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How to choose the right top level domain (TLD)

Does it matter whether you choose .com, .org, .net or .biz?

How to choose the right top level domain

Choosing a domain name is an important decision. It can help you market your business and it can affect how people perceive you. Choosing a domain name is step one in establishing a website and building your brand. Whether you choose .com, .org, .net or .biz as your top level domain, it will be a decision that you will likely live with for a very long time.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a human-readable address on the internet. Everything on the internet has a unique address composed of a string of numbers and punctuation. But that’s not going to be memorable enough for most humans. A domain name is simply an easier way for people to access information on the internet.

Examples of website domain names are :

  • facebook.com
  • wikipedia.org
  • slideshare.net
  • trevellyan.biz

What’s the Difference between .Com, .Org, .Net and .Biz?

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a top level domain?

A Top Level Domain, also called a TLD, is everything that follows the final dot in a domain name. Referring back to the examples above:

  • facebook.com – .com is the TLD
  • wikipedia.org – .org is the TLD
  • slideshare.net – .net is the TLD
  • trevellyan.biz – .biz is the TLD

Let’s review some popular TLDs. These were intended to be used by specific groups:

  • .com – commercial organizations.
  • .net – organizations involved in networking technologies
  • .org – non-profit organizations
  • .biz – businesses (created to relieve some of the demand for .com)
  • .info – no particular stated purpose

Today there nearly 1,500 Top Level Domains to choose from. As the supply of desirable .com domains continues to shrink, the others become more common.

Does it really matter which TLD you choose?

Choosing the right TLD can contribute to a visitor’s first impression of your company. It is an important part of your website’s identity and can have an effect on search engine optimization. A short, memorable domain name can increase brand awareness, reinforce your brand, and give your business instant credibility. Having the wrong TLD can confuse your potential visitors and impact whether or not they trust who you say you are. Since TLDs have specific meanings or connotations, it is important to choose the one that will help your visitors understand who you are.

Which is the right top level domain for you?

In many cases, .com is the preferred version. So if the .com of the domain name that you want is available, that’s probably the right choice. But if it isn’t available, you have many other options. The TLD you choose will depend on your particular field. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose the option that makes the most sense for your individual business.

If you would like help choosing the right domain name or top level domain name, we can help. Give us a call at (518) 392-0846 or email [email protected]. And if you’d like help getting your website going, learn about our website development services.

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