Websites are tricky little buggers! It may get a little confusing considering the sheer magnitude of things to look into while developing your brand’s website but if you get down to the basics, it’s not that hard! We’ve worked with over 200 clients and we’ve realized that the minute you remove the big words and simplify the process, it's really quite easy to comprehend!
It all starts with the idea of having a website! Great! Now that we’ve got that sorted, we can move onto choosing a name! Now here is where things get a little problematic so don't lose track!
Let's assume you want to name your website ABC. For this purpose, we need to address two things; Domain Name and Domain Extensions.
Imagine you want to build a house. You have the design of the house ready but you need to find the perfect location for it. The design of the house here is your website but the perfect location is your domain name. Now imagine you’ve found the perfect location, and you’re figuring out what the pin code for that area would be. The pin code here is your domain extension. So a domain name and a domain extension go hand in hand and subdomains of the same entity!
A domain name is a URL that is used to find the website. In our case, it’s marmeto.com. Marmeto is the name of the website and .com is the domain extension. Without having purchased this entire name, we wouldn't have been able to design and develop our website.
The perfect domain extension not only helps target customers in your country of choice but also opens up doors to future conversions and more traffic on your website!
So, how did all this start?
In the early days of the internet, visiting a website meant typing out the entire IP address. If you didn't have the IP address, tough luck my friend, no website search for you. At that time accessibility to the internet was limited and the number of hosted websites was also not too many, so this system was manageable.
However, with the internet quickly gaining momentum, this system was failing, To tackle this impending doom, computer scientists of the Internet Engineering Task Force created a domain registration system called Domain Name System (DNS). This allowed complicated IP addresses to be clubbed under a specific domain name and instead of remembering the entire IP address, users could simply type in the URL.
Why couldn't it just be a one size fits all policy?
Imagine you have a truckload of eggs of different kinds; standard white, standard brown, free-range, organic, vitamin-enhanced, vegetarian, processed, etc. If you had to sort these into different boxes, would you simply label all of them as eggs and leave it at that?
We’re guessing not. The same goes for websites. With so many different kinds of websites catering to different needs, clubbing them all under one extension did not make sense. Which is why, at that time, the scientists came up with Top-Level Domains (TLDs), which are, .com, .net., .edu, .mil, .gov, and .org. While used to club together different types of business at that time, today the process has become more or less redundant. Today domain extensions are available for all and are not bound to a specific category of businesses.
What are the different types of domain extensions
As we mentioned earlier, 6 top-level domains were originally created but today, there are endless possibilities.
The most commonly used extensions include:
- .com – intended for “company” but now widely used for any types of website
- .net – intended for “network” but also widely used for any types of website
- .org – intended for “organization” and is more often used for non-profit organizations
- .biz – intended for “business”
- .info – intended for informational sites
- .mobi – intended for mobile websites
- .eu – intended for websites, personal or commercial, in Europe
- .me – the country-specific domain extension for Montenegro, but it has become widely used worldwide for personal websites, such as blogs and online portfolios.
- .in- the country-specific domain extension for India but also an abbreviation of Commercial and Company.
That's globally though. How about in India? Which are the most popular extensions in India? Have a look below:
How important is choosing the right domain extension?
A few years back, our answer to this question would have been “extremely important.” However, with today’s dynamic market scenario, our answer ranges between important to mildly important. Most extensions today have become more fluid and are open to use for all types of businesses but certain extensions such as .edu or .govt are still dedicated to a particular type of activity only.
When you are setting up your website, the primary goal is to get customers on to your website for them to purchase whatever you are offering. In the case of niche businesses, choosing either .com or an extension dedicated to the niche sector becomes important. It is important to keep in mind that newer extensions start with a bang but eventually fizzle out.
Tips for choosing the perfect domain extension to your website
Now that we’ve covered the what and the why, let’s get into the how. How do you choose the perfect domain extension?
Here are some tips:
Firstly, analyze the purpose of your website and choose your domain extension. If you’re an online business, then a .com or .biz could be it. If you’re creating blogs for an organization, .org could be your go-to. worthwhile. If the blog is for an organization, then you have .org extensions which could be a viable option. If you’re into personal blogging, then a .me could be the way forward for you.
Secondly, analyze if tapping into local SEO is something that you want to do. If it is, then using a country code TLD (top-level domain) such as .in for India or .eu for Europe, should help you target a specific geographical area that you’re in.
Thirdly, look into SEO and how the extension of your choice helps rank other websites. This will give you an idea of the future ranking of your website.
Lastly, whenever in doubt, choose a .com extension. It is not only the most popular but also ranks better in SEO. In an analysis by Statista on the different domain extensions, it was noted that “.com” is used by the majority of websites all over the world.
Do a thorough analysis of how multiple email providers respond to your chosen extension before purchasing it as mails from domain extensions such as .org or .info automatically end up in spam folders due to internal settings.
All said and done, domain extensions cause a lot of confusion for brands. At the end of the day, it all comes down to 4 things:
- Your target audience
- Your target audience’s country of origin
- Your budgeted expenditure on your domain name
- Your expected SEO ranking
Once you have the answers to these questions, more often than not, the process of choosing a domain extension becomes considerably easier.
Do your research and spend time on analysis! The answer will automatically pop up!
And if you know deep down that there is a certain domain you know you have to have but your extensions of choice aren't available, go in for an alternate extension!