homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Domain Names
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks & webwork

Domain Names Forum

IDN Domain name a good idea?
Are IDNs still not widely supported? Should I better not use an IDN?

 3:02 pm on Oct 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi! I am planning a Chinese Version of one of my sites and was looking for a good translated .com domain name, with the topic in Chinese characters. Is that a good idea?

When trying to register, the registration tool returned an error, appearently it can not handle UTF-8 characters. It returns the characters in Ӓ style. I tried the Punycode and got an error again.

I then looked up the domain at a whois website and again got an error. The site also could not handle UTF-8 input.

A search on Google for domains containing Chinese characters returns not one site with a Punycode domain name, only domain names with english words in them.

Are IDNs still not widely supported? Should I better not use an IDN?



 12:40 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are IDNs still not widely supported?

Yes, they are not. The are confusing at best in Western domain use, and are often used as a way to register "look-alike" domains. A check of eBay will find short IDN domain names selling for -$1.00 (US)... if they sell at all.

Should I better not use an IDN?

Yes, you should not.

You may want to go with a Pinyin version of the name, (and secure both the .COM and .CI domains).


 6:23 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your answer. Too bad they are not yet used so much.

I think I'll better go with the Pinyin version as the primary domain, and use the version in Hanzi with a 301 redirect.


 10:52 am on Nov 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are IDNs still not widely supported? Should I better not use an IDN?

You will understand it is going to drastically change in 2009 if you read the latest from ICANN.
You should definitely secure the Chinese domain you want today.

Not sure where you tried to register but you should have no problems here:


 10:47 am on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

You will understand it is going to drastically change in 2009 if you read the latest from ICANN.
You should definitely secure the Chinese domain you want today.

Why? The info on the ICANN site is more a cry for compliance from browser developers to better support multi-lingual and in-turn ccTLD's and IDN's.

I doubt very much it will pressure anyone into doing anything. The example of how "paypal" can be registered in one language to look like Latin is enough of a scare to make anyone want to steer clear of IDN's.

What's next, required installation of language packs for Latin character browsers to interpret Chinese and other non-latin characters? Why? Even if the browser can resolve the chinese characters, "I" can not read or write chinese and would not click a link or enter a url with a Chinese IDN domain...

In fact, without implementing Chinese at the OS level, having the browser be able to resolve the characters in a URL is useless.

For such an "important" issue as ICANN makes it appear, the blog post on their website has exactly (1) reply.. Not much interest I'd say.


Other than giving the registrars (and ICANN) a way to sell more domains in more TLDs, what's the point ?

If China, Russia, etc, want to implemement IDN / DNS translation within their borders for their users, fine -- but tell me how having Kanji and Cyrilic domain names will do anything for the majority of the web?

Air-traffic controllers around the world communicate in English... Why? Because if they needed a translator at every airport for every language someone "wanted to" speak from the flight deck, you would have accidents and/or delays all day... ("Sorry Captain, the Swahili to Portuguese interpreter is in the bathroom, can you hold that flight pattern for another 15 minutes).

No, I'm not saying it needs to be "English", it just needs to be standardized, and since it's been developed as English/Latin for the most part it will probably just stay that way.


 4:38 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you speak Chinese or Russian or Spanish etc. and don't speak or understand English idn.idn opens the world to all of those people in China or wherever to communicate in their own language instead of being forced to use English. Amazing key words and characters are available for pennies right now. If I sell steel and I want to market steel in China the Chinese character for steel with the .cn extenion would be great. When you buy the idn.cn extension you get the idn.idn Chinese on both sides the dot. natural semantic's in native languages all over the world. that's progress. huge opportunity. why shouldn't people be able to utilize the web in their own languages, and marketer's able to market products in native tongues? the web will explode with new ideas and when browser's seamlessly translate it all. huge advances will be made, communities working together, solving bigger problems.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Domain Names
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved