestdomainnameinthisworld.com/, but you can still find a domain befitting your creativity.