There are hundreds of domain extensions available; generic ones like .com, .org and .net, location specific ones like .uk, .eu and .es, plus now there are even industry specific ones like .media, .dentist and .yoga.
Which one is right for your business? Where should you even start?
Consider your options
Generic domain extensions
A .com domain is often the go-to because it’s the extension that most people think of first. If someone can’t quite remember your domain name and takes a guess, chances are that’s the first one they’ll try. Understandably, a .com can be one of the hardest to secure. A .com domain is a good choice for a business which serves customers worldwide.
If you run an organisation rather than a business, a .org is your go-to instead. A .net domain is another generic option, but particularly suited to tech companies.
Location specific domain extensions
I’m based in the UK serving businesses in the UK, so it makes sense that I chose a UK domain extension. You can actually choose between quite a few now if you’re based in the UK – there’s .uk, .co.uk (probably the most common choice), .uk.com, .wales, .cymru, .irish, .scot and even .london!
If you’re based elsewhere in the world, good news – there’s a domain extension for just about every country. Those extensions could be a good thing for anyone, though, if you want to get creative! Link bookmarking service Delicious, although now found at delicious.com, used to use del.icio.us! To break that down, thats the domain name “icio” with the extension “.us” and subdomain “del”.
Industry specific domain extensions
In the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of industry specific domain extensions available to buy. Although they don’t seem to have been widely adopted yet, I have no doubt that we’ll start to see them more and more because it’s getting much harder to register a domain name you want with the usual extensions.
If there’s an extension which fits your industry, it could well be a memorable choice for your domain.
See what’s available
The oldest domain names (.com, .org and .net) have been around since 1985! With people registering domains every single day, it’s getting more and more difficult to get the one you want. I’m certain this is a huge part of the reason why many businesses are creating unusual names for themselves – to get the .com domain!
Go to the website of a domain provider (such as 123-reg) and typing your ideal domain into their search box – with or without an extension.
Hopefully, you’ll find something available for your business name. If not, you may have to get more creative and choose some keywords relevant to your business. Had “clearlydeveloped” not been available, I may have had to consider options like “clearlydevelopedwebsites” or “camberleywebsites”.
If your preferred domain is available as a .co.uk but not a .com, try checking out the .com website. Is it in use? If a potential customer accidentally found this website instead of yours, how bad would that be? If you find that the .com website would be in direct competition with your own, it might be wise to try some different options.
Choose a shorter domain name where possible so that it’s easier to remember.
Do you need more than one?
If you serve a number of different locations, you might want to purchase a location specific domain name for each. There are SEO benefits to choosing a location based domain extension; although it’s only a small part of the algorithm, you are, for example, more likely to find results on .uk domains if you search from the UK.
Equally, if you are building a larger business, you may want to snap up as many common versions of your domain name as possible so that no one else can use that same name in competition with you.
Although most single domain names are fairly inexpensive, the more you purchase, the more expensive it becomes. Consider the value to your business of securing these additional domain extensions – is it worth it for the location benefits, SEO benefits or to prevent close competition?
Would you like some help choosing?
If you’re still not sure what to choose, I can help! I can manage your domains for you as part of your website project. Why not request a quote now to start the process?