IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

What Does the Top-Level Domain Say About Content?

A deeper look at three Biggies

Organizations (.org)

Many people feel warm and fuzzy about sites that end with .org. They think, "it's an organization, so it must be OK, right?" But as you learned on the previous page, anyone can register a web site and use .org. Want to set up a site about your cat? is available as a domain name, so is, and (Explore more about domain names at Network Solutions or

Educational Institutions (.edu)

Students also tend to trust sites ending with .edu. Afterall, educational sites are where you can go to find out information about an institution, classes, policies, and services, as well as pages from professors publishing course information, research, and more.

It's true that only educational institutions can have a URL using .edu as a top-level domain. But many educational institutions also provide web space for students to publish course work and projects. Maybe that student got an A on the project, maybe they failed. How would you know?

Government Sites (.gov)

Because the .gov top-level domain is restricted to government agencies, these sites provide a measure of protection from malicious coding, and also (in many cases) provide information that has been reviewed by at least one other person.

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