I never thought that someone would have this question. But I was completely wrong! There are tons of people who don’t know if domain names are case sensitive or not.
So are domain names case sensitive? The ASCII-based domain names are not case sensitive. However, we now have Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), which may seem like they are case sensitive. But in general, the intent of domain names is to be case insensitive.
I know you are scratching your head, so let me explain in plain simple English.
Domain Names That Are Not Case Sensitive
All such domain names that are based on ASCII are not case sensitive and will continue to be so.
So it does not matter whether you type amazon.com, Amazon.com, AmaZon.com, or something else in your browser, you will be taken to Amazon’s website.
This is true for a majority of the domains in the world, even for domains that end with .gov, .edu, .net, .org, etc.
And it makes perfect sense to do so because you don’t want your customers or website visitors to get confused and land on some other website.
If you were to register a domain name for your business, I think you will want your domain name to be case insensitive as well.
Alright, with that out of the way, let me explain a catch in all this.
While the actual domain name is not case sensitive, the complete URL to a specific page on the domain can be case sensitive.
Confused? I know. Let me explain…
Let’s say you have a page called product.htm on your website. So the URL to this page will be https://yourdomain.com/product.htm
This URL is not the same as https://yourdomain.com/PRODUCT.HTM
So if you try to go to the second URL with all capitalized letters, you will get a 404 error (file not found error). This is because there is no page called PRODUCT.HTM on your website.
Now, let’s come back to our original discussion on domain names.
So what’s the deal with case sensitive domain names?
Domain Names That Seem To Be Case Sensitive
Before we discuss case sensitive domain names, keep in mind that the intent of domain names is always to be case insensitive.
Now, in modern DNS, we have something called Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). These domain names can contain language-specific characters, and so they allow Unicode encoding standard. But these domain names are stored in DNS as ASCII strings using Punycode transcription.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand this; it’s just geek talk!
But what you should understand is that IDNs can contain language-specific characters and that can create a problem because it is tricky to define uppercase and lowercase characters in some languages.
So even if the intent of the domain names is to be case insensitive, some Internationalized Domain Names might end up being case sensitive.
If you are just starting out, don’t get confused with all this jargon.
The domain name that you register will in all probability not be case sensitive.
Registering an Internationalized Domain Name isn’t a common practice yet.
If you are yet to register your domain name, then here’s a detailed guide on registering a domain name.
Great! So finally…
Recommended Further Reading: Is DNS Case-Sensitive? (There’s More To It Than Just Case Sensitivity)
The Bottom Line!
Domain names are meant to be case insensitive.
Unless you are registering Internationalized Domain Names, you should not worry about case sensitivity of your domain name at all.
It will not be case sensitive.
I hope you have now got a good understanding of domain name case sensitivity. So if you know someone else who has this same question, then please share this article with them. I will genuinely appreciate it.