Your domain is the foundation of your website. It is one of the first and most important decisions you’ll make. It’s also something you’re going to carry with you for a long time. How do you give it the proper time and attention? What should you consider?
How to Choose the Right Domain Extension
1. The Purpose of Your Site
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider. When you’re working on starting a blog, you’ll need to consider what your ultimate method of income will be when things are all up and running. If you’re running an online business, then a .com or .biz could be worthwhile. If the blog is for an organization, then you have .org extensions which could be a viable option.
Furthermore, if you have the blog solely for the purpose of keeping an online journal, then an extension like .me could be the perfect solution. Regardless, the TLD you choose should be informed by the ultimate purpose of your site so there’s a cohesiveness to the domain.
2. Don’t Forget Local TLDs
With the rise of local SEO, you could also consider targeting a specific geographical area that you’re in. There are over 200 different country code TLDs, so you should be able to find something that matches your location. Common ones include .us for the United States, co.uk for the United Kingdom, and .ca for Canada.
3. Don’t Forget About SEO
Search engine optimization will be a major topic for you if your site is hoping to rank well. Despite some information that will tell you a .com domain has the best chance of ranking, this is only the case because it’s the most popular extension.
Common Options for TLDs and When to Use Them
There are over 400 different extensions available, so we won’t be able to cover them all here, but let’s take a look at the most popular options, and when they’re best used as an extension for your domain:
- .com (commercial) – This is the most popular extension and originally stood for commercial sites, but now it is used for all kinds of websites.
- .net (network) – Originally intended for networked websites, this domain extension is used for a wide variety of purposes today. This is a good backup if your ideal choice is taken in the .com extension. It’s also good for tech companies as “net” implies technology and networking.
- .org (organization) – meant for organizations. Best used if your website is for a nonprofit company. Not the ideal solution if you’re a business as it sends mixed messages.
- .edu (education) – This one isn’t typically available for public registration, and is instead used by colleges and educational institutions.
- .info (information) – This is best used if your website is purely there for information or as a database of knowledge. If you’re not selling anything, then this domain could work well.
- .biz (business) – An alternative to .com domains for businesses, but it does have some bad connotations because of spammy sites using it.
- .me (personal) – This extension is often used for personal websites or blogs that have no commercial intent.
These are the most common options, but they are a fraction of the total options. Other choices like .name, .pro, .tv, and many more are used for very specific businesses or industries. These are only a viable option if you have a very focused business model, or your website is focused on an individual (in the case of the “me” and “name” extensions).
Now, the extension is just a piece of your full domain. The extension and domain name should work together to create a cohesive brand for your website. In the spirit of this, let’s take a look at some golden rules for choosing your domain name.