In 1985, when the domain industry included just 9 Top Level Domains (TLDs), to choose one or to write this article could’ve been easier. Right now, the number has grown to 1,514 TLDs, based on data from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Some domains from the pioneers of this industry are still ranked among the most used TLDs after 35 years. Let’s have a look at the most popular TLDs in 2020, according to w3techs’s statistics.
What is a TLD or a domain extension?
Simple, to reach a website, you write an address and at the end of it, some letters “.com, .gov, .mx, etc”. Usually, you have the name of a brand or words that are clearly related to the site’s nature. Next is the extension domain, which also adds interesting information about the purpose, location, industry, targeted market, etc., about the site you visit.
When computers started to get connected through networks, they were identified and accessed by combinations of numbers, separated by dots (IP addresses). So hard to remember! That’s why the domain name system was created. The way they are composed is definitely more meaningful and easy to catch.
Currently, choosing those names is also a marketing activity.
The most popular TLDs in 2020 – Top Ten
This is a pioneer TLD (1985) and still the top one in use. It comes from “commercial” and it was exactly created to register domains for for-profit companies. Currently, it is used for commercial and other general purposes. For sure, you know many big “.com” ventures (Twitter, Google, YouTube, Baidu…).
It relates to the Russian Federation, and it’s not a surprise that “.ru” is the top country code TLD. It’s the largest and one of the most populated countries in the world. Big brands have seen the potential to reach such a diverse market, and therefore, they have chosen “.ru”. Aliexpress, Wildberries, Yandex, Mail, Gismeteo, Sberbank, and Google are among them.
.org is another TLD pioneer (1985) that comes from “organization”. Originally, it was used for non-profit sites. Currently, this restriction is no longer valid, so it’s open for everybody. Wikipedia, Mozilla, Telegram, Coursera, and many more use “.org”.
Taken from “network”, it was initially intended for networking-tech organizations, like Internet providers. Today is general-purpose and a common alternative of “.com”. CSDN, Speedtest, Behance, Reverso, ETtoday, Pixnet… are “.net”.
This is the country code TLD for India. There’s an estimation about Indian online shoppers raising to 220 million in 2025. Reason enough to understand its popularity and that Olx, Google, Amazon, Airtel, and many ventures are already there.
Country code TLD for Iran. It seems the country is growing at a good pace on the Internet. Time, Emalls, Blog, etc.
Country code TLD for Australia. Commbank, Realestate, eBay, Amazon, Google have “.au” domains.
Country code TLD for the United Kingdom. Interested companies are not necessarily connected with the UK. Bbc, eBay, Google, Amazon, Telegraph, and more are already there.
Country code TLD for the Federal Republic of Germany (Deutschland). Bild, Spiegel, eBay, Amazon, Google, Chip, Mobile have registrations under “.de”.
Country code TLD for Brazil. It is the most popular TLD used for/by countries with the Portuguese language. Olx, Americanas, Brainly, Mercado Livre, Uol, Google, Amazon, and a long list of companies have “.br” domain names.
There is a sea of new generic TLDs, but that doesn’t bother the king “.com”. It was, still is, and it will be the one on top for a long time. The rest of the old TLDs like “.org” or “.net” are still here, too, and many country-code TLDs. We are yet to see any of those new domain names get popularity. Maybe it will never happen. Only time will tell.