Top level domains, known in the geek world as TLD's are the domain endings, typically .com, .net, etc. Here is a brief breakdown of what these names are meant for.
- com - originally meant for commericial organizations, this is by far the most commonly used TLD in the English speaking world. In most modern browsers, you can type in the subdomain name (for example, 'purewebmedia') and leave the TLD out and it will be assumed to be .com. A .com TLD can be bought for $10/yr on average.
- edu - used for educational institutions, such as universities, colleges, etc.
- org - meant for noncommercial, nonprofit organizations.
- gov - reserved for government departments or entities.
- net - known as the second choice to the .com TLD, .net was initially used by companies associated with internet-related businesses such as ISPs. Most modern browsers will use this as a second default to .com when no ending is added to a subdomain
- biz - meant for websites that represent businesses, such as purewebmedia.biz
- info - used to denote a website that is built primarily as a provider of information
- country names - too many to list, particular countries often have their own TLD, such as .ca for Canada, .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .nl for the Netherlands and .co for Columbia and which recently has been hyped to be the next .com, with people paying hundreds of dollars to secure a .co name. To this author, it is hardly worth it!