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Choosing a Domain Extension

Part of registering your domain name is choosing a domain name, and also choosing a domain extension. There are many domain name extensions to choose from, some with domain restrictions, keep reading to find out what domain name extension options you have.

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Which Extension Should I Use for My Domain Name?

When it comes to your domain name, you want it to be just right. This means that you should put some thought not only into what your domain name will be called in the main, but also what extension you will use.

What is a domain name extension?

A domain name extension are those letters that come after the “.”. For .com, .org and .edu are all common extensions. These extensions are mainly designed to give people an idea of what you do. But there are also extensions such as .ca and .uk that denote countries. Obviously, if you want to use www.yourname.co.uk, you will have to actually be located in the U.K. And there are other designations that you have to have a specific purpose to use. If you want to use .mil, .gov or .edu, you have to prove that you are military, government or an educational institution, respectively.

There are some popular extensions that anyone can use, provided that the name isn’t already taken. These include .com, .net, org and .biz. It used to be that you had to be a non-profit in order to use .org, but this is not the case anymore. However, if you are a non-profit, it might be in your best interest to use .org, since most people associate it with non-profit organizations, and that can be a good way to identify yourself.

Choosing a domain name extension

The basic rule of choosing a domain name extension, if you are a for-profit or anything but a non-profit, is to try and get a .com. This is because .com is the most popular and well-known extension. People going online to look for your Web site are likely to automatically enter in your company name with a .com at the end. If you do not have that .com, it can cause confusion.

However, there are some cases that a .com just is not available. In such cases, it might be necessary to use a different domain name extension. After .com, the most popular extension is .net. Using .net indicates that you have network. Indeed, if you have an entire network and want to give the illusion of being connected, you can actually use the .net extension.

After .net, the most popular business related extension is .biz. You will find .org, .edu, .gov and .int more commonly, but these have restrictions. The .org is restricted by protocol, if not by technical fact. This is because you might be accused of being dishonest if you use .org and are not a non-profit. It is not illegal or wrong, but the perception people have of .org is fairly ingrained. The other popular domain name extensions are restricted only to specific groups, so it does you no good to try for them - unless you belong to one of those groups.

In choosing your domain name extension, think about what you are trying to accomplish and the image you want to portray. For most business Web sites, .com, .net or .biz is the right choice. If you plan to start an education institution, and can prove that’s what it is, you might use .edu. And if you want people to know you are a non-profits, choose .org. Your domain name extension says a lot about you, and can help you accomplish your goals. But you have to make sure that you are using it appropriately.

Related Article: Registering Domain Names >>

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