.pt is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Portugal and is managed by Associação DNS.PT. It has the following second-level domains:
- .com.pt: no restrictions; online registration
- .edu.pt: education
- .gov.pt: Government of Portugal
- .int.pt: international organizations or diplomatic missions in Portugal
- .net.pt: telecommunications providers
- .nome.pt: individuals (nome is Portuguese for name)
- .org.pt: Non-profit organizations
- .publ.pt: publications (e.g. newspapers)
As from the 1 May 2012 Registration directly at second-level is available, without restrictions. On the first week there was a 28.984 new domains register under the .pt
Since July 1, 2005, some characters with diacritics have been supported in domain names ( IDN). Currently permitted characters: à, á, â, ã, ç, é, ê, í, ó, ô, õ, ú. These are the only accentuated characters used in Portuguese words.
Apart from .gov.pt, Portuguese subdomains were slow to catch on, because many people had already registered under .pt when the new ones became available. Many companies, colleges and people still prefer to use a .pt because these are harder to get (the chance of getting a spam link is very low) and simpler to remember. There are also inconsistencies: for example, the website of the Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is not www.mne.gov.pt, but www.min-nestrangeiros.pt. However, the .com.pt subdomain is being heavily promoted by the registry, and now has a large number of registrations and active Web sites. Others such as .nome.pt for individuals are still very uncommon.
In the early years, FCCN tried to keep control of the .pt domain using very stringent rules, which were adjusted a number of times. The precedent set by domains which were already registered but which would not be able to be registered under updated rules led to lawyers requesting the registry of any domain based on the principle of equal treatment. When the situation was out of control, FCCN tried to promote subdomains like com.pt. Nevertheless, since the registration directly under .pt was still available, users tended to prefer these.
It is estimated that the .pt suffix comprises a little less than 10% of all the Portuguese-language internet.
As of 3 August 2008, of the about 910 million pages google lists as being written in Portuguese (value obtained by adding [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=-site%3A.com&btnG=Search&lr=lang_pt this] to this), the .pt domain comprehends more than 83 million pages, to which should be added 7 million more, which Google reports to be written in other languages (see the total of pt pages [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3A.pt&btnG=Search&lr= here]). It is the third most popular Portuguese-language suffix, after .br and .com, and ahead of .net, .org and .info, all above 10 million pages.