Are top level domains for countries a TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT? That is, if you are a COMMERCIAL site FOR a specific country do you need the suffix of that country in addition to .com or would .com do just as well?
My company has just completed a complete overhaul of our website. We used to host the site ourselves, but for this more elaborate rebuild, we hired a web development firm to help us. Because our business has offices all over the world, our site is versioned for different countries. Generally this is handled with a query string denoting the user's language and country. Something like: OurSite.com?lang=ES&country=MX.
Here is where things get confusing... Prior to our revamping our site, each individual country also be reached directly via a top level domain. So the above URL could also redirect to OurSite.com.mx.
Our vendor set up only a single domain, OurSite.com, and the different versions of the site are handled exclusively through query string/MVC/cookies, and no top level domains were set up. The question going around is, would the vendor, knowing we were setting up an international site, have set up (or at least asked) about out top level domains since they would be required for the functionality of the site, or are top level domains and OPTIONAL thing and it would have naturally escaped the processes unless explicitly requested?
Thanks all for sharing your expertise.