Picking the right domain name for your business is a big decision. Your domain name is the foundation of your online identity and is something you will carry with you for a long time.
As if choosing the right domain name isn’t difficult enough, you will also need to select the right domain extension for your business. There are various domain extensions that are available today, with new options every year, and settling on the right one is critical to the success of your business.
How the Domain Name System Got Started
When computers started connecting in the 1960s, people looked for ways to identify one system from another. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority was created in 1972, which later became the Internet Protocol or IP address system. With the advent of email, more people began using computers, and the number sequence system became too cumbersome. In 1984, the first “name server” was created, converting numbers to readable letter formats, and the Domain Name System was instigated the following year.
Today, there are more than 19 million registered domain names, and the number continues to grow. The most popular domain extension — the .com — has become very saturated. Alternatives were developed to allow internet users to take domain names that were already spoken for and pair them with new extensions.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular extensions:
- .com — This is the most popular extension. It was originally intended for commercial sites but is now used by all kinds of websites.
- .edu — This extension is available only for educational institutions.
- .org — This extension is meant for organizations, usually non-profits. This extensions has slowly been diluted to serve any purpose with a touch of credibility
- .net — Created for networked websites, .net is now used for various purposes.
- .biz — This is an alternative extension for commercial or business websites, but it has been associated in recent years with spam websites.
- .info — The .info extension was created for informational websites, but like others, can serve any purpose now. Unfortunately, this extension is often associated with spammy sites, too.
- .me — You will find this extension in use with mostly personal websites.
These are just a few common extensions, but there are others. When choosing your domain name, it is important to give it a brandable title. It should be easy to type and pronounce, but it should be specific enough that it is not easily confused with other domain names. Keep your name short and easy to interpret.
Do your homework when it comes to choosing your domain name and extensions. Bounce your choices off of other people to get their feedback. After all, you’ll be living with your domain name for a long time so it’s critical to pick a winner.