Use The Best Domain Name Extension
The final step, once youre happy with your domain nameideas, is to find the best domain extension.
#18 Choose .com first
As we saw earlier, .COM is by far the most popular domainextension, and users intuitively type .com when they enter a website in theirbrowser.
Its the most-established and most-trusted domain extension.So, if its available, always go for the .com extension.
If it isnt available, then you could consider using another TLD, like .NET or .ORG. But you face the prospect of losing traffic to the existing .COM site. For example, davidhartshorne.com is the website of a US voice-over artist. Imagine the confusion and potential lost traffic if Id decided to go with davidhartshorne.net.
#19 Choose your ccTLD
Depending on your business, it may make more sense to chooseyour country code top-level domain. For example, if you run a French restaurant in Paris, servingtraditional French food, then the .FRccTLD might be more appropriate.
#20 Consider other domain extensions
There are now hundreds of domain extensions to choose from, so you can consider choosing one of the new gTLDs. For example, the .io extension is quite popular with tech and SaaS startups, like parlor.io. But, our advice is still to go for .com whenever possible.
Advantages Of Using Custom Domain Extensions
One of the main reasons to consider a new domain extension is if your first extension choice is taken. Custom TLDs have more options and availability.
Because theres a long list of choices, you can choose a new domain extension to give your business a unique domain name. It can even be a conversation starter like Driftaway.Coffees blog post explaining their domain choice.
A descriptive domain extension can also help with your business. You can choose a custom TLD like .dentist or .attorney to help your business with branding. A customer will understand your service just by seeing your URL.
Choosing a custom extension can also navigate people to other parts of your website. For example, Emirates.store is Emiratess official store page.
Domain names can affect search engine optimization , and domain extensions also play a role in SEO. While Google has said that it doesnt rank new TLDs any higher, there are still some advantages to using a custom TLD.
A custom TLD can add keywords to your URL, which SEO agency Globe Runner found helpful to rank in relevant search and improve conversion rates. A custom domain name can also create a long-tailed keyword, which can help SEO.
Wouldnt Something New And Different Help Me Stand Out
Possibly, but going against the grain involves many risks, and its important to know what they are. It may be tempting to go with novelty to stand out, but three decades of trust and ingrained user behavior around established domain extensions may be a large hurdle to overcome.
Many of the businesses and organizations that have been enticed to try out new domain extensions are experiencing unforeseen issues, such as customer confusion about their web address, and the technical limitations that compound that confusion. Reports of clients skepticism and operational problems, like incompatibilities with commonly used email validation systems, browsers, and other websites, has some small business owners urging caution to those interested in adopting new gTLDs.
Even some of the most experienced companies have found that choosing the wrong domain extension can have big consequences. Online retail giant Overstock.com switched to O.co in 2011 and learned this lesson first-hand. Overstock reportedly lost scores of visitors because customers instinctively typed in O.com and were greeted with an error message because it was not an active domain name. The customer confusion prompted Overstock to reverse its rebranding in less than a year millions of marketing dollars lost and customer confidence shaken.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Change The Domain Name On Wix
The Domain Extensions Youll See Most Often
Many new extensions are released frequently, so youll find the perfect domain name no matter what your needs or goals.
However, if youd like to use a more common domain extension, like .com or .org, you still can you may just end up paying a little more for a premium domain name. Premium domain names are easy to remember, easy to pronounce, and are very brandable, so theyre worth the extra cost.
Some of the most common domain extensions youll see are:
- .com The most popular TLD around, this was originally designed for commercial businesses, but can now be used by any individual or organization on the Internet.
- .biz Designed for use by businesses.
- .org Most commonly used by nonprofit organizations, this domain extension has since grown to be nearly as ubiquitous as .com. Anyone can register a .org domain name.
- .net Like a lot of TLDs, this one was intended for use by networks , but can now be used and registered by anyone.
- .gov Unlike the domain extensions above, the .gov TLD continues to be restricted, meaning only government organizations are permitted to use it.
- .mobi Oftentimes a company or organization registers their domain name using .mobi if theyre showing a mobile-only version of their website.
- .us Youre likely to only see ccTLDs that match your home country. These are restricted, and may only be registered by a company or organization that resides within the same country. For example, only US companies may register a .us domain name.
How To Choose The Right Domain Name
In the last three years, almost 1,000 new generic Top Level Domains, also called new gTLDs, have become available for registration. This exponential increase from the previous 22 options like .com, .net, and .org. has created a historic change in the way people navigate the web. Companies looking to provide the next big domain extension have sparked a flurry of activity, along with investors looking to cash in on the next domain craze. Before diving into the countless new domain extensions that could make or break your business, Jeannie McPherson, domain evangelist and marketing expert at Verisign, answers some key questions about the new landscape and the implications for businesses and individuals.
Also Check: How Can I Get A Free Website Domain
Trick #: Shop Around For The Url And Extension You Want
Generally speaking, any available domain name can be purchased from a reputable domain registrar, including the tools listed earlier in this guide. But some registrars only offer certain TLDs. This is usually the case if domain registration isnt the primary service offered by a particular platform.
So if the URL and domain extension you want cant be registered from the first place you looked, dont assume that its impossible to get. Shop around and look at other domain registrars. You can probably find what youre looking for elsewhere.
This is especially true if you want a really unique extension. You might not be able to get an extension like .wedding or .cool from a web hosting provider. But a service that specializes in domain registration will have more options.
Which Domain Names Can Be Used For Commercial Enterprises That Operate Nationally
org and.net, are the most common used domain name extensions to date.com is basically used for commercial websites where as.net extension is generally used by internet service providers. Likewise, non-profit organizations, industry groups and others use.org domain name extensions,. gov is for US government agencies,.
Read Also: How To Create Your Own Domain For Free
Which Domain Extension Is Best
Domain extensions arent as important as the domain name itself, but its still good to keep in mind the purpose of your website when choosing a domain extension. Commercial businesses should almost always go with .com, while nonprofit entities would benefit more from .org. Other popular and trusted extensions are .net, .edu, and various location-based extensions like .us and .uk. Learn more in our article on choosing a domain name.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Domain Name Registrar
As mentioned, a domain name needs to be registered before it can be used. In order to register one, youll need to select a registrar.
Domain name registrars are the businesses that take care of reserving the actual name for you such as NameCheap, GoDaddy and many others.
They also handle IP address assignments for the domain names they reserve.
IP stands for Internet Protocol, which is the set of rules that enable devices to communicate with one another via the Internet.
While some folks may be just registering one and doing nothing with it, others are ready to build their site out, which means you also need hosting.
Our guide to web hosting in Canada is a good resource to pair up with this one to get the complete picture on domains and hosting your website on your domain.
There are dozens of registrars.
To ensure you choose the right one for your specific needs, consider the following factors before selecting one:
Read Also: How Do I See Who Owns A Domain Name
Make Your Sites Purpose Clear
Domain extensions were initially intended to classify sites by their purpose or type.
While things are more flexible these days, your domain name still gives visitors a clue about what your site is about.
The default is .com it can be used for almost anything. But if you choose a different extension, make sure it will give visitors the correct impression of what your website is all about.
How To Choose The Right Tld For Your Domain Name
Different domain extensions wont affect how your website functions on the internet.
For those companies representing a niche, domain extensions like .space can help reassure your customers that youre the expert that understands them. You can also use your niche TLD in a creative way to establish a domain name that truly stands out
Don’t Miss: How Do You Find Out Where A Domain Is Registered
Dont Sweat It Too Much If Your Perfect Domain Name Is Taken And Cant Be Obtained
Okay, so as much as domain names do matter, and having the right one can mean the world to you, if you cant get your hands on what you want , dont sweat it too much.
First of all, something thats more important than anything else even than the domain name itself is to actually get the idea behind your website or business right. If you dedicate yourself to executing that idea and do it deliberately, the lack of that perfect domain name wont hold you back.
Secondly, domain names can be changed later on. Even if you dont have the right domain today, you can always get it later, and then just redirect your website to it.
For example, that is what Sumo a suite of online marketing tools did not that long ago. The domain name they started with was sumome.com, but then, after a while, when they got enough funding, they bought the domain they really wanted sumo.com. In their case, that domain switch was kind of expensive. Their new sumo.com domain actually cost $1.5 million. But dont worry, yours doesnt have to be this expensive. Sumo has actually turned out to be the 83rd most expensive domain name ever.
Final Thoughts About The Best Domain Name Extensions
While your domain extension isnt as important as your primary domain, its still an element to consider. Having a trustworthy and recognizable domain extension could mean higher traffic, more backlinks, and better SEO. On the other hand, having a less common but stylish or informational TLD could be great for your branding and quickly communicate to visitors what your sites about. You also have the option to purchase several domains with the best domain name extensions and direct traffic to the main one, like your .com. And if you have your eye on a domain name thats already taken, we have a guide for that.
Featured Image via WeeStudio / shutterstock.com
Also Check: How To Find All Domains Owned By A Company
Your Great Idea Starts With A Domain Name
Dont let someone else register your URL. Search DreamHosts 400+ TLDs to find the perfect fit for your website.
About the Author: Stefanus Hadi, Ph.D.
Stefanus Hadi, Ph.D., is Product Research Manager at DreamHost. He is responsible for directing and managing the companys partnerships with various domain registries, including those that control TLDs like .com, .online, .shop, .xyz, .club, .art, .io, .co, .me, and many others. In his free time, Stefanus enjoys outdoor activities, visits national parks regularly, and serves as a member of a Los Angeles high school support group. Connect with Stefanus on LinkedIn:
When Should You Use The Org Extension
Other top-level domains are beneficial in certain circumstances. The .org extension has a lot of credibility and is trusted among internet users. .org means an organization, and youll find its prevalent among non-profit institutions. The extension was launched in 1985 and was specifically created for non-commercial use and only for not-for-profit entities. In 2019, these restrictions were removed, allowing for any organization to take on the extension.
The .org extension still carries the connotation of being a trusted source and authority on subject matters compared to alternatives. Since most users expect .com extensions, its a great idea to work the .org extension into your branding or company name. The .org extension works particularly well if theres a company with the same name as yours that already owns the .com extension. Branding your company with your extension will prevent your potential customers from going to a competitor or a company somewhere else in the world. The .org extension shows up reasonably well in search rankings, but not as well as .com extensions.
You May Like: What Are The Most Popular Domain Extensions
Should I Get Hosting From The Same Company That I Use To Register My Domain
If youre interested in keeping things as simple as possible, we suggest using the same provider to both buy your domain and hosting.
With both in one place, they are easier to manage, easier to connect together and the billing is in one place.
For advanced users, theyll probably have a different set up and want to use different companies, however as a beginner using the same company for both is completely fine.
If your domain is registered at company A, youll need to point it to the nameservers of your hosting at company B.
Some registrars will also offer a free domain if you sign up for hosting so if you are ready to begin building your website and moving forward on your online marketing tactics you may want to consider registering everything together.
Check out our list of Canadian web hosting companies where you can purchase your domain and hosting at the same time if you prefer.
How To Choose The Right Domain Extension
Think about websites you know that use .com, .org, and .net these extensions each likely carry different meanings and set different expectations for you. Its important to pick a domain name with an extension that appropriately communicates your type of service or organization.
When running an online business, .com will do the trick. However, its often not that simple with .coms limited availability. If you cant secure your domain of choice with the .com extension, alternative domain extension options can help put your site on the map.
In this section, Ill compare .com with a few popular alternatives and weigh the pros and cons of each.
Read Also: How To Lease A Domain Name
Choose An Extension That Suits Your Websites Content
Another mistake people make is choosing a domain extension that doesnt match their websites content. For example, if youre creating a website about travel, you wouldnt want to use a .net domain. Instead, .travel would prove a much better fit.
Choosing an extension that accurately represents your websites content is important to avoid confusion and ensure that people can find what theyre looking for.
We recommend thinking about your websites purpose and who you want to reach with it. This will help you narrow down your options and choose an extension relevant to your content.
How Do Domain Extensions Affect Website Seo
Domain names and extensions can indeed affect your websites SEO. However, its also important to note that there are almost 200 algorithms that Google looks at when ranking a website.
Therefore, dont expect a massive SEO improvement from a change in domain name or extension.
There are other ways a domain name and extension can affect your website.
Also Check: How Do I Get A Domain Email Address
What Is A Global Website
Global websites are websites designed to support a global marketing strategy and expansion by offering many language choices. A global website can range from a simple homepage offered in multiple major languages to a complete strategy tying together a series of sites, each tailored to a specific language market.
Why Is The Com Extension The Best Option In Most Cases
Having a website with a .com domain extension is the most common type of domain, and because of that, it seems the most credible and brings the most traffic to the website. Consumers typically expect your website to be your business name.com. Choosing that extension is the best way to increase your traffic from your efforts. Unless the extension is part of your business name, but more on that a little later.
Don’t Miss: How To Find Out Where A Domain Was Purchased