In some ways the internet is very crowded (100 million active websites) and in other ways very quiet (most web traffic is caused by few sites) but it’s important to remember that the internet is pretty much limitless and there is more than one way to claim your acre of land online.
When first creating a website it’s easy to instantly think that you need a .com web address or that you are just in the UK so can go with a cheaper .uk address. There is nothing wrong with that but with .com being the busiest of all the top level domains (TLDs) and .uk now being the 2nd largest country code top-level domain (ccTLD) it’s quite hard to get the name you want.
Two is better than one
It’s always a good idea to own more than one domain. You may only need one domain to run your site but you have to ask yourself how you or your company would feel if you owned the .com address and then someone else went and bought the .co.uk? Remember that they can use the domain for whatever they like which may be something you don’t want associated with your name and brand.
Having multiple domains can act as a backup too, if you can receive email on more than one address then should something happen it can allow you to carry on running, at least while things are sorted out. And before you ask what can happen to domain names that you own… they can be stolen/hijacked, taken offline by authorities or even forget to be renewed… although we would never do that!
Another advantage to owning several domains, they can be utilised for different areas of your business. .tv domains are a great example of this allowing it to point to video content. Instead of hiding tutorials or a video blog deep on your website or on YouTube why not point your customers straight there.
Speciality domains are domain extensions with a specific meaning that is well known to Internet users. These domain extensions provide a clue to visitors that tells them the type of content to expect or what form that content will take.
.me – Not many think about Montenegro when they see a .me domain. The use is obvious, .me means it’s about me. Visitors to the site will expect content about the person who owns the domain. Recommended for blogs, a CV or resume, photo sharing, anything personal.
.tv – “If you have a play button on your website you should have a .tv”. Visitors to a .tv site know what to expect, video content. Recommended for tutorials, family video sharing, screencasts, live streams & YouTube channels.
.mobi – Specifically designed to host mobile content. Most CMS driven sites such as WordPress and Joomla can seamlessly offer a mobile formatted page and it’s a good way to advertise this to mobile visitors.
.co – A great alternative to the .com TLD. Also has additional meanings such as co-op.
You don’t always need a speciality domain, there are the standard ones too.
.com – The original and still has its place. Recognized globally as the biggest.
.net – You can’t get more tech than a .net domain. Perfect for Internet companies or groups that work in the online world. Many companies also have a .net version of their domain which is used by the IT group to name and manage machines used by the company, this separates the IT “tinkering” from the marketing “sales”.
.org – Always intended to be used for personal sites .org has now lost that moniker and is deemed by some as just for non-profits. Some companies like to have a commercial presence on .com and their organisational details on .org.
.info – Of the seven new TLDs introduced in 2000 .info has become the most successful. “Info” is a recognized term in over 30 languages which makes this TLD a truly global domain.
.biz – A popular alternative for companies whose business name is already taken as a .com.
.eu – For a UK company branching out from our small island it can get expensive to start registering and promoting domains in every country. The .eu allows for a pan European look.
.uk – Not to be belittled. You may be a sports club or local group, even if you do leave the UK you still want to promote yourself as a UK team or company. What could be better than having it in your name.
Let us know what you think too. There are many many more TLD and ccTLDs, which ones do you like?