30 years ago this week the first dot com domain name was registered. Symbolics.com, was purchased by a now defunct computer company from massachusetts, who acquired the domain on March 15th 1985 using a process that was at that time administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The company, Symbolics Inc, was most well known for creating a computer programming language called LISP. After filing for bankruptcy in 1993 and becoming a public company for a short period, it is now privately held and is hosted at the domain www.symbolics-dks.com.

The original domain is still alive today though. In 2009 it was sold to XF.com, a small Texan investment group, and the site now offers interesting facts pertaining to business and the internet. Thousand of people still visit the website daily, mostly curious web browsers who happened to hear that it was the first dot com to ever be registered.

Fun Fact: The computer company Symbolics Inc. is mentioned in the movie ‘Jurassic Park’.

Only six dot com domains were registered in 1985, this was probably due to the fact that this was four years before the world wide web existed as we know it. Before the process of registering a domain name, the “internet” and indeed email, was already in existence. What the registering process did was to provide a common name for everyone to visit your site, so that you didn’t have to use the IP address directly. Thanks to the World Wide Web, we were now using DNS (Domain Name Servers).

1985 was also the year that Steve Jobs left Apple, Madonna released ‘Material Girl’ and the year that the movie of an entire generation – ‘Back to the Future’ – was released. By 1987, only 100 dot com domains had been registered, though these included some big brands such as Adobe.com and Apple.com.

It wasn’t until the 1990’s that things started heating up. In 1994 the Today Show asked “What is the Internet, Anyway?

The internet was clearly still in it’s infancy during this era, and as with most things, it takes time for trust to build in a consumer based market. Both amazon.com and google.com were registered approximately 12 years after the first dot com domain  in 1997.


There are now over 117 million dot com domains on record, that number is up 90 million in the last 5 years, and it just keeps on growing!

Fun Fact: According to Verisign, there is a new dot com domain registered every minute.

Dot com domains are preferred choice for global companies whilst .co.uk is the standard TLD (Top Level Domain) for UK based business. It is recommended that when purchasing a domain name you obtain both the .com and .co.uk versions then redirect the secondary to the primary.