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When you need a domain name for your portfolio, business or blog site, you have to put some key factors into consideration before selecting the right domain name. The first thing you should consider is the ease at which the domain name can be spelt or remembered. Avoid using hyphens, numbers and other misspelt words.
Your domain name should tell about your product or company brand. It should also be related to your niche or target audience. Domain extension also referred to as Top Level Domains (TLDs) can also be considered when searching for the right domain name to use for your brand.
Understanding the term “Domain Extension”
A domain name is subdivided into two parts. The first part is your company or brand name while the last part after the “dot” is what is referred to as the domain extensions. Let us use Wikipedia.org for example, Wikipedia is the company name while the domain extension is the word or letters at the far right which in this case is “.org”. There were originally three different types of domain extensions such as .net, .com and .org etc.
However, many other domain extensions have been found. There are specific domain extensions peculiar to each country and niche. We now have domain extensions like .co.uk, .ca, .app, .travel and many more. You can choose a domain extension from over a hundred available option when building your website.
Does using Top Level Domain Matter?
Does it matter which domain extension you use at the end of your domain name? Experts at Website hosting NZ say we could answer to the affirmative and at the same time give a resounding “No”. Some domain extensions do not have any positive effect on the domain names. Amazon, for example, uses domain extensions like .smile and .like for some Amazon products. It is important to use the right domain extension so that visitors can be attracted to your website.
Making use of good search engine optimization practices as well as your preferred choice of domain extensions will help improve your website in general.
Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Domain Name Extension
- The Objective of Your Website
Understanding the key objective for creating your website will go a long well to influence your choice of the domain extension. Is your motivation or purpose engineered towards education, government, NGO, business or just a personal blog? Your domain extension should be in line with your niche. Domain extensions like “.gov” can be used for government body while “.edu” domain extensions can be used by colleges and other educational institutions.
Visitors can have a misrepresentation of what your brand stands for if you use the wrong domain extensions. Using a “.com” domain extension for a public library website could misinform the public to think it is privately owned. The way your brand is perceived by people is largely dependent on the type of domain extension you use.
- Be on the lookout for Spam
Using some very good TLDs can help improve your SEO ranking. However, there are domain extensions that have a very negative effect not just on your brand but on your website in general. They can seem like junk emails which cannot be ranked by search engines. You should be wary of using domain extensions that are on the list of blocked emails. You can verify this to be sure you are on the right track. Do not use online content when viewing your TLD. Avoid using TLDs that will portray your website as junk email.
Do you know that you can use a domain extension that gives a clear insight to your location? Sure you can. Your domain extensions can tell the location of your company or brand by its appearance. Domain extensions like “.au”, “.uk”, “.ca” shows that your brand location is at Australia, United Kingdom, and Canada respectively. To get access to such domain extensions, you have to provide information that is location-specific when registering your domain name.
When building a global or local brand with a good website presence, your location is a key factor in choosing the right domain extension.
Different Top Level Domain options and their appropriate usage
Domain extensions come in different types. There are over 400 different domain extensions available for use. We shall take a look at some of the common domain extensions.
Com in this sense is the short form of commercial. It is used for different types of website irrespective of their niche or location. It was originally created for commercial websites and it is the most common among all other domain extensions.
Org stands for organization. .org is mostly used by non-profit organisations and should be avoided by websites that are business inclined to avoid passing the wrong message to visitors.
Net is a short form of network. It was originally created for websites that are networked. However, website creators make use of .net extension for different purposes. It is also used as an alternative to .com when unavailable. .net is also suitable for tech and networking companies.
As the name implies, “edu” refers to education. It is only available for use by educational institutions.
.info talks about information. For businesses or companies whose major objective is to disseminate information, then this is the right domain extension to use. Business website can also make use of this domain extension.
Just as the name implies, .biz is all about business. It can also serve as a reliable option for .com when unavailable. However, it is often used by spam websites.
.me can be used for personal blogs or websites especially when commercial activities are not involved.
We have only highlighted a few domain extensions out of a vast majority of options. You can also make use of .tv, .pro, .name, etc. making use of .me or .name are key options to consider if your website is focused on individuals.
The use of domain extensions plays a very important role in determining the perception of your website by visitors. You don’t want to have a website that looks like it was created by an amateur and give a wrong direction to other websites.