What Is a ccTLD and Do I Need One?

If you are exploring the business of buying and selling domains, you may wonder about some of the terms such as ccTLD. This term is an abbreviation for country code top-level domain. It is used to indicate a country, a sovereign state or a dependent territory and the code itself is usually two letters long. You may wonder what this has to do with you and your new website.

Why ccTLD Matters

A lot of the importance for having an appropriate ccTLD comes down to search optimization. If you are targeting a website to a country such as Italy, you do not necessarily care if your site comes up first for all the people searching for the right keywords in America or India. If you had to get web hosting in every feasible country, you would have many months of work ahead of you just to do that. By having the appropriate ending, the search engines can show your website in the right countries which gets you more of the hits that you want.

In some countries, such as Sweden, the search results will show preference to websites with the appropriate ccTLD. In others, such as America, barely any websites even use the ccTLD and it does not affect search results as heavily. If your target audience is only in America, then it may not matter whether you purchase a domain with a ccTLD or not.


Some of the benefits of having a ccTLD are that people are slightly more likely to trust them and they will rank better in certain countries. Anyone in the world can get a.com address and having the extra few letters in front of it may seem more trustworthy and official.

Another benefit is that you will have more options of domain names because so many of the.com names are already taken. However, be careful of just adding a few letters to an already registered domain name as you could get in trouble in certain situations, especially if your business is lucrative.

You can also use the fact that it is two letters long to your advantage. Since some of the endings can also be the endings of words, such as the.us, you can make an address that incorporates that into it. Any word that ends in -ous or -us that is not already a registered domain name could be made into your address and people would be able to remember it more easily even without the popular TLD endings like.com or.net.

Things to Be Aware Of

You must look into the specific rules for your new domain name. Some potential things that you may find out are that there is a higher annual registration price if you have a ccTLD. Some countries offer free ones, but this is uncommon. You also may face restrictions about DNS providers and have a harder time registering or renewing your name through these providers.

All in all, a ccTLD can serve many great purposes for your website. Whether or not you want one depends on your target audience and your preferences. Using creativity can help you greatly because one of the main barriers will be that people are simply so used to their.com ending that they will have a harder time remembering anything else!