When building a website for your business, a domain name is one of the most important points to consider.

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A good name should be memorable and attention-grabbing and should also convince people of your authenticity. Whatever you decide can make the difference between a professional, credible website and a shoddy, untrustworthy one.

But you probably know all this already. What you might not have given any thought to, however, is the importance of domain extensions.

This article offers a comprehensive give to this topic, talking you through what they are, the types available, and how to choose one. It will also break down some of the most popular options out there. By the end of this article, you’ll know the difference between a .net TLD and a .com and will be able to choose between them.

What Are Domain Extensions?

So, what is a domain extension? Simply put, it’s the suffix that follows a site’s name in a web address. For example, .com, .co, and .io are all common suffixes you probably encounter often. 

This suffix alone is very important, as it can tell you a lot about a site. It can tell you anything from what sort of company it is to where it’s based. Even a single glance at a company’s web address can reveal a lot about the type of business it is and whether or not it’s professional.

Different Types Available

As mentioned above, you can tell a lot about a webpage just from the domain extension alone. This is because different types reveal information about a webpage:

  • Generic (gTLDs): These are the most common out of the options discussed here. Certain gTLDs are associated with particular types of websites. Originally, .com was used for commerce, though it now sees a much broader range of use. .Com is still seen by most as the obvious choice for a professional website. Another example of a gTLD includes .org, which is mostly used by non-profit groups.
  • Country Code (ccTLDs): Some web addresses refer to particular countries — for instance, .us for the United States, .uk for the United Kingdom, .ca for Canada, and so on. 
  • Restricted: These come with requirements that must be met before you can register with one. The most common example is .gov, reserved for government websites and agencies.
  • Special-Use: These cannot be registered by the public. This is because they are reserved for specific purposes. Examples include .test and .local.

How to Choose a Domain Extension

With such a wide range of extensions available, how do you choose the right one for your website? You should weigh your options carefully. The choice you make is important and plays a considerable role in drawing in traffic.

The Purpose of Your Website

When deciding on an extension option, your website’s function is one of the first things you should think about. Is your webpage personal? Informational? Commercial? The type of website you plan to run should impact your final decision.

The Location of Your Business 

The location of your company might have a part to play in what you choose. This is especially true if your target audience is based in the same location. 

Prices

Cost is another thing to take into consideration. Some suffixes are more popular than others, and that increases their price. Despite its popularity, “.com” is one of the more affordable gTLDs out there. Options like .io and “.tech” tend to be fairly expensive due to their association with the tech industry.

What Are the Most Popular Options?

This section lists three of the best domain extensions out there, with a brief explanation of which businesses use them the most. Hopefully, this list will give you a good idea of which is right for you.

  1. .Com: By far the most popular option on the list, .com webpages are the most widely recognized and trusted. Because they are so widely used, however, it can be difficult to attain a .com suffix.
  2. .Net: .Net has dipped in popularity over the years but is still seen fairly often. It’s usually adopted by network-based companies, such as email or internet service providers.
  3. .Org: .Org is associated with non-profit work. Because of this, you should avoid using it for blogs or online stores.

Conclusion

This article has explained what domain extensions are, the most popular domain extensions available, and how you should choose one for your webpage. Locations, costs, branding — all these factors are things you should keep in mind when reaching a decision. 

When settling on your choice, make sure you think about the impact it will have on people viewing your page. Ask yourself whether it will add to your credibility.

Keeping these factors in mind, you are sure to make a good decision!

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