You’re about to launch your business. You have spent months coming up with the perfect business name and you’ve already got customers awaiting to be among the first recipients of your product or service. One major step remains: the website.
Understandably, you want your domain name to be consist with the company name. You know the first step is to register a domain name. Like most business owners, you default to selecting the .com extension.
But then you get the dreaded message that the domain name you want is already taken. What now? You can either change the name around, maybe making it longer or using hyphens, or you can select a different domain name extension.
If you want to keep the domain name the same, an alternate domain extension is your only option. While .com is by far the most desirable extension, alternative ones can work too.
Here is the run-down on the other possible domain name extensions available for your business:
This is the second most popular extension. It elicits trust and authority and it is easy for most customers to remember, even the less tech-savvy ones. After all, .net can easily come to mind because the website is on the Internet, a computer network. Both words have net in them.
This is a great alternate extension for businesses of any size.
This extension is popular amongst not-for-profit organizations. It holds the same weight as the .com or .net does for for-profit businesses. Internet users have grown accustomed to associating this extension with non-profits. All major, and most credible nonprofits have this domain name extension.
With that being said, this extension should be avoided for any business selling a product or service for-profit. With a .org extension for a business website, red flags can inadvertently be raised.
Unless your organization is not in the business of making a profit, this extension can end up hurting your business.
What’s wrong with an extension of .biz? It’s short for business, right? That should evoke trust and legitimacy, right? Not so fast. The .biz extension has been used and abused regularly by spam and low-quality, less authoritative websites. While .biz is a valid domain name extension option, be aware that some Internet users will be hesitant and skeptical of a domain with this extension.
Just like the .org extension is mostly used for non-profit organizations, the .edu extension has been largely used and associated with educational institutions. Unless your business is a school or offers purely educational content, resources or classes, steer clear of this extension.
This domain name extension is often used for websites that exist purely to share information. This extension is a great option if your business provides services for the sole purpose to educate and share information. If you have an online resource page for a specific topic related to your industry, the .info may be a good option.
This extension advertises the fact that your site contains valuable, useful information on a certain subject. Unless your main business objective is to inform customers, this extension is not recommended.
- Specialty domain name extensions
With specialty domain name extensions, your options are virtually limitless. You have to be careful with what extension to use as many have restrictions on how they are used. The extension .me is used for personal branding, .travel is only reserved for travel agencies and other industries related to travel, .us is for a company page for a specific country (the United States in this case), .name is used only for individuals and .pro is used for a professional in a field.
While specialty domain extensions are unique and will get your domain to stand out, many of them have not caught on by the majority of web users.
A choosing a domain extension takes almost as much thought and consideration as the domain name itself. If you absolutely can’t change your domain name and the .com extension is already in use, there are alternate extensions available.