Internationalised domain names (IDNs) speak to global market
Want to connect with international customers in their own language? Establish a web address that’s easier to remember? Build a stronger global brand presence? Well, say hello or 你好 or ਸਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ or even こんにちは to an internationalised domain name (IDN), a domain with special characters that does all of those things!
What’s an IDN?
Imagine you needed to enter foreign language characters like こんにちは into a search engine and how challenging that would be, especially if you were unfamiliar with that language. Domain names made up of a user’s own native language character set – an IDN – gets around this problem.
With Chinese, Arabic, and Japanese among the top ten languages used on the Internet, users everywhere need to be able to access information in their own language.
An IDN makes it possible for an entire web address – left of the dot and right of it too – to appear in local language characters. Benefits include:
A better customer experience
Having to type characters which will essentially amount to gibberish creates a poor user experience for customers whose native language is different from yours.
An easier to remember website address
If users are unfamiliar with the characters in a web address, it’s not very likely they’ll be able to share the address with others, let alone recall it for their own use.
IDNs enable you to use exact words users are likely to type in their own language when using a search engine, making it easier to find and remember you.
How do you register an IDN?
Domain name servers only support the English alphabet (A – Z), digits (0 – 9), and a couple of punctuation marks (dashes, full stops). Due to these limitations, a system called Punycode was created so that non-English characters could also be supported.
Punycode converts non-English characters into code that is readable by DNS. For example, españa.com converted by Punycode creates the domain xn-espaa-rta.com. DNS will have no trouble recognising xn-espaa-rta.com as it does not contain any non-English characters.
See how it works for yourself with this free Punycode converter.
IDNs available at EuroDNS
At EuroDNS, IDNs are available for many domain extensions. Check the Features & Requirements section of the domain extension you are interested in. If it says *IDN Supported, then it is possible to use accented characters and non-Latin scripts when registering your domain.