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.