Yes, dear reader, we know that DotCom (or even .com) is big in your world, but canny European businesses — and individuals, too — know that small is beautiful. And you don’t have to go all the way to Tuvalu, the island territory in Polynesia, in order to pick up a head-turning e-mail address. Though .tv (for Tuvalu) is still the prime choice for television companies.
The virtual world
Europe has its own array of desirable residences in the virtual world. Canny Moldova has the suffix .md which is becoming a top choice for medics around the globe — many of whom may not have the slightest idea where Moldova actually is.
Oddly, US servicemen don’t seem to have latched on to the potential of the .gi suffix in Gibraltar.
There are some nice examples of geographical opportunism. Belgium’s .be suffix is emerging as a popular choice for businesses based in the Swiss capital Berne. And individuals in Galicia who feel that their province in Spain deserves a little more independence from Madrid feel themselves drawn to Greenland, where the .gl suffix panders nicely to Galician secessionists.
Some countries are a little sniffy about allowing use of their domains by non-nationals. So not even the longest litanies of pleading will give you access to the rare .va suffix. Use of that is strictly limited to those with a close association with the Holy See. (And “close association” means more than merely owning a rosary.)
Other small territories impose restrictions. Albania (.al) and Andorra (.ad) issue their domain names only to citizens and to companies with a tangible connection with the country.
But here are half a dozen plum choices associated with some small countries that do allow ordinary mortals like you and me to buy their domains:
.fo Faroe Islands
.im Isle of Man