It's called Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). Our own .TT extension can only be obtained from our local registrar which has the sole authority for our country extension in Trinidad & Tobago.
Domains with '.tt' extensions are not very common as Trinis naturally gravitate to the ubiquitous '.com' because it's the accepted standard. The local extension is also more expensive, but there are advantages to having one.
The Trinidad and Tobago Network Information Centre (TTNIC) manages the registration of domain names within the TT (Trinidad and Tobago) Top Level Domain.
I’ve observed that few clients ever entertain the notion of website with a .tt extension, so much so it’s almost like it doesn’t even exist. The only time they’ll use the ‘tt’ is to slap it on a .com domain when the name they want is already taken and voilà they have a localized domain!
There are many advantages of using our local extension, but it all boils down to your website objectives and your preferences.
Personally, I’ve never entertained the notion myself for Forward Multimedia as I don’t see it giving me any competitive advantage at this time, which is the only reason why I’ll recommend it to my clients.
The only time Trinis use the ‘tt’ is to slap it on a .com domain when their name is already taken and voilà they have a localized domain!
It’s a fact that search engines differentiate between country code top level domains (ccTLDs) and generic top level domain names (gTLDs). Generally, I recommend a .tt domain to client when I see their site giving out a ‘national’ vibe, i.e. when I think it would helpful to its branding.
Using .TT for branding for local and international visitors
I think our local extension would be very helpful for websites that need to project a distinct Trinidad & Tobago persona, for example tourism sites or sites that have a national appeal like organizations, associations, schools and non-profits. People would normally expect that these sites would be .tt, and perhaps have more confidence in them because of the impression that the site is really speaking to them.
Examples of sites I did like these are:
- DARTT.ORG.TT– Dementia Awareness & Research of Trinidad & Tobago. Visit site
- TTAM.ORG.TT– Trinidad & Tobago Alliance of Museums (in development)
- KRAVE.TT– Krave Restaurant. Top level domain (in development)
Using .TT for a creative 'Domain Hack'
It’s probably the first time you’re seeing the term ‘domain hack’, I’m sure. It’s where you use the extension as the ending part of your domain name. And you probably don’t know this but the founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg has done such a hack for his personal website some time ago in 2008 www.ma.tt. YES OUR .TT EXTENSION!
Of course you’ll have to get creative as not many words end in TT.
Using .TT for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) edge
Search engines call it ‘geotargeting’ and Google says “Use of a ccTLD is generally a strong signal for users since it explicitly specifies a single country in an unmistakable way.”. This also means that it will rank higher in Google’s country-based result, namely Google.tt— in theory, because the .tt extension is but one factor considered when calculating your site’s final ranking.
This means a high rank is not a foregone conclusion nor automatic by simply having .tt, i.e., you still have to do the work… BUT any edge is still helpful, especially in competitive industries.
Fortunately, there isn’t much competition in the short term, but in the long term there’ll definitely be. And if you’re thinking long term, there’s no time like the present.
Did you know that third level .EDU.TT domains are free?
Local and registered educational institutions can take advantage of free domain registrations (ending .edu.tt) AND free hosting compliments TTNIC.
Regular companies pay for registration for Second Level Domains (e.g., a.tt and companyname.tt) and Third Level Domains under co.tt, com.tt, org.tt, net.tt, biz.tt, pro.tt, info.tt, and name.tt.
My experiences with TTNIC
I’m happy to report that I’m satisfied with my interactions with TTNIC. I’ve dealt with the CEO, Patrick Hosein and he has been very professional and helpful, and he resolved issues very quickly.
The site is pretty utilitarian but gets the job done, it’s intuitive and easy to navigate. Most likely you’ll still need guidance in filling out the forms as it requires knowing your nameservers and IP addresses, but if you’re going through me, I’ll handle all that for you.
Pricing for .TT Domains
Prices may seem high when compared head to head with a .com domain. I’m sure TTNIC’s pricing methodology came up with what they believe is an optimal cost structure. It all depends on your budget and how much you are willing to pay, and that’s your call. See the full price list on their website.
Is a .TT domain right for you?
There’s only one way to answer that, ASK YOUR FORWARD MULTIMEDIA…