2- How to choose a domain name – the top level domain

Top Level Domains (TLD)

The extension  (mydomainname.XXX) 

Having discussed the initial name of your domain, we should now look at the ending part, such as .com , .co.uk, etc. These are collectively known as the extension, the part after the dot. A while ago, it was fairly easy to choose a domain, as there were about 22 domains extensions to choose from and these were known as gTLDs or generic Top Level Domain.

Recently there has been an explosion in New Top Level Domains extensions (nTLDs) now in excess of 500. This may sound wonderful if your favourite domain name is not available as a .com or .co.uk, as you could possibly find it with one of these new TLDs instead.  

Be wary of nTLDs 

If you are not specially concerned about search engine optimisation and that domain name really has to be ‘the one’, you may prefer to find it with one of these new top level domain extensions. However there are 2 main drawbacks to this that you should consider. 

  • Search engines do give preference to well-known established extensions such as .com, .net, .org etc. This means choosing a new extension may affect your performance in search engine positions and searches. 
  • Unfortunately, the world of spammers has cashed in on these new extensions to spoof well-known names in an attempt to trick people into thinking emails and links are genuine. Spammers also set up e-mail accounts with these new extensions, as there are numerous available accounts to be had.  The net result is there is an element of suspicion and distrust with many of these new TLDs and this will remain the case until their reputation has been tested and established. 

 Next in this series we’ll look at country specific extensions and see why it’s really important not to ignore the location of your market. 

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