Website Names: Choosing the Best Domain Extension

Choosing a name for your website is an important part of branding your blog or business. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to secure the name you want. If you tried to purchase a domain name and discovered that it’s already in use, you’re not alone.

The truth is, a significant number of website names ending in “.com” or “.net” are already taken. The good news is that as of April 2019, there were 1,539 top-level domains available to use, according to the TLD DNSSEC Report conducted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (including “.biz,” “.blog,” and even “.pizza”).

With so many options available, how can you choose the most appropriate domain extension for your site? Here’s what you need to know.

What are domain extensions?

A domain extension, or a top-level domain (TLD), is the piece of your web address that follows the final “dot.” In the following URL, http://www.wordpress.com, “.com” is the domain extension.

Which extension should you choose?

Similar to choosing website names, the best domain extension is one that aligns with your brand. For example, if you run a travel or lifestyle blog, you might pick “.blog,” “.travel,” or “.lifestyle” as your extension.

The wide-range of extensions available means that you can choose more specific domain name variations. For example, if you sell handmade necklaces and rings through your website, you might choose the following domain: [yourbrandname].jewelry. There are also extensions like “.salon,” “.restaurant,” “.doctor,” and “.insurance,” if these better describe the services that your website offers.

You can get creative by using extensions that were developed for specific countries and regions. For example, Google’s URL shortener tool is “goo.gl,” which uses “.gl” (the extension for Greenland).

Can you still use a “.com” extension?

Choosing a less-common domain extension is more affordable and makes it easier for site owners to secure the website names they want. However, if you’re committed to securing a “.com” website, you can probably find one that is still available. Keep in mind that you might have to choose a less common website name in exchange. For example, instead of using [yourbrandname].com, you might need to add another identifier to its name, like [yourbrandname]handmadejewelry.com.

To determine whether the domain name that you want is available at the extension you prefer, check for its availability using one of these website name generator tools. Remember, the best website name is one that reflects the mission of your blog or website.

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Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is an old school, gumshoe journalist trapped in a modern content marketer's body. She specializes in writing for the marketing, technology and healthcare industries, and loves helping bloggers and small business owners grow their presence online. Carrie resides in the "Silicon Hills" of Austin, TX with her husband and two adorable cats.

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