Which domain is right for me?

People often find themselves asking; Which domain is right for me? The first step to choosing a domain name is to choose what is called a domain extension, which is the bit at the end of a domain name like .com, .com.au or .co.uk.

Domain extensions are generally based on geographical location, predominantly countries and offer a way for you to target a specific audience whether your business only trades in a specific country or globally.

Top Level Domains (TLD’s)

TLD’s like .com, .net and .org are the most popular domains and are used when your target audience is global. Over the last few years, newer TLD’s have emerged like .info, .biz, .mobi and .name and have expanded the number of domain names available.

Traditionally, domain name extensions would to determine the type of website or company. For example, .com domain names were designed for commercial entities, .net domain names were designed for networks, or network operators and .org for organisations.

As time has passed with the significant growth of the internet, these guidelines have been followed less and less with .com becoming the the most sought after domain extension worldwide.

Which domain is right for me? Top Level Domains Explained

Country Code Top Level Domains (CCTLD’s)

Which domain is right for me? Country Code Top Level Domains Explained

CCTLD’s like .com.au, co.uk and others are popular when your target audience is concentrated to a specific country. This shows visitors to your website that your focus is directed towards a specific country.

Some CCTLDs are more popular than others, especially where the population of that particular country is larger or where internet usage and penetration is higher. Some CCTLDs are also often used for vanity domains, like .tv which is the CCTLD for Tuvalu, yet some use these domains to represent Television (TV) channels and stations or online video sites.

Area Top Level Domains (ATLD’s)

ATLD’s, like .eu or .asia are popular when your audience covers many countries in a region of the world, such as Europe or Asia.

ATLDs are great when websites are targeting wider audiences over a geographic region. The rise of ATLDs have been largely spurred on by the European Union as it tries to reduce economic borders and allow the region to be seen as one for business.

Similarly in Asia, where .asia was brought about to attempt to bring together Asian communities.

Which domain is right for me? Area Top Level Domains Explained

Choosing your Domain Name

The next step is to choose what your ‘name’ part of the domain name will be. This is the bit before the domain extension like yourdomainname.com.

If you are choosing this domain name for your business, you should choose a name which closely relates to your business, such as your business name (or an abbreviation), your product, an industry term which relates to your business (e.g. phonecards.eu for a calling card website), or other words which describe your business.

If you are choosing this domain for your personal needs, you can choose from any number of names, including your own name or a catchphrase. A popular choice for many personal domains is your last name, which allows you to create email addresses for you, your family and your relatives!

Top 10 tips to choosing a Domain Name:

  1. Keep your domain name as short as possible
  2. Make your domain easy to remember (use easy, short words that are descriptive)
  3. Check the spelling of your domain name before you purchase – incorrectly spelt domains are not refundable. This however may work in your favor where your name may be commonly be miss spelt, as people will still be able to reach your website.
  4. Consider the location of your target audience and choose a domain extension which matches. In the example where your business is located in the UK, you should register a co.uk domain and if you intend on expanding over time, it might also be a good idea to register the .com domain while you’re at it as it may not be available in the future.
  5. Register your domain now! Even if you don’t intend on using is straight away, it stops others from registering it first.
  6. Some Country Code Top Level Domains have restrictions placed on them as to who can purchase them and other requirements, such as business name registration. For more information, see our overview of the domains we offer which also includes information on any domain name eligibility restrictions.
  7. Consider some of the alternative domain extensions, like .biz for a business, .info for an information website or .name for a personal website.
  8. Consider registering domains for your products as well as your business name.
  9. Avoid using names which are trademarked by other companies, unless you have permission to do so. It is best to contact your lawyer if you have any concerns regarding trademarked names or terms.
  10. If you’re registering a .com domain, you may want to also register the .net and .org variants. This will ensure that others can’t register these variants and you will protect your brand on the internet.

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