Creating a website can be a daunting task. There are so many nitty-gritties to worry about, and they can be a little confusing especially if you are not a tech geek. Take choosing a domain name for example.
Domain names are essentially unique names given to each website. No two domain names can be the same. It gets really confusing when you learn that you have countless options of domain extensions to choose from, particularly if you have no idea what distinguishes one from the other.
Today, the .com extension is by far the most popular extension. In fact, nearly half the websites created use this particular extension. It is loved because it is easy to pronounce and also for its familiarity.
Be that as it may, it is important to recognize that there are other domain name extensions that work as well as the .com one. In fact, some may even be better suited for your particular site than it. Here is all you need to know about domain name extensions:
Why is .com The Best Extension?
When people think about domain extensions, .com is what normally comes to mind. Think about it, with few exceptions, how many websites can you recall off the top of your head that end with .com?
Besides the familiarity angle, websites that use .com as an extension come across as more trustworthy and reliable. Others such as .biz or .me are often not viewed with the same level of credibility.
Additionally, if you opt for other extensions when the .com extension is available to you, it is easy for people to simply create a website using the .com extension and take advantage of your marketing. After all, when people are searching for websites, aren’t they more likely to input .com than other extensions? This is how you end up losing some of your traffic to unscrupulous people.
What other options do you Have Besides .com?
Because of its popularity, the .com extension has become somewhat overcrowded. You may therefore try to register your website using the extension only to find that the domain name is already taken.
So, what do you do? Does this mean that you have to change the name you had already settled on? This does not have to be the case.
You can choose from the myriad other extensions that are available to businesses, blogs and institutions. However, not all extensions are ideal for your specific site, so it is important that you familiarize yourself with what different extensions are associated with.
You can use .org if you are running a website for an organization, particularly a non- profit one. If your site is mostly concerned with giving readers information about a certain subject, then the .info extension would be ideal for you. A personal website can have .me as its domain extension.
However, if you are a business that somehow can’t use the .com extension, you may consider using the .biz extension. Other popular extensions for startups are .co and .io.
Use Country Specific Extensions
If your market is contained to a particular country, you may consider using country specific extensions. Examples of these are .ca for Canada, co.uk for the UK and .us for the United States.
Why country specific extensions? Because they help give your website a local feel. If people can identify with a domain name, no doubt they will keep trickling in to read your content.
Although the .com extension is by far the most reliable and well- known domain extension, it is not the most appropriate extension for all websites. In fact, it was initially meant to be used only by commercial sites, but other websites gradually took it up.
An extension such as .edu would be more suitable for a college than the .com one. Or if your website is basically an online journal, a .blog or .me extension would be more descriptive of the site than .com.
Other site- specific extensions include .media, .guru, .jobs and .work. If they suit your site better, then by all means go ahead and use them.
Choosing a domain name can be a tedious, time- consuming and sometimes downright frustrating task. However, being knowledgeable about the various extensions that you can use can be of immense help. Follow the tips above and you should have an easy time picking the right domain name.
Also published on Medium.