What is an Internationalized Domain Name?

Previously, domain names were registered and accessed only in a subset of ASCII characters that includes the 26 English letters (case-insensitive), ten decimal digits (“0” to “9”) and the hyphen (-). This limitation was largely due to the historical origin of the internet in the United States.

As the scope of the internet became increasingly international and accessed by people who speak a variety of different languages other than English, the DNS system took the decision to incorporate new characters and languages. The Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) were then introduced to display characters from foreign languages and alphabets.

How do the Internationalized Domain Names work?

When an IDN is entered into a web browser, the native characters are translated using the “Punycode” conversion method into strings that can be understood by the internet. Punycode is the standard for conversion of IDNs from their native character sets into an ASCII string.

Thus, although the end user is able to enter and see the native characters in their browser, the string is actually being converted so that the domain points to the correct location.

Overall, the benefits of Internationalized Domain Names are clear: 

  • As the vast majority of internet users do not speak English, many will benefit from the ability to enter domain names that consist entirely of native character sets, and it will likely result in a more positive overall web experience for these users.
  • Both gTLD and ccTLD internationalized top level domains will enable corporations to effectively penetrate existing markets and reach new ones.
  • Companies selling products or services worldwide may want to register an IDN that accurately represents their products and services. In fact, we recommend that anyone with international clientele should consider getting Internationalized Domain Names.
  • Corporations will also be able to target their prospects in various geographic regions across the world more effectively, while portraying a sense of cultural and nationalistic pride.

For more information on Internationalized Domain Names, please visit our website or contact our support team for additional help.

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