Dot What?

Most URLs include the name and type of organization sponsoring the page. The type of organization is identified by a three letter code called a 'top level domain name.' Here are some of the most common codes you will come across.

.edu educational institution
Even though a page comes from an educational institution, it does not mean the institution endorses the views expressed there. Students or faculty members publish pages in their account on the school's computer.
.com commercial entity
Many companies advertise and sell products via the Web. They also publish annual reports and other company information for their stockholders and potential investors. Much of the quality information that you can purchase such as online newspapers or journals will have .com names.
.gov federal government
Government agencies use the Web to distribute information to the public. They publish legislation, census information, weather data, tax forms and many other documents.
.org non-profit organization
Non-profit organizations use the Web to promote their causes. These pages are good sources to use when comparing different sides of an issue.


Sometimes you will see a two letter country code at the end of the URL instead of the three letter organization code. Most URLs in the United States do not use the .us country code. Some other country codes are:

.ca - Canada .de - Germany .mx - Mexico
.ch - Switzerland .eg - Egypt .nz - New Zealand
.cl - Chile .jp - Japan .rw - Rwanda
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