A top-level domain (TLD) is also referred to as a domain extension. The suffix that would follow the domain name in a web address is the TLD, and the most commonly used TLD is “.com”. Websites have become more important than ever after the global lockdown due to Covid-19. Hence it has become essential to choose one’s domain name for business, personal blog, or something similar. But before that, it is crucial to know the different types and the most popular top-level domains.
How Did The Domain Names Appear?
At the beginning of the internet days, only a string of numbers separated by dots was used to identify and access the Internet. These are referred to as IP addresses (Internet Protocol addresses). Because it was difficult to remember them, easier-to-use and remember domain names were invented to simplify access to resources on the Internet.
Domain names are now more meaningful and are represented in words or strings of characters, and numbers. Some punctuation marks that Domain Name System (DNS) servers match to the IP addresses of computers (servers). With the invention of the WWW (World Wide Web) and the rapid growth of business and personal websites since the mid-1990s, the importance of recognizable and easy-to-remember domain names has grown even more.
Five Most Common Domain Extensions
When it comes to selecting the right domain, familiarity is a good place to start. Look for the most common domain extensions in your industry and choose one that corresponds to the brand of your choice and its consumer expectations. This usually entails selecting a well-known TLD. Here are the five most commonly used domain extensions to think about.
The top-level domain you choose is far more critical than you might think. Let’s look at common domain extensions and how they fit your new domain.
It is the most popular domain extension available, and it encompasses most of the commercial titles that exist on the Internet. It was primarily used for for-profit businesses, but now it has attained the levels of go-to domain extensions.
For decades, we’ve been typing.com domains on search browsers, so it’s what we’ve come to expect from websites. When we first hear about a domain extension, we automatically assume it is a “.com” domain because that is the most familiar extension. Indeed, if there is a “.com” for your domain that you do not own, there is a good chance that visitors are being directed to that domain instead of the actual one of yours due to human error. Some hackers are even purchasing your company’s.com and other misspelt domains to scam your customers, a practice known as typo squatting. Hence to avoid such scams, jump at the opportunity to get a “.com”
“.net”, just like the “.com” extension, is available to anyone. What was once meant to provide internet service or networks is now a popular alternative to.com websites. Because it more or less implies network and technology, the “.net” TLD may be a good choice for a tech or web-based businesses.
If your company is in one of these industries, “.net” is the perfect domain extension that helps in validating and communicate your services. Furthermore, because “.net” is less popular than.com, your desired domain is more likely to be available. Because many people associate “.net” with technology, companies that do not operate in the technology or web-service industries prefer not to use this TLD.
For an instance, if you run a bakery and need a “.net” domain extension, you might go for Cookies.net. Users may mistakenly believe that your company is about the services of internet web cookies rather than edible baked goods. This disconnect may cause visitors to your baking website to become confused. Hence you might want to choose the domain accordingly.
The.org extension was created to represent non-profit organizations, but it is now accessible to anyone. Many non-governmental organizations, politicians, political parties, and online communities use it as a domain extension. Many web users associate “.org” with a reliable and dependable informatory source, but not commercial brands.
Because the “.org” extension is one of the original domain extensions, it has many of the same SEO benefits as “.com”. Furthermore, because “.org” is less popular than “.com”, you have a better chance of obtaining the domain of your choice with that extension. As a result, many organizations choose the “.org” TLD for their website, and hence it becomes a prevalent extension.
While “.org” may make sense if you run a non-profit or information-based business, it is inappropriate for everyone. For example, numerous people associate “.org” with communities as well as knowledge bases. So if you run an e-commerce store, a “.org” may not be the best choice. Most visitors do not expect to buy anything from a “.org” domain.
The “.co” extension was actually a country code for Columbia but has become a popular choice for international domains. While it’s an intriguing option on the list of top domain extensions, its popularity has raised bars in recent years. The “.co” top-level domain is an abbreviation for company, corporation, or commercial venture. Because of this familiarity, many forward-thinking entrepreneurs have built their brands on the “.co” domain extension.
Using “.co” to create a website makes sense if you are a business, especially if you are a young startup trying to market itself as original or unique. While.com is the most well-known and widely used,.co is newer, shorter, and more in keeping with the brevity of younger generations. This newness could be a great way to popularize your business and reach a younger audience.
“.us” is another popular domain extension. Unlike the domains listed above, which are available to anyone, “.us” is only available to US citizens and entities. You should be a permanent resident of the US or have significant business operations in the United States.
The “.us” TLD, like the “.gov” extension, was once associated with the United States government. However, it is now open to the general public and businesses. The websites that shine with a. “us” extension have an American or patriot identity.
While the “.us” extension is ideal for innovative brands and patriotic websites, it is not appropriate for brands that do not use patriotism in their marketing or do not do business in the United States.
Other Domain Extensions
The domain extensions listed above are a good starting point, but they are not your only options. In fact, there are over 1,500 different TLDs available. Other popular choices include:
- .gov — Limits government agencies
- .edu — Limits to educational fields
- .info — An abbreviation for information
- .xyz — A general-use extension
- .ly — an extension for startups for creative spellings
- .site — a new generation domain extension that became very popular
- .me – freelancers or consultants use this domain extension
There are many aspects to consider when selecting the ideal domain name. Aside from choosing a name that shows your personal or brand identity and is easy to remember and type, you must also ensure that the domain extension is available and meets your requirements. Hence you should register to the most popular domain extension with a large marketplace where you can build domains that allows you to promote your business.