If you are just entering the domain name industry, it is important for you to know how to differentiate between a domain name registrar and registry. The two terms look alike but definitely have different applications on the internet. Even though you are going to have a relationship with one of them, knowing about the two terms will boost your knowledge of the industry and position you to deal with it effectively.
A domain name registry is an organization that is responsible for managing the registration of a particular top-level domain (e.g. .com, .net, .biz, etc.). It is also responsible for controlling the policies of domain allocation and carries out the technical operation of its domain(s). Some registries on the internet are Verisign, which manages .com and .net, NeuStar, which manages .biz, Public Interest Registry (PIR), which manages .org and so on.
Others include Rightside, which manages .ninja - one of the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) -, Vox Populi, which manages .sucks, Donuts, which is perhaps the biggest registry in the world, as it manages gTLDs like .domains, .coffee, .florist, .photography, .fitness, .game, .pizza, just to mention a few. It is important to note here that gTLD registries are allocated to organizations by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a body saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the internet's domain name system.
On the other hand, a domain name registrar is an organization that is responsible for managing the reservation of gTLDs on the World Wide Web. A registrar must be accredited by registries as well as ICANN before starting operations. You will definitely come across registrars when you want to register domains and they carry out their operations in line with the guidelines of the registries they are dealing with, which most of the time may not be the same. For example, the guidelines for registering a .com domain will be different from that of .bank. GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world and other big names in the industry include eNom, Tucows, Namejet, Moniker, Melbourne IT, Dotster, Network Solutions, just to mention a few.
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