Is Your Website Ready for Internationalized Domain Names?

As Featured On EzineArticles.comWhen the internet just started, the codes are written in alphanumeric characters. Developers before assumed that the domain names will only be using letters, numbers and hyphens. However, the internet grew to be popular around the world and now requires Chinese, Arabic, Greek and other uncommon characters not normally represented. This is when the need of Internationalized Domain Names or IDNs arose.

Internationalized domain names (IDNs) are internet domain names containing at least one label that is being displayed in software applications. It is displayed, whether in whole or in part, in a language script or alphabet. The most language specific scripts are Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin based languages with diacritics. These scripts are encoded specifically by computers in multi byte Unicode. They are stored in the Domain Name System using Puny Code Transcriptions as ASCII strings.

Internationalized domain names (IDNs) help translates a service into more user friendly names for easy location of Internet sources. However, they are technically limited to the use of ASCII characters as a standard for domain names. They are supported by most web applications such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and more.

If you have a Chinese website, an international domain name (IDN) is what you exactly need. This will enable you to have your domain expressed in the Chinese characters. This will help your web site get more site visitors. By registering an IDN, you get two different domains, the English (alphanumeric) version and the Chinese version.

You can register your IDN with your webhost, if available. To register, check with your webhost website for more information or send an email to the sale team for more details. You can choose to register a .com, .org, .net, .biz, .tw, .info and more. One can use the traditional Chinese language characters or the standard Punycode characters instead.

A Punycode is an encoding syntax intended for IDNs in applications. Non-ASCII characters are converted to the ASCII character format. This will allow a reversible identification of the new and original domain. Punycode names for domain will be prefixed with ‘xn’. Both of the domains are represented by the same domain name—sort of like a 2-in-1 deal. You can use either the Chinese language or the Punycode version.

In order for you to view internationalized domains, you will have to adjust your language settings in the Web browser options. If you still cannot see the characters, you’ll have to install a foreign language pack.

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