trhall chop image Thomas R. Hall Thoughts...

Registering an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)

So I finally got around to registering my Chinese name, 賀立德, as an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN). While Google Domains doesn’t state explicitly that they support them, they do. Other popular registrars like Hover do as well.

Doing this is much easier than one would think. Some registrars support typing in native scripts like 中文 (Chinese), where others require that you convert to Punycode when searching for domains to register. Punycode is an ASCII representation of native scripts, which is how IDNs are stored internally. Try searching first using the native script. If that does not work, then convert to Punycode first and then search.

Searching for IDNs

Searching for an IDN on Google Domains

Google Domains, for example, allows direct entry in a native script. In this example, I searched in traditional Chinese, and Google found the domain name.

Searching for an IDN on Hover

Hover, on the other hand, failed when searching in a native script. So, I converted the domain to Punycode and then the search succeeded.

Converting to Punycode

How did I convert to Punycode? Simple. I used Punycoder. Punycoder allows you to enter text and it converts to Punycode. Simply copy the resulting Punycode and use it!

Converting to Punycode using Punycoder

Success!

Now that I’ve successfully registered my IDN via Google Domains, I am able to type in my IDN URL and visit my domain. I registered both the Traditional (賀立德) and Simplified (贺立德) Chinese versions of my name.