What are Your Options for Domain Name Extensions?

What are Your Options for Domain Name Extensions?

After weeks of brainstorming, you have finally come up with the perfect domain name for your website.  Unfortunately, unless you have decided on a TLD (Top Level Domain), which simply refers to the extension that comes after the base name, the selection process still is not complete.

The Cream of the Crop

.com is by far the most popular and highly sought after domain name extension.  Though originally intended for commercial use, this TLD can now be used for a wide variety of purposes be it personal or business matters.  This extension makes the best choice because it is more recognizable and considerably more valuable than others.  If at all possible, try to get yourself a .com extension.

Second Tier Options

.net and .org are currently the second best options for domain extensions.  Often used by IT professionals, .net was originally intended for networks.  org. was intended for organizations in general and is now a preference of charitable entities.  These extensions make great second choices and can look good in your portfolio of websites, but will likely never achieve the popularity of .com.

Relative Newcomers

.biz and .info represent the up and coming domain name extensions that are designed to make life easier for the fast growing internet community.  These TLDs are meant to be more topic specific.  .biz is a nice second option for businesses and their corporate sites while .info goes well with informational sites.  There are a number of new extensions flooding the market but many experts believe that only .biz and .org will survive as mainstream options.

Regional Options

Depending on the nature of your business or website, you may be interested in a regional or country specific TLD.  These are extensions such as .us, .uk and .co.  One of these would make a great choice if you have a website targeting visitors in a certain region or only plan on doing business in a specific country.  The biggest downside to regional domain name extensions is that they lack global appeal and will likely limit your general brandability across the World Wide Web.  There are however, a handful of companies that have made the best of these options so if the shoe fits, where it.

All in all, it is fair to state the internet users now have a vast selection of domain name extensions to choose from.  Here is a bit of advice:  if a .com is available, go for it because this always makes the best first choice.  .net is ideal for technology and social media sites.  .org is best suited for charities and other types of non-profit organizations.  If you are not able to find your desired name with a com extension, then .net or .org would be your best bet.  If you choose to be country specific in regard to your business reach, the options like those mentioned in the section above may be suitable.  While there are several more extensions out there, most of them will do nothing but limit your potential and leave you lighter in the pockets.