Reviewed Date: 08/18/2021
Deciding on a domain name is important as this will become your web address. The domain name could also become part of your city’s identity on business cards, stationery, etc. A domain name consists of a top-level domain and a second-level domain. A top-level domain (TLD), or domain extension, is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot, e.g., .com, .edu, .org, .gov, or .net. The part of the domain name to the left of the dot is called the second-level domain (SLD) name. This is the readable part of the domain name that refers to the entity or organization behind the Internet address.
The most common TLDs or generic TLDs (gTLDs) are .com, .net, and .org. These common extensions have certain guidelines, but are all options for a city to use. Two additional options for a city to use are the www.ci.CITYNAME.tn.us form or the DotGov name space. The .us space is part of the Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs). The DotGov space has new rules and a NO cost provision that started in April 2021. All fees in the DotGov space will not be charged through the end of FY 2021. The .us and .gov name spaces are both restricted which means they require some additional information from the person registreing the domain name to prove the entity is able to be in that specific name space. The .gov space is being restricted to U.S.-based government or public sector organizations offering site visitors an assurance that the site provides official government services.
Some cities may register a name in all five TLD spaces. For example, if you are the city of MTAS you could register the names www.mtas.com, www.mtas.net, www.mtas.org, www.ci.mtas.tn.us, and www.mtastn.gov. Shorter names are easier for people to remember, but if you want to include additional identifiers such as “town of” or “city of” that is acceptable as well. That might look like www.townofmtas.org, www.ci.townofmtas.tn.us, www.mtas-tn.gov or www.mtastn.gov. Some exceptions will be made in the .gov space to allow uniquely named, well known, or most populous cities to not use the state identifier. In the case of an exemption you could have something like www.mtas.gov.