How to Register a Domain Name using Special Characters

InMotion Hosting provides the service to register domains in addition to hosting your website. You can register .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info top-level domains (TLDs), but the domains can only be registered using the English alphabet. So, how do you register domains that include special accent or diacritical marks? The answer is to use something called Punycode. This article will walk you through converting your domain name into Punycode so that your viewers can use domain names with special characters.

Of note, InMotion Hosting cannot register international or Punycode domains. If you need a domain with a special character, register the domain with another registrar then point the domain to the English version — which can be hosted with InMotion Hosting.

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What is Punycode?

Punycode encodes an international set of characters to use Unicode characters to ASCII. In general, Punycode is used to encode international domain names. Here’s an example of an international domain name with a simple tilde:

International domain name: seƱorita.com
Punycode version of the domain name: xn--seorita-5za.com

How to Convert your Domain Name into Punycode

You can use the information provided on the Unicode.org website to understand how Punycode works. However, the easiest way to convert an internationalized domain name (IDN) is to simply find an online converter. You can see an example of this site at www.punycoder.com.

You simply need to copy the internationalized domain name into the appropriate field, then click on the convert button. Once you have the Punycode for the domain, then you can register the domain name with your registrar of choice. Once the domain is registered, you will be able to use the internationalized version of the domain.

Keep in mind that if you use an internationlized version of a domain, then it may present difficulties for English-based users to type in the correct domain name. You may want to keep an English version of the name registered and simply redirect to the international name.

For more information, please see our articles on Domain Names.

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Arnel Custodio Content Writer I

As a writer for InMotion Hosting, Arnel has always aimed to share helpful information and provide knowledge that will help solve problems and aid in achieving goals. He's also been active with WordPress local community groups and events since 2004.

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