Sentinel: Your Web-Performance Watchman

Upside down domains—registering an international domain name

Written by on CSS Wizardry.

Table of Contents
  1. I just want one!
  2. I want details!
  3. Why would I need this?
    1. Which leads me on to…
    2. Registering your domain

Earlier today I registered the domain http://ʎɹɹɐɥ.com. Or did I? Upon reading an article by Sam Brown, which in turn linked to an article by John Sutherland explaining how to register such domains, I wanted one. There are a few levels to this trickery. There’s the ‘Oh I totally understand how this works!’, or there’s the ‘I don’t want to know how it works, I just want it!’ level.

I just want one!

Okay, I didn’t actually register http://ʎɹɹɐɥ.com/, I registered what you might call its alias: So, by that token, you find the upside down version of your domain (mine being harry) via this upside down letter converter, paste the result (mine being ʎɹɹɐɥ) into this IDN converter and add whatever domain extension (mine being .com) to the resulting string (mine being xn--jna6b0ca7h). You then register the outcome, and you can access it via the upside down version! http://ʎɹɹɐɥ.com/ is just an alias of in a sense…

If you view the source of this page you’ll see the markup actually links to http://ʎɹɹɐɥ.com/ but resolves to in the status bar when you hover it.

I want details!

If you want to actually understand the technicalities behind it, you ought to read the two articles linked previously.

Why would I need this?

You don’t, but it is cool, right? Although, you could use it as a pretty nifty short-URL for your blog on Twitter like Daring Fireball’s awesome http://? one.

Which leads me on to…

You don’t have to have an upside down domain, you can use glyphs in there too. Grab some glyphs from CopyPasteCharacter and pop those into the converter too.

Registering your domain

This is not a plug…

I’ve heard reports of people being asked about languages for the IDNs from their registrar of choice. I went with Heart Internet and registered no trouble, just as if it was a regular domain.

Be sure to comment it you buy/have bought one yourself.

Did this help? We can do way more!

Hi there, I’m Harry Roberts. I am an award-winning Consultant Web Performance Engineer, designer, developer, writer, and speaker from the UK. I write, Tweet, speak, and share code about measuring and improving site-speed. You should hire me.

You can now find me on Mastodon.

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