Top Level Domains
What are Top-Level Domains?
A top-level domain (TLD) is your domain suffix or the end of your domain name to the right of the final dot.
Historically, top-level domains were broken down into two main categories:
⦁ Generic top-level domains and
⦁ Country-specific top-level domains.
The most popular generic TLDs are .com, .net, .org, .biz and .info.
Top-level domains help classify information for your domain and distinguish the type of business you have or even what country. TLDs can make it simpler for users to identify the type of site you have.
The guidelines for top-level domains can be strict, although the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has now become a little more lenient on top-level domain names than they were in previous years.
At Ballistic Domains, we can help you find the right top-level domain name for you and your business, all while providing you with out of this world service for you and your domain needs!
Modern Top-Level Domains
In recent years, with the most popular .com domains becoming harder to find, ICANN introduced several different types of TLDs to help businesses find domain names that best suit their business.
Choose a TLD that matches your business. Some generic options are:
|Common for online businesses.
|Common for non-profit groups or organizations.
|Common for personal projects and online / networking companies
|Ideal for websites aimed at providing information.
|Ideal for mobile-only websites.
|Common for businesses or company names.
|Common for companies.
|Common for school websites and universities. You need to prove you are a school or university to be able to get a .edu domain.
|Commonly used for US-based companies. It is also a country-level domain name.
These are a list of TLDs that can only be used by a particular company, business, or group. There is a considerable evaluation done by ICANN, and you have to qualify to be able to register these domains.
|Used only for military sites.
|Used only for the post office.
|Used only by the aerospace industry.
|Used only by government industries.
|Used only by museums or museum affiliated groups.
County Code TLDs
These (ccTLDs) are a type of TLD that is specific to the country the business is based in. These are also sometimes referred to as Internationalized Domain Names. The most popular among these are:
The full list of country-code TLDs can be found on the ICANN Wiki
Creative or Specific TLDs
These are a list of TLDs that are used creatively for specific purposes. These are new TLD types that ICANN introduced.
Which TLD is right for you?
Getting a .com domain name is becoming harder, especially if your business or brand name is a generic term. Other domain names can sometimes create a misconception about your business among your target audience – for instance, historically, .org domains were thought to be used by non-profit organizations, .net domains are still associated with networking companies, and so on.
Most domain registrars give you the facility to search for and register most TLD types – except the restricted domain extensions. How do you decide which domain extension is best, especially if a .com is not available?
Generic domain extensions or TLDs are the oldest and, by extension, commonly known to internet users. If you register a generic TLD and speak it out to someone – or announce it on the radio – there is less chance that the lister will get the domain extension wrong.
For most businesses, getting a .com domain name should be the first preference. Finding a decent .com domain name has become so hard now that many businesses are checking the domain availability before naming their business. However, if none of the .com domains you like are available, you can consider the following:
- Is a .com domain available for the abbreviation of your business?
- Is a .com domain available for
or , etc.
- If these aren’t available, you can check if there are live sites on the domains or if they are just registered and parked. If there is no live site, the owner of the domain name may be willing to sell it to you what they deem to be the value of the domain name. One consideration here is that if your name is a registered trademark and has been in business longer than the ownership of the domain by its current owner, you may be able to contest it and get ownership of the domain. However, the dispute resolution process can take time and can be an expensive endeavor.
- You can also consider .org or .net extensions. These are increasingly becoming good alternatives to the .com extension.
- If you are a publishing house creating a website aimed at providing information, .info is not a bad option to consider.
When you are registering a domain name, check of your brand name is a registered trademark of some other business. Just like you can contest the ownership of a domain for your trademark, if you book a domain name that is someone else’s, they may be able to contest it.
A country-code TLD is ideal for businesses targeting customers in a particular country. If your business is primarily local or if you only sell your products and services in one country, it may be better to register a domain name with that country’s TLD.
Another situation when you might want to register a country code TLD is if you intend to expand your business to service that country in the future. You don’t want to take the risk of some other business registering a domain with your brand in that country. With domain registration costs being much lesser than the cost of contesting a domain name or not getting it, it is always advisable to book multiple domains including the TLDs of all the countries you might expand to in the future.
Creative domain extensions have opened up a host of options for businesses, individuals, and professionals. If you are creating a personal blog, then a .blog extension can be a good option. .TV can be a good option for a new television network or channel. Look through the options available. If a TLD matches your business area, you may create a curiosity value by registering a creative domain name.
Some businesses have used the creative TLDs creatively – depending on the name of the business; sometimes, a creative TLD can help you complete the name of your company. Here are a few examples:
- Sweet Candy Company could register sweetcandy.company
- My Advertising Agency could register myadvertising.agency
- A business called Single Click could register single.click
Think creatively, and there could be a creative way to use a new TLD to create a unique domain name that is easy to market and creates a buzz about your business.
Registration of domain names has become easier and cheaper than it was just a few years ago. A domain registrar like Ballistic Domains gives you a host of tools and options to select and register one or multiple domain names based on your business applications, industry, country of operation, and more. There are many benefits of registering multiple domain names, and we make choosing a domain name or names easy.
Why Choose Ballistic Domains
As a domain registrar, we understand that you need the options to evaluate the pros and cons and registering an available domain name. We also understand that your domain name needs to be search engine friendly and easy to recall for your target audience.
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