When you go to purchase your domain name for business or for project you are running online, there are a lot of things to consider. You may well already have your brand that you want to get domain for, or at least an idea. However, when you come to buy the exact .com that you wish to have, it is often already taken. In this article will take a look at domain extensions and how to go about choosing one.
So what exactly is a domain extension?
The domain extension is the bit of the domain that comes after the domain name. It is the.com,.nz etc. There are different classifications of domain name extension and you may well have heard of top level domains [TLDs]
When you combine the name that you’ve chosen with the domain of extension you have an address on the Internet and for your emails. What you need to make sure of is that you choose a domain name extension that is right for the image you want to project.
Does your choice of extension count?
Some people would say that it is more important that you build a brand than it is that you choose a specific domain name extension. This is certainly true in many ways. However, if you choose the wrong domain name extension, such as a domain extension of a different country to the location your target visitors live, you may well find it very hard to gain traffic. Having a domain that is less credible than your competitors will also put you at a distinct disadvantage.
So, it really is important that you choose a domain name extension that is appropriate. That doesn’t mean it has to be a.com, but it has to be credible.
Let’s take a look at different extensions
.com- This is meant for companies and is by far the most popular domain name extension on the Internet. If your name is available in the.com then you should buy it.
.net– This is meant for networks but it is now being used for just about any type of website.
.org – Org domain names are used for organizations and are often for nonprofits such as un.org.
.biz – This is intended for businesses that isn’t as credible or positive as a.com
.info -info domains tend to be seen less favorably in the commercial world than.com and.net, and often are information sites. Info domains tend to be cheaper.
.uk – This is the domain name extension for corporations and companies in United Kingdom.
.nz – This is the domain name extension for corporations and companies in New Zealand.
.US– This extension is meant for personal or commercial websites in the United States of America.
.MOBI- This is supposed to be for mobile websites.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, but it gives you some of the most common domain name extensions are likely to see.
Choosing your top-level domain based on your needs
As we mentioned earlier you’d want to get a domain name extension that is relevant to your target audience. If you have an information site then a .info might work. If you go for a .uk then people will be expecting an organization in United Kingdom.
Ideally businesses should go for the.com and their country domain name such as .co and .nz. Where that is difficult sometimes people use the tagline in order to have part of a brand reflected across their domain names.
If you have multiple domain names, it is normally good practice to forward them all onto a single domain in a permanent redirect. If you do this at domain level. In many cases, people forward their country level to the .com that they hold.
Domain names need to be unique, so you can’t register a domain name that someone else owns. There are people that buy up domain names and sit on them waiting for people that may be interested to buy them stop this is a good way to get your domain name, you probably end up spending a lot of money on it.
The important thing with your domain name is that you get something that is appropriate your business and represents you well. Many people end up combining their brand with a keyword, or better still, checking their brand name is available as a.com and with the country level TLD before they actually developed a brand. It’s certainly a good idea to help yourself by getting the relevant domain name extensions before anyone else does, as soon as you get an idea for a brand. You can also purchase domain names at a discount from certain websites, enabling you to get money off if you buy multiple domain names or if you buy a certain domain name extensions.
It’s always good to look out for offers and it is often good to use different web hosting provider from your domain name provider so that you can keep them separate. This means that if your web host starts underperforming you can move more easily than if you have the domain on that web host as well.