What is a third-level domain?

A domain name has at least two parts, the top-level domain (.com, .org, .edu, .design), and the second-level (amazon, google, craigslist).  In the example Amazon.com, “Amazon” is the second-level and .com is the top level.

Second Level Domain Example

What the heck is a third level then?

Well, when you add another qualifier to the left of the second-level, that is the third level. For example, many website builder sites like Weebly offer free third level names. So I might get Andrew.weebly.com just to try out their service or because I want to build a site affordably.
Porkbun, in conjunction with Weebly, also offers free third level domains via its various .design sites. We operate graphic.design, web.design, interior.design, fashion.design, architecture.design, and industrial.design.
Third Level Domain Example
So, while I could purchase amazing second-level names, like Andrew.design, I might also consider andrew.graphic.design or andrew.web.design, etc., which are all available on those respective sites. Whoever owns the second-level (graphic.design) is able to control all levels to the left (andrew.graphic.design), which explains why we are able to offer third level names. These free third-level names have less functionality, cannot support email, and are inherently longer, but they are a good way to test out a site and are especially appealing as a stepping stone for folks as they start a new project.


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