How Well Do You Know Your Country Codes?

I’ve been in the domain industry now for nineteen years but the last six have been spent primarily focused on country-code Top Level Domain Names. When I worked at 101domain, that was our primary business. We helped brands around the world to protect their valuable intellectual property by defensively reserving their brand names in ccTLDs from around the world. It’s a specialized and difficult task to register domain names all around the world but 101domain was (is still) good at helping brands to do so.

Now, at Afilias, we help many ccTLDs to reach out to global audiences. It’s the opposite side of the equation. Many country-code registries still use antiquated and obscure methods to offer and maintain their ccTLD databases (aka “registries”). They also, often have special rules that must be complied with. This makes it tough for mainstream registrars to do business with them. Registrars like Godaddy and Namecheap offer domain names to the public but often overlook ccTLDs because they don’t have time to build the special systems needed to connect.

Afilias offers registries a high quality, inexpensive way to connect to registrars and open up the global markets to their ccTLDs because we use standard connection protocols and business rules. Most large registrars are already doing business with us so adding ccTLDs becomes a simple check-the-box and market the domain exercise for them.

Working with ccTLD registry operators has been challenging – but also a lot of fun. I’ve met hundreds of people from every culture and country imaginable. I’ve also learned a lot about country codes.

I recently developed a free ccTLD training tool using Brainscape and wanted to share it with you here. It’s a simple flashcard learning system that allows you to monitor and improve your progress. It’s also a game worth playing if you are in the industry or have employees in the industry. It’s a lot of fun to compete with it.

There are two exercise sets:

  1. Do You Know Your Country-Code Top Level Domains?
  2. Have You Mastered Your Domain(s)?

The first one is focused primarily on the ISO 3166 2-character country codes. The second one is more geared to learning about domain names around the world and includes new a few generic TLD questions. Test your skills and learn. I hope you will enjoy them. Just click on the image below to play and to learn.

Note: You will need to set up a free account there to play (but it’s worth it).

Learn your country codes.

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Marketing Resources

There are no secrets

Look great on the Internet:

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ICANN Puerto Rico Infographic

ICANN’s meeting in Puerto Rico was really well attended.  There are still many problems down there related to Hurricane Maria, but there was very little degradation of services that I could see while I was there.   This is not because it didn’t exist, but because they people of Puerto Rico worked very hard to make it not noticeable to us.  I was very impressed with Puerto Rico and would love to vacation there some day.

In the mean time I wanted to share this interesting infographic on the meetings held there.ICANN Puerto Rico Infographic

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Afilias selected to Provide Registry Services for .PR ccTLD

San Juan, Puerto Rico – Dublin, Ireland – January 08 2018 – Gauss Research Laboratories, the .PR ccTLD manager, is pleased to announce that it has selected Afilias, a leading domain registry operator, to provide technical services to support Puerto Rico’s country code top level domain (ccTLD) on the Internet, .PR.

Headquartered in San Juan, Gauss Research Laboratories manages the top-level domain .PR with a goal of providing a solid registry that provides Puerto Ricans with accessible services and tools that can aid in the development of a reliable IT community throughout the island.

The technical transition was completed on January 7, 2018, and the TLD is now running on a world class technical platform under industry standard policies. Interested registrants should contact their favorite registrar to select their name; interested registrars should contact [email protected]

.PR is unrestricted, so it’s a natural address for Public Relations agencies and practitioners worldwide. Of course, it’s also great for those doing business in Puerto Rico.

Oscar Moreno de Ayala, President of Puerto Rico Top Level Domain (PRTLD) explains: “The internet operating environment for ccTLDs is increasingly complex and hostile, prompting us to upgrade our technology to better protect our domain owners. A careful analysis led us to Afilias.”

Pablo Rodríguez, Executive Vice President of PRTLD added: “We are pleased to be working with Afilias, a recognized leader in registry technology. Afilias will help us both enhance the security and reliability of the registry and expand distribution and sales worldwide.”

“Afilias is proud to be selected to provide technical services in support of the .PR TLD. Our technology will strengthen .PR to make it less susceptible to natural disasters, more reliable and secure, and more broadly available across the thousand registrars serviced by Afilias. We are looking forward to working with Oscar, Pablo and the entire dotPR team to help .PR reach its full potential,” said Roland LaPlante, chief marketing officer of Afilias.

About Afilias

Afilias is the world’s second largest domain registry, with millions of domain names under management. Afilias powers a wide variety of top-level domains, including TLDs for countries, cities, brands, communities and generic terms. Afilias’ specialized technology makes Internet addresses more accessible and useful through a broad range of applications, including Internet domain registry services, managed DNS, and mobile Web services. For more information on Afilias services, visit


PRTLD is a Puerto Rican company with almost 30 years-experience pioneering the presence of Puerto Rico on the Internet. The .pr registry has been operating since 1989, when founder, Dr. Oscar Moreno de Ayala, embarked on the responsibility of managing and building .PR from its beginning. PRTLD is the only organization authorized worldwide to administer the country code that represents Puerto Rico “.pr” and its people on the Internet. For more information on PRTLD, visit Twitter PuntoPR

Posted in ccTLDs, Country Code People, Domain Name News, Domain Names, Registrars, Registries | Comments Off on Afilias selected to Provide Registry Services for .PR ccTLD