Overview of the Variances of Domain Extension

You could be a business owner or someone who wants to build a personal brand; you will need a solid online identity. People always search the web when searching for a product, service or brand and your website coming up in the search result especially in the first few pages will increase your chances of a sale. One of the best ways to effectively reach potential customers is through a well-developed and maintained website. 

With a good domain name, your brand can adapt to the current dynamics of marketing where most of the buying and selling take place online. Do your research properly and take your time to decide on a name because this could literally be an advantage or a disadvantage to your brand. When you have decided on a name, you can visit a couple of web domain registrars to check for the availability of the name. If the one you select is unavailable, you should just look for another that best represents your brand. Using your name as your domain name can be really good but there is a probability that it might have been taken already. After you must have decided on a domain name, it is now time to consider the domain extension, it makes the most sense for your specific needs.

A domain extension also referred to as a top-level domain (TLD) is a part of an internet address. It is used to designate the category or country code for a website. The domain extension is divided into two categories: gTLDs (generic) and ccTLDs (country code). 

Country-specific domains are restricted to geographical fields; they are specific to certain countries making it easier to conduct business with those countries. They include: .uk for the United Kingdom .nz for New Zealand etc. 

Generic top-level domain is an international extension that covers a thematic field instead of a geographical one. .com which represents commercial is the most popular gTLD, trusted by web surfers and easy to remember. .net, .info, .org are just as common as the .com but they are used by non-profit organizations.

1.Sponsored top-level domains: To use this kind of TLD, you need to fulfill certain requirements and they are determined by the sponsors who are also responsible for the monitoring and general control for their TLD. A few examples of sponsored extensions are .gov (for agencies of the US government),.int (for international organizations) and.jobs (for company job offers), aero: dedicated to members of the aviation community, sponsored by SITA, .coop: dedicated to cooperative associations, sponsored by DotCooperation LLC, .museum: dedicated to museums, sponsored by the Museum Domain Management Association.

2.Non-sponsored TLDs: These are managed and monitored and centrally. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN for short,  is primarily responsible for these and works together with various partners. Like sponsored gTLDs, they were originally created for certain fields but they are now available to individuals, businesses, organizations etc. This category of the TLD is the most common 

  • .com is the most popular and effective TLD. When deciding on a domain name you should consider .com if it is available. There is also a good chance that visitors are accidentally landing on your page with this extension because it can lead to more favourable search rankings.
  • .net: it was originally intended for internet service providers or networks. If you are a tech or application-based company this might be the right fit for you. 
  • .org: this was originally designed to represent non-profit organizations. It is a popular domain for many non-governmental organizations, non-profits, politicians and political parties and online communities.
  • .co: Originally assigned as the country code for Colombia, it has become a popular option for international domains. If you are a young start-up that markets itself as original or unique, this might be the right fit for you. 

Hundreds of new TLDs are either available now or will be in the near future. Included in these are more common title or field-specific domains, including .aency, .actor etc. You can also purchase derogatory TLDs, like.sucks, to stop anyone else from acquiring it and using it to tarnish your reputation as a brand. Overall, the value of a domain extension is that it helps you meet your target market and describes your intent very clearly. 

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