Internationalized Domain Names or IDN system allows you to use domain names in your language. These domains are available in character sets other than ASCII like Arabic, Chinese or Bangla, etc. What does that mean to us for people who want to buy their domains for websites? Well, the answer is easy; now we can buy our domain with our own languages, like Bangla speaking people can now buy domain names like Http://বাংলাদেশ.icom
I think you can now understand the concept of internationalized domain names. In a nutshell, these domain names are in your native language to make your website visitors understand your website more. It also gives people a homely feeling. You can easily think about people who don’t understand English. With internationalized domain names they can easily read the domain names just by viewing the names.
International Domain Extensions: How IDN Helps Your Website Visitors?
More than 70% of the people who use the internet are non-English speakers. Some people don’t even understand English at all. So just considering this fact you should understand the importance of IDN domain names. IDN domain names can easily impact the visitor counts of your website. How? Well, let me give you some real benefits of IDN domains.
- IDN Domains gives your website a native feeling
- IDNs help to enhance linguistic diversity
- IDN domains help non-English speaking viewers an exceptionally simple way to interact with the website.
- IDN domains are accurate predictors of the language of web content.
Internationalized Domain Names: IDN Examples
- .укр (Ukraine)
- .ею (Europe)
- .香港 (Hongkong)
- .சிங்கப்பூர் (Singapore)
- .мкд (Macedonia) etc.
Please understand that not all registers support all IDN extensions & languages. Like Dynadot (a popular domain registrar) supports :
.com: Afrikaans, Chinese, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Macedonian, Moldavian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian
So if you are looking for the IDN domain for your website then don’t forget to talk to the support center of the domain registrar before you make a purchase. I personally prefer Namecheap.
Internationalized Domain Names: Types & Comparisons
There are actually two types to IDN Domains.
- IDN.xx (Partial)
- IDN.IDN (Full)
In Partial IDN, the domain name is a native character but the ending is Latin based character. On the other hand in a Full IDN, the domain and its ending both are native characters. You may be thinking about the comparison and benefits over each other. For your perusal, allow me to state some of the benefits and problems of both IDNs.
- Ease of usage: As a partial IDN has the ending in Latin based character, you have to change the keyboard layout for typing the ending of a domain. On the other hand in the case of a Full, both the characters before the dot and after the dot are in the native language. So you don’t have to change the keyboard layout to type, which makes it easy to use.
- Beauty: Full IDNs look better than Partial IDNs as for Full IDN both sides of the dot are in the same native language. On the other hand, Partial IDSs don’t have this beauty and it somehow loses some of the IDN benefits as you have to change the keyboard layout to type it.
International Domain Names: Problems and Challenges
- IDN’s are relatively easy to fake through punicodes. If you are not familiar with the term “punicodes(odd-looking combination of ASCII characters)”, I would like to suggest you to google it. Especially if you want to buy IDNs.
- IDNs are sometimes vulnerable to spoofing attacks and a very common one is IDN homograph attack. If you want to know more about this attack then please read this Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDN_homograph_attack
- Some people have a mindset that promoting an IDN address may conflict with existing efforts to promote the Latin-based addresses.
- Though some top social media support IDNs, not all of them recognize IDNs till now.
IDN (International Domain Names) Registrars
So if have already read this long article and know the pros and cons of IDNs and want to purchase an IDN domain, then there is a piece of good news for you. Most of the top domain registrars support IDN domains and different languages, like – GoDaddy, Namecheap, Dynadot, Name, I&1 Ionos, etc.
Please understand that each registrar have their own policies for IDN domains and those policies help to prevent the vulnerabilities of IDN domains. So it’s better to talk to the support team about policies before you make a purchase. Also, make sure before purchasing that you have the necessary technical know-how for implementing IDNs. I would highly recommend you to consult with your system admin if you want to use your own server for hosting and also with your developer for website issues. If you want to go with hosting service provider then you can always go for managed hosting as it will make your life a lot easier. For most of us, the second option is easier as we don’t have to worry about server end issues.