Written by Harry Roberts on CSS Wizardry.
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.
Okay, I didn’t actually register
http://ʎɹɹɐɥ.com/, I registered what you might call its alias:
http://xn--jna6b0ca7h.com. 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
http://xn--jna6b0ca7h.com/ 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
http://xn--jna6b0ca7h.com/ in the status bar when you hover it.
If you want to actually understand the technicalities behind it, you ought to read the two articles linked previously.
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://?df.ws one.
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.
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
http://xn--jna6b0ca7h.com/ no trouble, just as if it was a regular domain.
Be sure to comment it you buy/have bought one yourself.
Hi there, I’m Harry. 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.
I am available for hire to consult, advise, and develop with passionate product teams across the globe.
I specialise in large, product-based projects where performance, scalability, and maintainability are paramount.