Answered By: Jennifer Harris Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015 Views: 39
The domain is the end-part of the web site address. Most U.S.-based web sites use the following domains: .com, .org, .edu, and .gov. When evaluating websites, it's important to pay attention to the domain--this can provide valuable information about what the website may be used for, what information is available on the website, and how reliable it may be.
For example: compare Weather.com with Weather.gov. Both happen to be trusted web sites with good information. Weather.com is from the popular and well-known Weather Channel, while Weather.gov is from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a government agency.
The following is a description of the most popular Internet domains:
|DOMAIN EXTENSION||EXAMPLE||MOST COMMONLY USED FOR||TYPE OF INFORMATION AVAILBLE||RELIABILITY|
|.com||CNN: http://www.cnn.com/||commercial entity, business, or anything else||Could be anything (this is a non-restrictive domain); many media outlets end in .com||Low - Needs thorough evaluation|
|.org||American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/||organization, non-profit, or anything else||Could be anything (this is a non-restrictive domain); professional and medical organizations often use this domain||Low - Needs thorough evaluation|
|.edu||Southern New Hampshire University: http://www.snhu.edu/||educational institutions||Information about the institution, content created by professionals working at the institution (be careful - some institutions allow non-experts to develop content for their websites)||Medium - Needs evaluation|
|.gov||U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/||Government agency or department||Local, City, State, & Federal information (information on these domains are regulated and require certification to be used)||High - Needs some evaluation|
For more information about domain extensions check out IANA: Root Zone Database and the video below.
Click here for more information about evaluation websites and other sources.
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