[note background=”#F0F0F0″]This is a guest post by my friend, Rishabh Gupta. He is the founder of iNFOTYKE, a SMM & IT services company. Please feel free to connect with him on Twitter or Facebook[/note]
When you go for reserving a domain name for yourself, do you wonder what domain extension makes more sense for you (or your business)?
There was a time when having a domain automatically meant you had a “.com” and that’s why they called it the dot com bubble – the era to late 90’s when internet was introduced. Even the iPhone keyboard has a keyboard shortcut to add a “.com” to the website URL.
I still remember when I was searching for a pretty name for my startup that would represent my company. Needless to say that I was looking for a “.com” domain name and got lucky enough to get the one I desired.
Domain Extensions Have A Purpose
Every domain has it’s specific purpose, like government body uses .gov which is not available for general public, “.edu” for educational bodies, and “.org” for charity or non-government organizations. The thing is, your domain name should be meaningful and related to your brand or business. Every domain has it’s own specific value and represent the related brand.
When we buy a “.com”, it’s always a good strategy to reserve other important extensions with your brand like “.net”, “.org” “.tv” or it can be a country specific like “.co.uk” or “.us”.When you have diverse core operations represented under one brand, you can use a .net extension. It is great for several business entities on the same platform. You can probably use a .tv extension for your brand’s promotional talks and videos.
Some people prefer .org for charitable purposes as it represents the body of an organization. However we can also use the .org for other commercial or non-commercial stuff and represent the brand services, sectors or more than one venture. I personally use .org to display my all ventures at one platform.
Who Should Consider Country Specific Domains
Now a days, still many people search a domain name first before finalize the name of company. Does it matter to have a .com extension only or we can go with other country specific extensions (TLDs=Top level domain) like .in, .co.uk or .us?
If you are representing a brand or business for any specific country or in multi-nationals, it’s always good practice to use country specific domain because costing, languages, rules & regulations and delivery process are different for country to country.
Thanks to technology, your websites can detect the visitor’s country (through the IP detection) and redirect them to that native country specific portal with their native pricing or languages. Some brands use a sub-domain – like usa.website.com, russia.website.com or website.com/usa. This is another way to have a country specific website.
Keep Your Domain Names Meaningful
Domain names are awesome if people can remember the name. If your visitors can remember it, they are more likely to return and visit the site again.
That is why you will see some good looking domain names for sale at premium prices. Some companies pay to get those domains for themselves.
For example the BBC Media uses bbc.co.uk (they couldn’t get bbc.com — it was too late!) and facebook.com was thefacebook.com. Even, Box.net bought Box.com, Flickr.com bought Flicker.com, and GetDropBox.com bought DropBox.com. They were only able to make these acquisitions because they had enormous capital. This is not something everybody can do.
What Makes Sense For Your Business?
Suppose you’re a web designer from New York city and you have an online business. For you, designer.nyc or webdesigner.nyc looks more interesting than webdesignerinnewyorkcity.us.
For your online resume website, .me or .name can be interesting and meaningful when compared with a .com or .org website extension. Doesn’t it make sense?
Your motto behind your domain name is simple – domain name should speak for your business! [tweet this]
More Domain Extension Choices Available
In a highly competitive market today, getting your desired domain name which actually represents your business correctly or even for your online brand identity is very difficult.
Partly this is because of the limited number of domain extensions that have been available so far.
However, with a wide variety of top level domain extensions becoming available now, you no longer have to rely on an ambiguous domain name for your online presence.
Consider having Java.jobs as your domain name instead of JavaJobsOnline.com. How about having a Delhi.estate instead of DelhiPropertyRealEstate.com? Not just that, imagine having your photography business represented by your domain extension that says something along these lines — MyPhotoBusiness.photography or your music coaching business as MusicTeacher.guru and many more.
If you’re a blogger you can speak your mind with a .blog website. How wonderful will that be?
There are many top level domains are coming like .design, .cab, .chat, .free, .buy, .now, .support and so on. You probably will have less struggle in finding a suitable domain name for your brand name. It’s just for everybody now to choose their own brand with a pretty name with an extension that suits them the best.
How To Find A Good Domain Name
Obviously, if you are planning to find a pretty suggestion for a domain name, there are many awesome tools that can be used. You can use these domain name search engines to check if a domain name you're considering is still available for purchase, or just to view domain name information.
www.uniteddomains.com is a leading search tool for domains. It will tell you quickly about domain names if it's available or taken, across the web. You can use any domain registrar to check for names.This is just an example which I use.
Examples Of Poorly Chosen Domain Names
Why should you choose your domain names carefully and seriously? Please read the following case studies where I am going to show you some brands who probably chose a wrong domain name.
MarketHear.com – This domain name fails the “Bar Exam” right off the bat. The “Bar Exam” refers to deducing the spelling of a company name (so you can type it into your browser when you get home) when someone is screaming the name while you are in a bar.
The problem with MarketHear.com is that it fails this test so miserably that you could be in a library and shout the name at the top of your lungs, and no one would know whether you said MarketEar.com, MarketHere.com (the most logical spelling for this phrase), or MarketHear.com.
Furthermore, MarketHear.com doesn’t own MarketHere.com, so they don’t have the luxury of being able to forward it.
ForkBug.com – (Irrelevant keyword & negative connotations): You’re probably using the word “bug” for no other reason than that you’ve seen it used elsewhere many times.
“Bug” works for FireBug, FogBugz, and BugZilla because they do in fact help you deal with software bugs.
ForkBug, however, not only has nothing to do with bugs (the name is derived from a restaurant deals site), but the connotation of bugs is self-destructive: Who would want to think about jabbing a bug with a fork while they’re eating a nice meal?
This is certainly not how you create a brand unless you’re purposefully trying to leverage negative imagery for some strategic purpose.
Examples Of Carefully Chosen Domain Names
What I love about all the examples below is that I doubt they were expensive to acquire. In fact, I’m sure many of these were likely registered for $10 from a domain registrar.
Case in point: You don’t need a lot of money; you just need a sustained drive to secure a good name. You need to hustle.
FlipKart.com – An online eCommerce portal in India. The simple and meaningful name — you can always flip your cart at their portal. This is a level of naming quality that every business person should strive to achieve. This is something related and completely unforgettable name.
Digg.com – It is a rare example of a word modification that worked better than its official variant (Dig.com) probably would have: Not only does the name remain simple (a repetition of only the last letter), but the repetition happens to be of a consonant whose doubling doesn’t alter the original pronunciation or cause excessive spelling confusion (it’s easy to remember two “g’s” instead of one). Furthermore, the name is short enough to withstand the modification.
What About Trademark?
When a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) extension launches, there's a short period where domain names cannot be registered by everyone, but only by those who have a trademark for the term they wish to register.
This ensures that trademark holders can secure their names and safeguard them against malicious registrations. The Sunrise period for a new TLD lasts from 30 to 60 days, after which all names in that TLD are available for anyone to register.
If you are a trademark-holder, you get the first shot at procuring your desired Domain Names here.
How to Acquire a Domain (That Someone Already Owns)
It gets a little tricky when you want a domain which someone else has already purchased. There may be an opportunity for you to get it if the other party is willing to sell it to you. So, here are a few possible ways you can try:
1) Direct Contact
If there are no contact details on the domain’s site, perform a WHOIS lookup using DomainTools.com. You’ll either be presented with the domain owner’s contact information, or you’ll be stonewalled by a “Privacy Protection” service.
Use DomainTools.com to do a WHOIS lookup — it will tell you which registrar the domain is using. Visit that registrar’s website and search for their “Brokerage/Buy/Offer” service. The trick here is to always use the brokerage service of the registrar with which the domain is registered. This way, the registrar knows how to contact the domain’s owner, even if the owner is using Privacy Protection.
If, for example, you were to use GoDaddy’s service to contact the owner of a domain registered with Network Solutions (which has their own brokerage), GoDaddy might not be any more effective at getting in touch with the owner than yourself.
3) Legal Claim
If you believe that you’re legally entitled to the ownership of a domain because it infringes on a trademark that you registered prior to the domain’s registration, or because they are misrepresenting themselves as you, or for a few other reasons, consider exploring the UDRP.
Read through UDRP link thoroughly before you proceed with this option, as it will cost you time, energy and money, and you might not win.
4) Aftermarket Biddin
If the domain in question is listed on Sedo or Afternic, then you can simply place a bid. The only advice I can offer here is to first inform yourself of the reality of domain name analysis, research past sales with similar keywords, and get a feel for the domain name’s aftermarket trends.
No doubt, new top level domains will change the industry, and will increase our revenue, but still, somewhere, it will take a lot of guts to divert our mindset from .com. We need to get a meaningful and short name for our brand. I must say, “your brand is your baby” so, give it a name so that the world can feel the emotional attachment.
The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name. ~Theodore Roosevelt [tweet this]
I personally feel that the initial name choices can lead us to get better deal and audience if we are here for some serious business.
So, what’s the name of your baby?
Now, click here to go to the comments section or scroll down. Let me know what you think of these newly released domain extensions and how does it affect your strategy. Thank you kindly!
Nice to see you here on Kumar’s blog. Wow, you put an incredible amount to research into this post. While I do not foresee personal use of such extensions, I can envision more domain names becoming available for very specific niches, trades, and specialties… such as .coach, .artist, .mechanic, etc.
Hello Mr. Butler,
Thanks a lot for your valuable comment. Yes, you’re absolutely right- I have researched alot and used my own personal experience here. Plus, a BIG thanks to Mr. Kumar Sir for encouragement & useful suggestions. For now, most of the business persons or brand owners are using these new TLDs to redirect to their old website because it’s good to reserve these TLDs for future use. Also, I am pretty sure that these new extensions will play an awesome role for Search Engines.
Have A Good Day! 🙂
Awesome Rishabh! Thank you for taking my challenge to the heart and making it happen. I know how busy things have been for you and yet you found time to do your research to put together this fabulous post.
I am sure this will help create an awareness among people in our community to know what is happening with domain extensions and so we all can benefit from this information.
Thank you for sharing this with us here. Have a great week my friend!
Thank you Mr. Kumar for your inspiring words and great opportunity to post my blog article here. Your suggestions are always valuable to me that is what I did for this post- that's making this awesome post! 🙂 My purpose is to spread the awareness among our community! Cheers! 🙂
Nice blog post on this topic. every TLD has its own meaning but now days people takes org for blogging and something of this sort but I think website should justify the TLD. A site should not be with .org extension until it is an organisation’s website and same goes with other TLDS.
Had a good read Rishabh!
Thank you for stopping by! Main thing is our domain name should speak itself about brand or business- It should make sense to make online experience easy – remember the name, relate to business type and meaningful.
Thanking you again, Atish! 🙂
Welcome to Kumar’s blog and what a great informative post you’ve put together. I agree with Bill, lots of research has gone into this one.
I didn’t know as much when I first came on the scene but the dot com was already taken for my name. We were told not to use underscores or hyphens so to just go with the next best extension and that for me was the dot net. Whoever owns the dot com has never done anything with it and every six months I’ll get an email from them trying to sell me that one for $350. Sorry but I’m already known for the dot net so I don’t see myself spending the money for that one. I’m also not the only Adrienne Smith online either so I’m not really worrying about negative reviews which I’ve now learned it’s best to grab up those domains names now to prevent anyone else from getting them.
If I were to go and purchase every extension and domain name because I’m looking at the possibility of someone hurting me down the road, in my eyes I’m asking for trouble so I just told myself I was sticking with what I have. Since there are other people with my name I think that’s actually kind of mean to grab up all the other extensions and not give them an opportunity to create something of their own. Everyone knows me as the dot net so I’m fine with that. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s not like that’s never happened before. LOL!!!
Thanks though Rishabh for your great post and hope you both have a wonderful week.
That’s not a bad idea and it’s very generous of you that you are considerate enough to let other people use the same domain name with other extensions 🙂 But guess what, it’s not mean to protect your brand name when it comes to business. It’s just like the trademark, right? When you have a name which you want to trademark, you will want to protect that name the easy way by blocking all variants of that name so you don’t have to fight a trademark battle when somebody takes that name and starts to compete with you. You know, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You are not wrong in saying. You are just being generous in thinking that people know with .net and so you don’t need to worry. But the problem is, not the entire world knows you yet and even if they have heard your name, they are probably going to Google your name and if there is another website with the same name and .com or .org extension who is also as active and passionate as you are, the identity crisis challenge begins 🙂
I will rather block all same sounding domain names so I don’t run into these small issues that can take my time away unnecessarily in the long run. That’s the way I think. What do you say about that?
If the purpose is not commercial, we can go with dot net but as Mr. Kumar said, It's all about trademarking if we own a brand- we must reserve it.
For Example, If someone is a blogger, he must use .blog- that's what he will represent his core field. The Purpose of new extensions is more engagement, more relevant search results with accurate data.
I assume that search engines like Google or Bing can consider their search results with suggestions related extension based on ranking. It will help people to know similar scope under same extension.
Thank You very much for read my post and your valuable thought!
Great to meet you here on Kumar’s blog. I agree with Bill, that you have done an incredible amount of research here. You have given me a lot to think about.
When I first came into the blogging world I had no idea of this. I wanted to use my own name, but there is a doctor with the same name as me. Because I was starting to “tribe” (from Seth Godin’s book on tribing) I called myself donnamerrilltribe.
Now in hindsight, I could have purchased different domain names, but I didn’t. Reading through, if I ever choose to re-brand myself, I will keep this in mind.
Thank you so much for sharing your incredible knowledge,
Rishabh will respond when he wakes up. However, I liked your idea of tribe and I have seen that you have done an incredible job with building your tribe. The good thing is, you knew why you wanted tribe and you aligned your strategy with your goals. That’s exactly how businesses are supposed to operate, aren’t they?
But then, as things have changed and you have your own brand name in the marketplace, you may want to reserve your identity and block domains on your name as long as they are available 🙂
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your appreciation for Rishabh’s work on this post.
I really appreciate the appreciation. Thank you for stopping by here. 🙂
Our branding is the only way to make confidence in business, develop better ways to face the competition and lead the market. Now, as you are already become a brand, you can go with dot blog. How about www. donna. blog ? 🙂
Have a great time ahead!
Wealth of knowledge! It was a great read and indeed a lot of information. I did not know much about TLDs.
Thank you Rishabh for sharing your knowledge with us.
I will let Rishabh respond when he comes around. But, glad to know you found it valuable. Thanks for dropping by and good luck to you in your business!
Thanks a lot brother! I am really glad to know that this post is valuable for you! Trust me, new TLDs will change the domain market scenario and create better branding opportunity. Indeed, we have to register a ‘dot ceo’ for us. 🙂
My best wishes for your venture!
It is nice to read a post in which the author has done his homework! I am not very tech savvy (in my opinion), so this was a great post on something that has just been going on for a while now, and always expanding, but I never really got around to reading a bit more about it.
Glad to meet you and thanks for taking time to share your thoughts on Rishabh’s post here. Glad to know your enjoyed the article.
I am glad to know that you enjoyed my post. Yes, a lot of hard work behind the work- but this only happened possible just because of true motivation by Mr. Kumar. He inspired me to write this awesome post!
Thank you very much for dropping by! Have A Great Day!!
Hi Rishabh, So great to see you here at Kumar’s place. Wow, you really covered a lot of important information here. Having a strong domain name can make or break a website. You gave some excellent example of why some domain names work and why some don’t.
I also like the examples of using the new extensions. I am old school, I like .com as an extension but you gave some good examples of how a new extension might be more effective and memorable.
I grabbed domain names for myself and my three daughters so we could always have them. My girls may never use them but they’ll be able to if they ever want to. Hey, at least no one else will have those domain names.
Thanks so much for this great resource, Rishabh.
We are like the birds of same feather. I did the same thing for my boys. Reserved their domains just in case we need it for them (and block those domains from going away when we need) just like you did for your daughters! Amazing!
But now, with these new extensions coming in, I guess I will need to spend a few hundred dollars more to block some additional ones too 🙂
Thank you for sharing your insights about this and glad to know we think alike 🙂
I am thanking you for your appreciation and motivation for my next post. 🙂 New extensions are changing our mind set to reserve more specific, realistic and meaningful domain names- as you said, “At least no one else will have those domain names.” – we can uniquely represent our personal or professional brand.
Have a wonderful time!
Thanks for making aware about New Domain Extensions Kumar. This is a great work wich you done very earily time & you are the first who made aware about New Domain Extensions before any one ! So Congratulations to you.
Thanks for dropping by! I am really glad that you enjoyed my post! 🙂
Read your post really amazing & lot of information helpful for everyone online marketer and businessman.
Fully describe about new domain extensions in your blog which is helpful for a success business.
Thanks for shared this post.
Thank you for your truly appreciation! yes, Our main motto is to speared the awareness which is new in industry! 🙂
You covered a lot of ground about Domains and this was a great educational read. I definitely will need to come back to read it again. I love the examples you gave about poorly chosen Domain names, especially MarketHear.com. You especially have to watch out for homonyms. I’m pretty use to seeing different extensions and didn’t realize there were other extensions besides .org, .edu, .gov, and .net! Thanks for sharing this valuable information.. Have a great week!
It’s always better to choose a meaningful domain extension. Actually, this way we are going to tell people what is business all about. Sometimes, they dont need to visit the site to know the offers & services. your domain can sounds your business offering!
Thank you very much for your stopping by! Ohh Yes, you too have a nice week!!
Very interesting article and timely for me since I went through this process not that long ago to come up with a domain for my new blog. It’s quite a process because so many of the “obvious” names are already taken. The frustrating this is that so many are just sitting unused by people who’ve bought them up solely for the purpose of selling them. Business is business I suppose, but I’ve yet to become desperate enough to have to buy a domain from a private party. Thanks for the great advice!
I am glad that you enjoyed my post and this is helpful for you! New Domain gTLDs is really helpful now to giving us an opportunity to get desired domain name. As you are in blog writing, you can go with dot blog extension.
Very well detailed guide to choosing a domain name for your business. Good tips on picking up a good domain name. Thanks for posting.
Thank you for stopping by! Really good to hear from you! 🙂
Hi Rishabh, and welcome to Kumar’s blog 🙂
Just as everyone mentioned – this is a wonderful post and very well researched as well. Honestly speaking, being a writer, I had NO idea about what is a .com or a .net when I started blogging. Nor did I know what is the right or apt domain name I should choose for my blog.
However, as I’ve mentioned in some of my interviews, it was a deep thoughts that both, my husband and myself put into to create Aha!NOW, something that makes people say this word when they visit the blog for the variety of topics I write about, and I hope that it is so 🙂
Yes, there are SO many cropping up now – the .net, .uk and others, but .com is the one that goes best by general choice. I have one with my name kept aside too, a .com one, and have been debating for a long time whether I should switch to that or let Aha!NOW be as a tis? I would love suggestion for this if possible.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead, both of you 🙂
Thanking you for welcome and dropping by! 🙂
Yes, your blog name sounds what it supposed to do. I am really glad that enjoyed my article!
Just visited your portal, and my mind says three words only- Wow! Aha-Now! Your blog is covering everything from relationship to family or social media to health issues- what can make people Aha!
Have A Nice Week ahead!
That certainly was a comprehensive post, Rishabh (Thank you Kumar for introducing Rishabh to us!).
It’s certainly great that we are getting more domain extensions (It’s kind of weird though…imagine yourself typing .design or .photography; It makes the domain names longer…perhaps we will get .photo or something along those lines).
I have only owned .com domains (My initial plan, with my current blog, was to buy a .me domain). That didn’t work out…since I had to go for my full name. I didn’t want to do that….anyways, I ended up spending more time and found another name that fit the bill – Daring Blogger 😀
(My blog is about experimenting…daring to experiment, so this works really well).
Anyways, thank you for the guide, Rishabh 🙂
That is true, it can be longer than usual extensions but same time we can expect from our web browsers- they can show TLDs in drop down suggestions and we can choose the desired one. 🙂 Hey, just visited your blog- very well written & nice UI.
You’re very welcome, I am happy that you really enjoyed my post.
Thanking you for dropping by!
Actually this list of new extensions has never entertained me much but as such there was a pretty much hype when it came into the markets. This is not going to work out for the long run.
Thank you for stopping by! As of now, new extensions are using for alternative purposes, for example .job- companies are using www. company .job page for career & recruitment. Their old career page is redirecting to .job portal.
I think we need to promote these extensions for related purposes, accordingly. 🙂