Guest Author: Alisha Shibli.
Alisha is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .STORE and .TECH.
Please note: The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of Enom.
When it comes to registering a domain name, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. After all, when you’re building a business or starting an online venture, you want to ensure that all factors are working to your advantage. The process of choosing the right domain name is a lot less daunting when you know the basics. So today, we’re tackling some of the most common questions asked by domain name buyers. The information here will also be handy for resellers looking to educate their customers.
1. What is a domain name and how is it different from a website?
Websites and domain names are closely related, but they’re two different things. You can think of your website as your house and your domain name as its address. In order for someone to access your website, they need to know its domain name.
Every domain name has two basic parts: the “top-level domain” (TLD) and the “second-level domain.” For example, in the domain name [yourbrandname].tech, “.TECH” is the TLD and “yourbrandname” is your second-level domain. Together, these form a complete domain name.
Your domain name will usually include your brand name or the name of a particular sector or product that you’re promoting. When choosing a domain name, you’ll realize there are now numerous TLDs available such as .STORE, .PRESS, .SPACE, .ONLINE, .WEBSITE, .SITE, etc. So, make sure you choose whichever brands your business best.
2. What should I consider when buying a domain name?
What some businesses don’t realize is that choosing a domain name is one of the most important decisions they make when establishing their online presence. The domain name is more than just a glorified IP address. It is important for search engines and for customers. Moreover, it is an incredible branding tool, which is why it is crucial to choose a name that adds value to your business and will help you stay relevant even a decade later.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing a domain name for your business:
- Buy domain names that are easy to spell and remember. Avoid using misspelled words. A unique spelling may seem creative, but such domain names fail to be radio friendly—a very important factor in the voice search era.
- Keep your domain name as short as possible. Anything more than 18 characters is too long. For example, [healthysnack].store is a better domain name than [healthysnacks-store].com.
- Avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain name. They are just extra characters for your customers to remember. A user might forget to add the hyphen or get confused between the numerical “6” and the word “six”.
- Make sure to do your homework and check global databases to ensure that your domain name isn’t trademarked or copyrighted. This will help if you plan to expand your business to other countries in the future.
- Consider leveraging new, descriptive TLDs to brand your business and act as a home for different marketing and sales endeavors. For example, Emirates has emirates.com as its commercial website and emirates.store as its online merchandise store.
3. If I have multiple domain names, how can I use them together?
You don’t just have to stick to one domain name! Using multiple TLDs in interesting ways can create memorable customer interactions with your brand, or, perhaps, promote your personal side-project alongside your primary business. Here are some of the many ways one can make use of new domain names:
- Primary Domain: Use a domain name to create an online identity for your business. For example, louder.online or stronger.tech
- Professional Email ID: Use a domain name to make a strong first impression with a unique email id. For example, [firstname]@[brand].online.
- Branded URL Shortener: Use a domain name to enhance brand visibility and build trust with every link that you share online. For example, [yourbrandname].tech/contest looks more official than “https://bit.ly/2taRHVV”.
- Domain Redirect: Use a domain name to make an important inner page easily accessible by creating a deep-link. For example, kindle.store redirects to Amazon’s Kindle store.
- Product Launches: Use a domain name to attract customers to your new product, store upgrades or seasonal promotions. For example, if you are introducing a new car and want to position it as a “fun” car, you can launch it on [carname].fun.
- Personal Brand: Use a domain name to build an attractive online persona for yourself. For example, terrene.space is the portfolio website of a freelance photographer, writer, graphic designer & illustrator, Ana Petre.
- Vanity: Use a new domain name to share your social media profile. For example, [yourname].tech could forward to one of your social media profiles.
- Blog / Press Page: Use a domain name to make your brand gain visibility online with a [brandname].press. For example, cars.mclaren.press is McLaren’s official media site.
4. How can I decide between a ccTLD, geoTLD, gTLD, or nTLD?
Let’s first clarify the difference between these terms.
Generic top-level domains (gTLD) are, as their name suggests, generic. They have a broad application based on the purpose of the website. For example, .COM (commercial), .ORG (organization), .NET (networks), .EDU (education), etc.
Country code top-level domains (ccTLD) are regulated by a specific country and are best used to target customers within that country. Some examples include. US, .CA (Canada).TR (Turkey) .IN (India), .CO.UK, .AE (UAE), .DE (Germany), .FR (France), etc.
GeoTLDs are similar, but they are tied to a specific region, rather than a country. City extension like .NYC or .LONDON as well as options like .AFRICA and .ASIA exist.
New generic top-level domains (nTLD), which are sometimes just referred to as “new TLDs” are recently launched generic domain extensions.
They tend to be more industry- or product-specific, so their adoption has the potential to make the Internet more organized and business-friendly. Some other examples of nTLDs include .STORE for eCommerce and retail, .TECH for technology, .FUN for leisure, .PRESS for media and news.
Plus, there are many with universal appeal, like .ONLINE, .SITE, etc. In fact, .ONLINE and .SITE have become so popular that over 1 million domain names have been registered on each of these extensions so far. And these nTLDs are still relatively new, you are likely to find that your perfect domain name is available on one of them!
When it comes to choosing the right domain extension for your domain name, you need to look at the nature and purpose of your business. For example, if you have a tech business, then a .TECH domain would be an ideal choice.
With the information above, you are well-equipped to make an informed choice. Get started with a search for your perfect domain name.