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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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