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Tuesday, 01 April 2014 11:11

Why Getting Fancy With a Domain Name Extension May Not Be The Best Strategy

By - Michael Rader

The number one rule when choosing a name for your business is to keep it unique. Yet while originality and distinction are important attributes, when it comes to your website extension, sometimes simplicity is best.

True, there are more options available to business owners than ever before, with .net, .org, and .biz only scratching the surface. However, .com is by far the most desirable extension and there are dangers in straying off the path. In fact, unless you have a clear goal in mind, a fancy extension may do you more harm than good. Here are a few reasons why if you are not careful, your choice in a domain name extension may have you rethinking your approach and starting from the beginning.

.Com Is the Most Recognized Internet Extension

Dot-com is the most registered internet extension in the world. In terms of sheer numbers alone, there are over 100 million registered .com names on record. By comparison, the next most popular extension, .net, has just over one million registered names. For entrepreneurs, it makes sense to choose a business name with a .com extension simply because consumers are more likely to remember you. Sure, other extensions are novel, and can be a creative way to start a conversation, but in the end, it’s the .com name that will be remembered and more importantly, found by both online customers and the search engines.

It Is Not As Simple As Registering a Favorite Name With Another Extension

Let’s say you’ve fallen in love with a particular name for your startup, but you discover that someone else already owns the .com extension. Can you simply use that name anyway with another extension? The short answer is yes, but you shouldn’t. .Com is the default extension for a reason as most people searching the internet for products or services rarely look for anything else. You can register a name that’s already claimed by using another extension. But keep in mind, if you do, you will at best be losing valuable leads, and at worst, be driving potential customers to your competitor’s web page.

Long Term Growth May Be Difficult Without a Registered .Com Name

Assuming you can build a small customer base for your business with a fancy or unique domain extension, you’re likely to experience difficulty when looking to expand or grow. .Com domains are recognized worldwide and were the first to represent online commercial enterprises. As a result, they typically have instant credibility that other extensions have not yet earned. It’s not to say that in the future, new extensions will not be more accepted, but if long term growth is in your immediate future, it’s a better strategy to stay where the international community has already placed legitimacy and longevity.

Choosing a business name can be an exciting and challenging process. Be sure to think through your strategy when it comes to a domain name extension. Don’t confuse being unique with settling for second best and remember to consider for a marketplace of truly unique, memorable, high quality .com names.

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 11:47

Michael Rader

With over ten years in web development and design, Michael Rader has expertise and technical know-how. But more than a skilled technician, he is an entrepreneur and innovator who helps startup’s and new businesses identify and define their future with a unique, brandable business name. Michael Rader is the founder and CEO of Brandroot®, a leading .com domain name marketplace. He currently lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where he operates the business and authors a blog dedicated to naming and brand name establishment.