When first starting your own company, it is vital that you come up with a good name. However, in the digital environment, it is even more important to have a good domain name. After all, this is the way most people, especially your regular customers, will find your website. Without it, they would have to type in a random sequence of digits, also known as IP address. Still, the phrase you use is only the half of your domain name. What goes after is the extension of the domain you use. Here, some decide to go with a generic one, while others opt for a custom top-level domain (TLD). This practice, however, has both its pros and cons.
TLD and Its Types
First of all, just speaking about using TLDs is a broad term at very least. There are two general types of it- a generic TLD (also known as the original TLD) and a country code TLD (ccTLD), which heavily depends on the region you are in. Needless to say, both of these extensions in your domain name have something different to offer to your business.
Before we start discussing the advantages of generic TLDs, it is important that we list at least a few of them. Extensions like .com, .edu, .gov, .org and .net all come under this category. Now, the advantage of using .com is more than straightforward. When they first hear of your website, a great majority of people will instantly assume that its domain is .com. Seeing how this domain name can be already taken, they could land on someone else’s page. Using other listed extensions also has its purpose. For example, when you add .edu as your extension, those who see the domain name will instantly know you are an educational institution. In the same manner, .org is mostly used by non-profit organizations.
Apart from generic TLDs, there are also those that are country specific. In the part about .com, we talked about avoiding confusion, and using these extensions is probably the safest way to do so. Two businesses, fast food joints or sport clubs from different continents, may have the same name. This means that the only way to differentiate between a fast food joint from Porto and one from Rio is to look if it has PT or BR after the dot.
On the other hand, there are some domain names which can be used even outside their home country. For example, the extension me in .me domain can also be used as the part of the phrase. This way, you can create unique and witty domain names like aweso.me and link.me without fearing that anyone will ever mix them up with .com.
Some people, on the other hand, won’t settle for anything other than having their own, exclusive domain name, or at least the one describing their profession. This is why a lot of people use domain names like .dentist or .realtor. The drawback of these kinds of domain names is that they usually cost a bit more. On the other hand, if you wanted to get a completely unique name you came up with, like the one ICANN offers, you would have to pay at least $185,000 to apply and then $25,000 more per year just to keep it operational.
Being unique is one of the most important things when it comes to business, and as we already mentioned, your domain name is the essential part of your online activity. This means that it represents the face of your company in the digital world. Because of this, customizing it may help you get easily recognized online and, in this way, set you head and shoulders above your competition.