Charities and NGOs around the world can apply for a website with the .ngo domain name, and a number of UK charities have already signed up in the limited registration period.
Registration for websites in the .ngo domain – alongside .ong for countries where ONG is the recognised acronym – are being overseen by the Public Interest Registry, a not-for-profit organisation based in the US.
The PIR also operates OnGood, a global directory of customisable profiles of the organisations with .ngo or .ong websites.
Limited registration for the domains and OnGood profile was opened on 21 April, and registration was opened fully yesterday. Registration is done through one of a number of external web companies and should cost between $50 and $100 (£44 and £88), the PIR said.
A spokeswoman for the PIR said about 800 organisations worldwide had already registered. Twenty UK charities have registered, the PIR website shows, including the British Stammering Association, the Christian Institute and the European Guide Dogs Federation, although the last two and many of the other organisations have not gone live with the new domain yet.
Organisations that want to apply for the .ngo domain and a place in the OnGood directory must go through a validation process that requires them to act in the public interest, be not-for-profit, be "independent of direct government or political control" and have independent staff or members, among other criteria, according to the PIR.
Brian Cute, chief executive of the PIR, said he hoped the OnGood directory would become "the online home for non-profits and NGOs of all sizes".
He said: "Since its inception, the internet has been a forum to share information and connect with others, giving NGOs a much-needed platform to promote their missions. But the landscape has become increasingly cluttered, making it difficult for internet users to determine which organisations are truly trustworthy."