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Web Site Domains

There are many "top-level domains," or categories, used to identify the different types of Web sites. Top-level domains are distinguished by the letters at the end of the Web address or URL. These letters can be a clue as to what type of Web site you are visiting. Below is a list of some of the major domains.

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 may publish personal pages in their account on the school's computer (and these usually include a "~" in the URL, as in the example on the previous page).
government department or agency Government agencies use the Web to publish legislation, census information, weather data, tax forms, and thousands of other documents.
non-profit organization or association Non-profit organizations use the Web to promote their causes. These can be good sources to use when comparing different sides of an issue. These sites can also be personal pages posted by individuals. Quality varies depending on if sources are given and if the organization or authors have strong credentials. Beware of bias. 
network provider This group is an odd mix of companies, associations, and Internet Service Providers. Individuals also sometimes post personal pages using this domain. Information on these sites can look similar to sites which have .com or .org Web addresses.
business; commercially-based site  Many companies advertise and sell products, as well as publish annual reports and other company information for their customers, stockholders and potential investors on the Web. Much of the quality information you can purchase, such as online newspapers or journals, comes from sites with a .com domain.


There are many other domains; some of these include:

  • .mil (military)
  • .pro (certified professionals)
  • .name (individuals)
  • .biz (businesses)
Chapter 6 — Page 5