A domain extension is a section at the end of a webpage address that indicates the country or region of a website. Domain extensions provide a mapping of website domain names to their geographic location. For example, if you visit the website www.warren.com, the domain extension is .com. There are many variations of this convention in different countries and regions. Many of these variations help to provide ubiquitous access to websites.
You’ve got an idea, a business plan, and a design. Now what? As you move through the process of registering your domain, it can be tough to know which terms and extensions you should choose. With so many available options, what is the best way to make your choice?
As you research for your perfect domain name, it may seem like choosing a domain extension is as complicated as it gets. But before you go nuts trying to wrestle which one goes where let’s simplify this process. The truth is that websites often use more than one extension at once. So let’s figure out what are the types of domain extensions, and you can choose the best one.
Types of Domain Extensions
For most purposes, a domain extension is nothing more than a placeholder that’s used to uniquely identify a website. It’s just a URL extension used in web addresses. But, as you’ll soon learn, a domain extension can be a lot more than that. First, let’s clear out on the domain name extension definition.
A domain extension is a domain name extension that registered by an administrative entity on behalf of the domain name holder. These types of extensions modify the name of the original domain to “domain.com”. In the top-level domain hierarchy, these are under “.com” and followed by other extensions such as “.net” or “.org”. We’ll call these “Parent TLDs.” For a business, the most often considered type is the “.com.”
When brands launch new websites, they can resort to cloud server hosting services and choose an extension for the domain. This is to identify the role the site plays. For example, companies might choose the main website with a main category followed by other subdomains which have varying categories. Below is a list of the common types of domain name extensions explained.
Generic Domain Extensions
Generic domain extensions are.com, .net, and .org. Google appears to be largely targeting domains related to generic domain extensions rather than individual websites’ domain names. As of today, the number of available TLD generic domains has increased – you are free to choose from .blog .beer, etc.
Sponsored Domain Extensions
This type of domain extension is limited to specific kinds of institutions and companies. Sponsored Domain Extensions (SDE) are becoming more and more common today. They secure your online identity while simultaneously promoting your site.
Generic-Restricted Domain Extensions
This kind of domain extension is restricted to certain types of websites. The extensions policy allows ICAAN registration, ownership of a domain name, registration of a domain name after it has been registered to a party, or transferring a domain name to another registrant. However, if an organization wants to receive authorization to use a domain after the transfer, it must apply for the change from the registrar of the domain and provide an explanation of the intended use.
Country Code Domain Extensions
Country code domain extensions are the country code extension of the domain, e.g., .us or .uk. When you register a domain name, the registration process will ask you which country you want your domain to be affiliated with. Countries assign codes to the top-level domain of their country to denote the country in their domain name.
What are the Most Common Domain Extensions?
It’s important to know the distinctions between meanings of domain name extensions. There are lots of options under the domain name extension umbrella, and many can be confusing. But if you know the difference between a TLD, dot-com, and GTLD, you’ll be better equipped to make the most out of the domain name you’re after.
We’ve analyzed data on registered domains to find out what the most popular domain extensions are in the world today. Hopefully, this can help you find the right domain for your website.
The most popular domain extensions in the world include .com, .net, .org, and .uk, and these are the most used domain extensions in websites globally. Some other popular domain extensions are:
- The .biz domain extension is a business extension for independent businesses. This extension has already had a powerful and distinguished impact.
- The .gov domain extension defines governmental organizations. For instance, the Government of the United States of America owns the “.gov” top-level domain.
- The .mobi domain extension is used by today’s hottest emerging mobile websites. With a .mobi domain, you can indicate that your website is mobile-friendly.
How to Choose the Best Domain Extension for Your Website
The domain extension you use won’t make any difference to how your website performs, but using a specific extension can make a difference in how your website’s visitors perceive your website. Generally, you should try to get .com for the selected domain, and if it is not available, .net may fit just as well. But first, you should learn what domain extensions mean.
However, remember that you need your domain to be easily distinguished. If a person doesn’t recall your domain name extension, they’ll probably enter .com. If this will eventually lead to a competitor’s website or a blank web page, you may lose that user for good. There is a huge number of websites now with WordPress-hosted domains and this doesn’t end up well for companies who want to raise brand awareness. A word of advice – bootstrap for WordPress is a way to make your website more attractive as it supports custom domains.
Another common practice is to make sure that there are no websites that use the same domain name as yours. Otherwise, copyright violation is only the first problem to be faced, with other additional issues and legal liabilities down the line.
Know what premium top-level domains are? They seem to be popping up everywhere. Well, they’re TLDs that you can buy and use just like initials or other Alphabet-based sites, stands for a more accurate term for more precise search terms, and is also a place for companies that may have a well-established brand in a specific niche to increase their online visibility.
The premium top-level domains are: .com, .net, .org, .de, .uk, .fr, .cn, .co, and .eu. The undisputed winner is .com. Most will agree that this is the best option for recognition, search rankings, and intrinsic value. Premium TLDs have always been an expensive proposition, but now there’re new options that slash the price if you serve ads or domains.
Can You Invent Your Own Domain Extension?
A domain name is basically an identifier used to distinguish the specific domain on which your website hosted throughout the internet. It is used to separate the website from the many others on the same server or on different servers, both of which are referred to as subdomains.
But with millions of websites on the internet, picking a good domain extension for your website can be daunting. The internet is essentially one big infinite web, with more links than you can shake a stick at.
If you own a domain extension and are looking for ways to distinguish yourself from your competition. You may want to consider inventing your own domain extension. You can apply for your custom extension, but first, you’ll need to wait till ICANN is open for applications.
How to Choose the Right Domain Extension for You?
Your choice of domain extension speaks volumes about the type of business you’re trying to establish. To avoid costly and time-consuming domain name disputes, use domain extension meanings that accurately reflect your business. You have to consider what you want your business or product to stand for when you make the decision.
For instance, if you are thinking of choosing the .io extension. Then you should consider the significance of this decision, particularly as this is not found on a wide variety of websites. .io is a zone reserved for open source and self-hosted solutions such as wordpress.org and github.com.
Sometimes businesses would like to be able to restrict access to their website and email address to a specific geographic region or restrict the content that appears on their site to those users who are in a specific class, industry, or professional level. In these cases, domain name extensions like .us, .edu, .co, and .br can come in handy.
Following the best practices listed below, be sure to choose the extension that matches your current branding, website, and business needs:
- If possible, try using the .com domain.
- Make your domain name extension meaning fit your website.
- Do not select a TLD for a domain that is already in use.
- Define a domain extension that will distinguish your website from others.