Picking a Domain Name is Simple but Not Simple
Some of you will realise the above heading is an “oxymoron”. I will take the time and trouble to provide a definition of “oxymoron”. Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective proceeded by a noun with contrasting meanings, such as “cruel kindness,” or “living death”.
So why the English lesson when we are discussing “Picking a Domain Name”? Well, the reality is that it is very easy to select a Domain Name; but (there is always a but) it is much harder and it requires a lot more thought and effort to get the correct or best fit Domain Name. It would be fair to say it is almost impossible to get a perfect name but it is important to strive towards perfection.
Pre Domain Name Selection Considerations – Extensions
These suffixes are known as Domain Extensions. Examples of Domain Extensions are “.com”; “.co.uk”; “.net”; “.org”; “.site”; etc , etc. There are a huge variety of Domain Extensions and most (if not all) countries have their own extension. So for example “.co.uk” tends to designate a United Kingdom extension while “.us” tends to be associated with the United States of America.
In reality in most cases if a Domain Name with any extension is available and you are willing to pay for the name and extension you can purchase it irrespective of where you live. An example is the Web Site you are currently looking at where the url is https://myprodomain.com. I am based in the United Kingdom but I have no problem purchasing an unrelated country domain extension name. If you are based in the United States you could purchase a domain extension with “.co.uk” (this extension tends to designate a United Kingdom site).
There is a hierarchy of Domain Extensions known as “Top Level Domains [T.L.D.]”. The “.com” extension is known as a Top Level Domain Extension and “.com” extensions added to a Domain Name are usually more expensive to purchase than other extensions such as “.net” or “.org” etc, etc.
Do Domain Name Extensions Matter?
The “Law of the Situation” applies to this question. This law states that “solutions to management problems should be governed by the demands of the situation and not by reference to any authority or principle”.
So, lets apply this law to a number of separate scenario:-
Your Business and Your Target Market is Local.
If you were a single site small business such as an automobile repair business, then you will be servicing a local market (probably within a 20 mile radius [32 kilometres]). In this case your actual Domain Name will be much more important and relevant than your Domain Name extension. If someone is looking for you on the Web to check the range of work that your automobile service provides they will probably apply one of two search criteria – Automobile repairs or they may search by Business name. The use of any of these two criteria will result in the search engine (i.e. google) showing all the Automobile engineers in the local area or bringing up the Business name (if business name was search criteria).
In the scenario above as has been illustrated, the Domain Name extension is very much of secondary importance. In most instances such as above the business will obtain a country Domain Name extension i.e. “.co.uk” (if available for the business name) or if the Domain Name which includes the Business Name is only available with another extension they will accept the other extension (i.e. “.net”; “.site”; etc, etc). The point being made is that the Business Name being available is the priority over the desired extension being available.
Your Business is Local but Your Market is both Local and National
Let us assume you are a small retail business with a single shop selling meat products but specialising in different flavours of sausages. You know there is a national market for these sausages within your own country (assume it is United Kingdom) and the European Union. (The market will be restricted to these countries due to assumed food import/export regulations.)
In the example above your main market is local but you are also starting to build up a significant amount of your turnover from selling specialist flavoured sausages via the internet by post in special packaging. To do this you had a Web Site developed with considerable thought given to both the Domain Name and Domain Name extension.
The first consideration was that the extension would be reflective of the country of origin (which would provide confidence to the consumer that these food products were coming from a country with well regulated food standards). Therefore you wanted a name extension that had “.co.uk” or as a fall back “.com”. No other Domain Name was considered appropriate taking into consideration the target market and the business objective and needs.
The trading name of the business was “Hoys the Butcher”. On consideration the business name was considered too long and was also not available with any of the two extensions referred to. A compromise was arrived at. The Domain Name “HoysMeats” was available, as was also “.co.uk” therefore the Domain Name with the extension became “hoysmeats.co.uk”.
I may have laboured this example but I trust it illustrates the point in respect of the combination and importance of both the Domain Name and the Extension attached to the Domain Name in a local business with both a local and a national market.
Your Business has the Potential to attract Customers from Many Countries
It is highly unlikely that any reader of this blog will be a Chief Executive of a major world wide business. However, many of the readers will be seeking to build or have built for them Web Sites which will have a genuine world wide appeal or certainly will appeal to English speaking Countries and the Consumers within these Countries.
Examples of the type of business I am referring to would be Internet Marketing, especially where you are seeking to attract customers (i.e. pull marketing as opposed to push marketing). Within Internet Marketing some sub-divisions would be:-
1)Affiliate Marketing (i.e. ClickBank, or JvZoo [marketing of digital products which are downloaded to the purchasers computer when a sale is made]);
2)Drop Shipping (marketing a physical product via your Web Site and getting a third party to deliver the product when a Sale is made – you never handle the product)
So, the question arises what Domain Name Extension should be used for this type of business which can draw customers from around the globe?
Well, within the Domain Name Extensions hierarchy the Top Level Domain Extension is globally recognised as “.com”. Hence the Web Site you are currently looking at has a “.com” Extension. So before you finally select a Domain Name make sure if you are in this market that your ultimate Domain Name has available a “.com” extension.
Summary of Advice on Domain Name Extensions
Perhaps at this stage after reading all this detail about Extensions and the examples given you are wondering – how could you say so much about such a minor item?
Well, if you ask that question you have missed the point. What is the point? The point is the Domain Name Extension can be unimportant or important, depending on the Market you are operating in or intend to operate in.
If you pay extra for a Domain Name Extension you do not need, then you are wasting money and obtaining no extra benefit by having a Top Level Domain Name Extension. If you try to save on money at the expense of an unsuitable Domain Name Extension your traffic will be less and your Business will suffer from lack of traffic. If there is little traffic there will be few Sales