What is a .to Domain?
The .to domain is a country code top-level domain, also known as a ccTLD, for the small island country of Tonga. Located in the southern Pacific ocean, the country has a population of just over 100,000 people. While it was originally introduced for local companies and individuals back in 1995, the government of Tonga offers the domain to entities around the world.
The unique domain extension has become increasingly popular with a wide variety of businesses because of its versatility. Similar to the .io domain, it’s becoming increasingly popular with tech start-ups. The two-letter extension is easy to remember and can be used to create innovative phrases. The domain hack possibilities are endless. As a result, the .to domain is not limited to a certain type of business or entity. Instead, it can be used to creatively market a brand and establish a strong internet presence that’s memorable.
Why Choose a .to Domain Extension?
One of the biggest reasons you may want to choose a .to domain extension is that it helps your online business or organization stand out. Traditional .com, .net, and .org extensions are very common. Everyone uses them. You can make your website stand out in the eyes of potential clients or customers. A simple .to domain extension is something that people will remember.
You can up the ante even further with a domain hack. Words or small phrases ending in “to” can be used.
For example, if you own a travel company, you can use something like travel.to or journey.to.
The domain extension can also be used to break up single words. Some examples would include:
“vibra.to” A website for a freelance singing coach maybe.
“stille.to” Online shoe store for women.
“burri.to” Website for a Mexican restaurant or even au.to.
These are a just a few ideas that could make a huge difference in how you’re website is viewed. The extension is versatile enough to get creative and use your website name as a marketing tool.
If you already have an established website, .to domain extension can also be used for URL shortening or redirection. Using the word “to” as a preposition already indicates that the URL will take the user to another page, so why not use it to your advantage?
Finally, many businesses use the extension to show internet users where the company operates or where branches are located. For example, if you serve the Toronto area, a web URL ending in .to is ideal. It makes your brand look professional, shows that you’re dedicated to your local customers, and provides a name that’s easy to remember.
.to Domain Restrictions
While many other domains have restrictions of who can use it, there’s nothing to worry about with a .to domain. It’s open to any interested party. TONIC, the official registry in Tonga, doesn’t even require documentation from potential applications.
With that being said, there are some guidelines when it comes to the actual domain name. Many of the guidelines are applicable to other domains as well. Domains cannot use special characters other than a hyphen. If a hyphen is used, it cannot be the first or last character in the name. Domain names must also contain a minimum of two characters. The most characters you can use in a single domain name is 62.
There are a couple of other things to note about .to registration. First, the domain must be registered for at least two years. The longest it can be approved for is 10 years. Another thing to note is that the .to domain extension doesn’t have a WHOIS database. While registrants can sometimes be found on the TONIC registry, the lack of a WHOIS database can make it a bit more difficult for people to find information about who owns a particular domain.
Where Can You Buy a .to Domain Name?
There are a handful of good domain name registrars that offer .to domains. The extension is growing in popularity, so it’s likely that more registrars will offer it in the future.
Namecheap only recently began offering the country code top-level domain. Currently, you can purchase the .to domain for $39.88 per year. Tonga also has an official registry office for the domain, known as TONIC.