When it comes to building and establishing your online business, your choice of domain names is vital. That's because your domain name helps to support your brand, and is often the first exposure to your brand a potential customer has.
So, how do you choose the best domain name? And what should you make of the plethora of available domain extensions?
That's exactly what we're addressing in this post. Whether you're establishing an online business, expanding your business, or launching a new product line, you're going to want a domain name. And we want to help you select the best one for your needs.
We sat down with our resident domain expert, Bailey Comyns, to ask for her insight on new domain extensions. Take a look at what she had to say below.
Hi Bailey, thanks for joining us today to discuss new domain extensions. To start, can you please tell us a little bit about what you do at Network Solutions?
Thanks for having me! I work in Domain Product Marketing, meaning I manage the pricing and packaging of the domain extensions we sell. I like that my role is very diverse. I’m always working with different departments on new challenges. I even do in-person events sometimes!
My main responsibility though is managing our registry relationships, or the “owners” of the domain extensions we sell, like .com or .store. That means I do things like launch new sales or promotions and determine which TLDs our customers might be interested in. Each domain extension is unique, so it’s hard to feature just one or two!
Thank you for that, it sounds like you have quite a lot on your plate, including registry relations. Can you explain the relationship between a registrar like Network Solutions and your registry partners?
Yes, it’s really an interesting relationship that many people don’t consider when visiting a website!
As I mentioned, each domain extension has an “owner” so to speak. This is what we call a domain registry. A domain registry is responsible for the operation of the domain extension, so doing things like setting costs and determining if there should be any restrictions on who can register their extensions. For example, CIRA, the registry behind .ca, has determined that .ca will be the official domain extension for Canada and that only Canadians can register it.
But registries need to go through a registrar, like Network Solutions, in order to sell their extensions. In very simple terms, Network Solutions and other domain registrars could be considered a middleman between you and a domain name.
That’s really interesting. Before we get any further, can you help us understand what a domain extension is?
Sure! A domain extension is what comes “after the dot.” The one everyone is familiar with is .com, but Network Solutions offers hundreds of extensions. As an example, "Yourwebsitename.com" is a domain name, and the domain extension is ".com."
Is there a difference between older domain extensions, like .com or .org and newer extensions like .io or .gay? Or do they function the same way?
No matter which extension you choose, you really can’t go wrong, but extensions like .com or .org are very well known and have been around for a long time. Extensions like .io and .gay are newer to the market, so it may be easier to find your desired domain name.
At the end of the day though, they all allow you to publish a website! The real benefit of new domain extensions is that they allow you to choose a domain name that perfectly suits your site. Technology companies can now choose a .tech domain name, and bloggers now have .blog to carve out their niche online.
We’re slowly starting to see more and more of these new domain extensions in everyday life.
What do you think of the increase in new domain extensions? Are they worth considering for a website or would you stick to a more traditional domain extension?
I definitely wouldn’t limit myself to just one, .com and .net are our reliable, recognizable extensions. And .com is by far the most popular extension out there — it has a lot of trust behind it.
In addition to finding a great .com, I would also get the matching new domain extensions as well.
Domain names are unique — there's only one of each, and once your desired domain is registered by someone else, it’s gone. If you’re serious about brand protection and growing site traffic, I would highly recommend also exploring new domain extensions that are relevant to your site’s objective.
Have you noticed any trends in domain registration regarding new domain extensions?
CcTLDs are very popular for local businesses. As I mentioned, .ca, the domain extension for Canadians, is a ccTLD, but there are also extensions for the U.S., Mexico, India... almost any country or geo you can think of. CcTLDs are great because they make it easier to connect with local audiences and can communicate a sense of trust.
Technology-related domains are also having success right now. Domain extensions like .tech, .io, .online, .dev, and .app are all gaining traction alongside trends like cryptocurrency and AI. In general, if you want to know which extensions may be increasing in popularity, just take a look at what’s being discussed on the news!
What advice regarding extensions would you give to someone looking to register a domain name for their website?
Don’t limit yourself and explore all your options. Your perfect domain name is out there, but you may need to switch up some keywords or consider alternatives. If you’re really stumped, sit down and list all relevant keywords for your website and try different combinations and different extensions.
That's great advice. Thanks for sitting down and talking with us today, Bailey!