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Is a .com the Best Choice for Your Website?

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Whether you’re a blogger, a podcaster, a web TV producer, or a business, you probably have your own website. Or, at the very least, are interested in getting your own domain name so you have have a website. For most people, tons of thought goes into choosing your domain name. One of the elements you definitely need to think about is the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.).

Novel names are coming as soon as next year, reports the BBC. But today, you already have several choices, including not only some of the more commonly used choices, but also options such as .me, .es, and .in to name a few.

Why .com Domain Names Rock

There are a lot of compelling arguments out there for purchasing a .com domain name over any other type of domain. At the end of the day, this is the most common type of domain name for a reason. Here are some of the biggest advantages to choosing a .com for your website:

  • People can most easily remember .com since it is so common.
  • When people do not know, .com is the thing they most common type in the address bar.
  • You can often more easily sell a .com name (if you want to do this someday).

But .com domain names are not going to rule forever, and already we see quite popular sites using different names, especially when the extension makes sense with the rest of the domain name. A good example is Visual.ly, which uses the .ly extension.

An Argument for Other Extensions

While .com makes sense for many, other extensions should be considered for your website as well. At BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012, I had the chance to talk to the folks at .ME, and there are some very compelling reasons to choose this extension (or another non-.com extension):

  • Chances are pretty good that the .com domain name you want is already taken.
  • You can do a play on words. Some .me success stories include About.me, Call.me, and the ever-popular Formspring.me.
  • Having something other than .com as your extension can make your domain name memorable.

A slightly shorter extension (three characters instead of two, like is possible with .me and others like .ly and .co) is also better if you’ll be using the domain name as a link shortener. For example, Facebook uses fb.me. Every character counts!

The Bottom Line

So should you go for a .com or choose a more unique extension? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question. For some website owners, the best choice is .com hands down, but for others, .me or another extension might make more sense. If you’re in the process of choosing a domain name for your next website, don’t rule out non-.com choices.

Check out .ME for more information about why this type of extension might be right for you!

How to Choose a Perfect Domain Name?

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The domain name is your Internet ID, a cornerstone of your online presence, and thus should be chosen carefully. With the ongoing increase of broadband penetration at the world level and, more importantly, rapid personalization of the user online presence, the domain is assuming even more significant role in creating a virtual destination. In general, there are three ways of using the Web space (personal, business and community), which affect the domain name choice.

Personal

Clearly, the domain name usually matches the personal name. However, before rushing to claim your name, perform a short search engine test first. If it is already registered on multiple extensions, a new registration will only reduce your chances of eventually becoming recognized by a wider Internet community. In this instance, the last name or the nickname could be a great alternative (of course a search engine test is recommendable).

As for the extension, gTLDs (generic top level domains such as .com, .net, .org) are more commonly used than ccTLDs (country-code top level domains such as .de, .es, .ru, .us) since they are targeting wider audience. However, if traditional extensions (.com. .net, .org etc.) are not available, consider registering one of the sizzling new ones that may add personal flavor to your virtual home.

Business

The key feature of your business domain name is memorability – the more memorable, the more chance to be re-visited. What makes this online memorability? Three things: length, call-to-action and a nice extension.

A short domain is, by default, easy to remember and perfect for sharing across online and offline social media. For instance it saves characters on Twitter, fits on your business card, spreads rapidly through the word of mouth etc.

Call-to-action is what makes a website URL appealing. This concept urges users to act immediately and get the domain (permanently) stuck in a consumer’s head. For instance, .ME is perfect for creating domain hacks consisting of Verb + Extension – just try to forget addresses such as Advise.ME, Join.ME, Blog.ME or even those including newly coined words such as Themify.ME!

Finally, the extension plays an important role – if you start/launch on a ccTLD it is more than recommendable to register a gTLD, since at some point the company may go global. Nonetheless, do not register it at any cost. Should there be shortage of suitable names on mainstream extensions, keep in mind that some new ccTLDs (including .ME and .CO) may be a good option since they be geo-targeted in the Webmaster Tools. Therefore, you can set them to any location regardless of their country of origin.

Community

In general, community implies usage of web space for online portals, forums, databases, organizations etc. The most commonly used domain for community websites is .org, so it is by default the primary choice. Still, all of the above (memorability and use of alternative extension) should apply to community websites as well.

In addition to these general guidelines, there is a number of tools across the web available for public use such as WHOIS, domain suggestions, registrar and registry websites, domain auction tools and dropped domains tools etc. that can make your quest easier. If used along with the piece of advice provided above, these tools will give you a pretty good idea of what should be your dream domain name. In the end, instead of getting the domain you really want, you will register the domain you really need.

The .Me Registry operates the .ME domain name which is available for worldwide registration and also offers special, highly valuable premium names through its development program (see details here). .ME Registry (the d.b.a. of doMEn, d.o.o.) was chosen by the government of Montenegro to operate the new .ME domain name extension. ME Registry partners include ME-net, GoDaddy.com and Afilias Limited.

Survival Guide to Domain Names

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From the time when the Internet was invented until today, with all different technologies developed in the mean time, domain names and DNS remained strictly structured and fairly easy to understand, which is amazing since everything else changed so much. It is true that sometimes an average user doesn’t even want to know what holds a website together because it looks too complicated. But, in the domain name industry a complicated part actually comes with human minds and things like commercial purposes, marketing tricks, different evaluations etc. Here is what you should be aware of when thinking about domain name registration.

The Basics: Know the basics

“Every computer on the Internet has a unique address called its “IP address” (Internet Protocol address). Since, IP addresses (strings of numbers) are hard to remember, the DNS (domain name system) allows a familiar string of letters (the “domain name”) to be used instead. So, rather than typing “192.0.34.163,” you can type www.icann.org. The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users find their way around the Internet.”

Survival First Aid: Understanding domains

The organization that coordinates all of these unique identifiers across the world is called ICANN. They are in charge of delegation of Top-Level Domain names (TLDs). Some TLDs are delegated to companies or organizations (generic top-level domains or gTLDs,), and some to countries and regions (country code top-level domains or ccTLDs).  In general, .com stands for the company, .org is for the organization, .us is for the USA, .uk is for the United Kingdom, .ru is for Russia, and .me is for Montenegro.

Beyond the Basics: Types of domains (TLDs) and their real meaning

Although ICANN decided to assign a purpose to every TLD in the world, the domain history has shown that TLDs sometimes have a life of their own. What happens is that users decide what they want to do with a particular TLD. Take a .com for example – for a long time it was (and it might still be), unofficial domain of the USA, although the US has its own country code top-level domain.

.COM was intended to be used for a commercial purposes only. However, you’ll find many more uses for .com as well as for .org and .net. Somehow, along all these years the usage of top-level domains made them lost their original purpose. Some TLDs faded away, some gained unexpected popularity. Contrary to the original concept, some ccTLDs gained more global appeal than certain gTLDs. When you think about .travel, and the purpose it was supposed to have, a various usage in the tourism industry is first what comes to mind. Many would say “what a great idea!” Well, it failed, especially when you compare it to the success of the .de or .uk.

This brings us to the point where it seems that actually the combination of meaning and length might affect the popularity. Therefore, it is understandable that due to the multiple meanings certain ccTLDs like .me, .tv, .fm exceeded their country borders. After all, what is a better choice for a radio channel than .fm or .am, and what is more personal for a blog than .me?

New TLDs, or how to choose wisely?

Recently ICANN has accepted a new policy that allows virtually anyone to start a TLD. If we have over 200 TLDs, will this decision result in a better organization or will it create chaos? Will we need a different system to decipher DNS? And ultimately, what will an end costumer need to know about new TLDs? Not much! You do not need to study marketing to realize that being memorable is the most important thing in the business world of today. It is same with domains  – you need to “feel” a domain name, to hear its jingle. Who wants a name that is difficult to pronounce or spell, like ThisIsMyCompanyNameAndThisIsWhatIDo .com?

Believe it or not, domain extensions are an important category of not only the Internet infrastructure but also advertising, and they are part of the string where you need to fit in. Everything before the extension whether it is, your name, your company name or a cool marketing message reflects your personality. But remember, the content behind a name is how you present yourself, and it is the most important aspect of the web presence for your users loyalty. “CrazyD.me” may get you some traffic, but if there is nothing else valuable behind the appealing URL, nobody will return to your website ever again.

So, when choosing a domain name, get one that fits your business or personal model best but keep in mind two things – make it short and cool.

The .Me Registry operates the .ME domain name which is available for worldwide registration and also offers special, highly valuable premium names through its development program (see details here). .ME Registry (the d.b.a. of doMEn, d.o.o.) was chosen by the government of Montenegro to operate the new .ME domain name extension. ME Registry partners include ME-net, GoDaddy.com and Afilias Limited.

 

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