What is a domain name?

A domain name is a unique alphanumeric identifier linked to an entity whose computer equipment is connected to the Internet. The system is hierarchical, allowing the definition of sub-domain (s) of a parent domain. A domain name consists of at least two parts, separated by a point:

  • The 1st part is the name (e.g. «domainname”)

The domain name can contain letters combined, where appropriate with numbers from 0 to 9 or a hyphen “-” (except at the beginning or at the end, or in the 3rd or 4th position (Ex: -exemple.ma, exemple-.ma, ex–emple.ma).

  • The 2nd part is the extension (e.g.”.ma”)

A domain name can be registered in two types of extension (suffix), managed by ICANN:
- Generic extensions, also called gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain), consisting of three letters or more [.com, .net, .org, info, etc.].
-National extensions or ccTLD (Country Code), consisting of two letters identifying a country [ma (Morocco), fr (France), gr (Greece), de (Germany), tn (Tunisia), etc.].

Each domain has a corresponding IP address and vice versa. This correspondence is provided by the DNS (Domain Name System).

A domain name can be used in :

  • The address of a website (e.g. www. domainname.ma)
  • An e-mail (e.g. contact@domainname.ma).

Why a “.ma” domain name?

The “.ma” domain is an Internet top-level domain that identifies the Internet space for the Kingdom of Morocco. Registration and the use of the “.ma” domain names are subject to clear rules in order to protect the rights of third parties.

The “.ma” is an identity point. Choosing and registering your domain name under this extension affirms that you belong to the Moroccan Internet community.

Stakeholders in the management of “.ma” domain names

Stakeholders in the administrative and technical management process of the “.ma” domain names are:

  • The Registry: Centralized system for the management of all the operations and information relating to the “.ma” domain names.
  • The registrars that are the intermediaries between the registry and the applicants or registrants of domain names. They are registered with ANRT for the commercialization of “.ma” domain names.
  • The registrants of domain names represented by those who made the registration and use a “.ma” domain name.

In some cases, the applicant of the domain name may entrust the registration of his/her domain name to a technical operator, including his/her hosting registrar. The applicant must ensure that the domain name is registered in his/her name, as Registrant of the domain name, and not in the name of the technical operator that often provides the interface with the Registrar.

Syntactic constraints of a “.ma” domain name

You can register a “.ma” domain name only if it is made up of the following characters:

  • Non-accented letters “a” to “z”. Domain names can be registered in lowercase or uppercase letters;
  • The following accented letters: à, â, ç, è, é, ê, ë, î, ï, ô, ù, û, ü, ÿ;
  • The numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9;
  • The hyphen, except in the 3rd and 4th position (e.g. ex-ample).

You cannot register a “.ma” domain name in the following cases:

  • It consists of a single character;
  • It is made up of more than 63 characters;
  • It begins or ends with a hyphen (-);
  • It has a space.
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