tldextract.php – Extract TLD, Domain And Subdomains From URLs

tldextract.php is a PHP library that accurately extracts the effective top-level domain name, registered domain and subdomains from a URL. For example, you can use it to get the domain name “google” from “”, or the TLD “” from “”.


$components = tldextract('');
echo $components->tld; // Outputs "".


Most people try to do this by splitting the domain name on ‘.’ and assuming that the last component is the TLD, the next-to-last one is the domain, and so on. This works in theory – by definition, the last label in a domain name is the top-level domain. However, in practice you usually want what is know as the “public suffix” or “effective TLD” – the part of the domain name under which Internet users can directly register names.

For example, consider a URL like “”. In this case, “www” is the sub-domain, “darwinhigh” is the domain registered by the user (Darwin High School), and “” is the domain suffix controlled by the registrar. Splitting on the dot character will give you “au” as the TLD and “edu” as the domain name, which is usually not what you want.

On the other hand, tldextract.php uses the Public Suffix List maintained by Mozilla to see what gTLDsccTLDs and domain suffixes are actually in use, and to find out about any TLD- or country-specific exceptions. So it will give you the right answer.

This library a PHP port of the tldextract Python module.


  1. Download
  2. Unpack the archive and move the tldextractphp directory to your “libraries” (or equivalent) directory.
  3. Add this line to the top of your script:
    require '/path/to/tldextract.php';

tldextract.php requires PHP 5.3 or later. It should work on PHP 5.2 as well, but I have not tested it.


$components = tldextract('');
echo $components->subdomain; // www
echo $components->domain;    // bbc
echo $components->tld;       //

Alternatively, you can also access the domain components using array syntax:

$components = tldextract('');
echo $components['tld']; //

Note that the value returned by tldextract() is not a native PHP array, so most array manipulation functions (e.g. implode()) will not work. Use the toArray() method to get the components as an array:

$components = tldextract('');
// Array ( [subdomain] => www [domain] => bbc [tld] => )

Caching And Advanced Usage

This library will automatically attempt to download the latest TLD list from the Public Suffix List when you first run it. It will then cache that list in /path/to/tldextractphp/.tld_set. The cache stays valid indefinitely, so it won’t download the list again unless you manually delete .tld_set.

To prevent this download or choose a different location for the cache file, you will need to create your own TLDExtract instance. The class constructor takes two optional arguments:

  • $fetch – set to true to enable TLD list download, or false to disable. If disabled, the library will fall back to using the included snapshot (.tld_set_snapshot).
  • $cacheFile – set an alternative file name for the TLD list cache.


//Disable live TLD rule set updates. The library will fall back to
//using the included snapshot.
$extract = new TLDExtract(false);
$components = $extract('');

//Store the TLD cache elsewhere.
$extract = new TLDExtract(true, '/path/to/alternative/cache_file');
$components = $extract('');

ICANN Domains vs. Private Domains

The PSL divides the suffix list into “ICANN” and “PRIVATE” domains. ICANN domains include things like .com, and domains controlled by domain registrars. Private domains include,, and so on. See the “Divisions” section on this page for details.

By default, this library ignores the domains listed in the “PRIVATE” section. It only uses public/ICANN suffixes.

$components = tldextract('');
echo $components->subdomain; // example
echo $components->domain;    // blogspot
echo $components->tld;       // com

To treat private domains as TLDs, set the optional $includePslPrivateDomains parameter to true:

$components = tldextract('', true);
echo $components->subdomain; // (empty string)
echo $components->domain;    // example
echo $components->tld;       //

Running the tests

This library includes a set of PHPUnit tests. To run the tests, open your favourite command-line terminal, navigate to the tldextractphp directory and enter:

phpunit ./tests

Note that the full test suite can take a while to execute. That’s because in addition to normal unit tests, it will also attempt to download the TLD list from Public Suffix List and verify that the local snapshot is up to date. To skip that test, run this instead:

cd tests
phpunit ExtractorTest
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20 Responses to “tldextract.php – Extract TLD, Domain And Subdomains From URLs”

  1. Tommy says:

    Hi there,

    seems not to work since the public suffix list has been updated, ie:

  2. Hassan says:

    I’m trying to implemented it and face issue,

    Cannot redeclare tldextract() (previously declared in /home/xxx/public_html/project/inc/tldextract.php:239) in /home/xxx/public_html/project/inc/tldextract.php on line 246

  3. Jānis Elsts says:

    That’s strange. Are you using a compatible PHP version (5.3 or later)? Is there an opcode cache active? In certain rare situations that can cause spurious “cannot redeclare” errors.

  4. Vinod Puliyadi says:

    Good Job!

    I tried with following IDN domain xn--sxqx42c.xn--j6w193g, which not worked properly as expected.

  5. Manfred says:

    It work for me with a simple domain address “domain.tld” instead “some.domain.tld” 😉

  6. Manfred says:

    Edit: How can this work?

    Thank you in advance.

  7. yossi says:

    Thanks a lot!
    But the php source file has no license. Can you update it with available license? Thanks.

  8. Jānis Elsts says:

    Sure. I’ve added the MIT license text to the file.

  9. yossi says:


  10. Duncan Berriman says:

    Doesn’t appear to return valid results for, it returns xxxx as domain and as tld rather then .net as tld. This appears to be by design as .tld_set contains an entry for (and other examples). No idea why Mozilla have done this as it doesn’t seem valid.

  11. Duncan Berriman says:

    Appears this is because you are treating public and private domains differently which is not the default case in the original python module (or it has since changed).

  12. Duncan Berriman says:

    Suggested fix (you may well be able to improve).

    private function fetchTldList() {
    $origpage = $this->fetchPage(‘’);
    if (!$page = strstr($origpage,’// ===BEGIN PRIVATE DOMAINS===’,true)) {
    $page = $origpage;

  13. Jānis Elsts says:

    All right, I’ve modified the library to ignore the “PRIVATE DOMAINS” section by default. If necessary, you can still include it by passing “true” as the second argument to tldextract().

    • tldextract('') : TLD = “net”
    • tldextract('', true) : TLD = “”
  14. Duncan Berriman says:


  15. Duncan Berriman says:

    I’m not sure this code deals with wildcards correctly such as * as found in the .tld_set file. domains are allocated at the fourth level, with the third level being taken up by the name of the local authority.

    So a lookup such as whois is valid and correctly returns whois data, a lookup such as whois fails.

    I think tld extract should parse * so that the domain is returned as and the tld is returned as, currently it returns domain as and tld as

  16. Duncan Berriman says:

    Ignore last the public suffix list included was out of date once I forced an update it worked.

  17. Jānis Elsts says:

    For what it’s worth, the library is supposed to automatically download the latest list and to only use the included snapshot if it can’t the download fails.

  18. Duncan Berriman says:

    Not so according to docs

    This library will automatically attempt to download the latest TLD list from the Public Suffix List when you first run it. It will then cache that list in /path/to/tldextractphp/.tld_set. The cache stays valid indefinitely, so it won’t download the list again unless you manually delete .tld_set.

  19. Duncan Berriman says:

    Current code as corrupts .tld_set as the certificate for the download server does not match.

    PHP Warning: file_get_contents(): Peer certificate CN=`’ did not match expected CN=`’ in /home/ippatrol/include/tldextract.php on line 216

    .tld_set ends up with a:2:{s:6:”public”;a:0:{}s:7:”private”;a:0:{}}

    Better error checking is required on the download rather than assuming it has worked.

    A fix to the download (but no better error checking)

    replace line 210

    return @file_get_contents($url);



    return @file_get_contents($url, false, stream_context_create($arrContextOptions));

  20. Duncan Berriman says:

    Could do with a file_exists around the file_get_contents

    if ( file_exists($this->cacheFile) ) {
    $serializedTlds = @file_get_contents($this->cacheFile);
    if ( !empty($serializedTlds) ) {
    $this->extractor = new PublicSuffixListTLDExtractor(unserialize($serializedTlds));
    return $this->extractor;

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