How to choose your domain name extension?
You are starting to create your web, and you are looking for the perfect domain name. But, did you know that a domain name does not go without its extension? The three little characters at the end of your domain name have more importance than you could ever imagine. So, here are all our tips for choosing the perfect extension before you reserve your domain name.
1. What is a domain extension?
If you are new to the web, you may not be familiar with the terms domain name or extension.
An extension is a namespace. To understand them, you need to know that extensions can be classified in three specific categories. Here are the different families:
These extensions are generally the best known and independent of the country of origin. They are composed of only three letters and can be free or linked to a certain number of criteria.
- The .com extension
This is the most well-known domain name extension. It can be found on social networks, email addresses, blogs, e-commerce sites… This extension was originally intended for commercial entities. Today, this acronym has been completely generalized and has become the most popular extension.
- The .net extension
You will also find extensions like .net derived from the English word “network”. This extension was normally reserved for websites specialized in communication. It has now become quite general, but is generally used in the advertising sector. It is derived from the word network and is found on several types of sites, even being used to replace the .com which is often unavailable.
- The .org extension
You can also use the .org extension. Originally designed for organizations, but again this extension is now found for other types of sites: open source projects and even public services. These sites are generally not very qualitative because .org is less used than .com or .fr. Indeed, a .org extension is not always a sign of security or quality.
- Specific extensions
Among these generic extensions, there are also more specific ones such as .edu, .gov, or .int. If the extensions created in the 90’s do not refer to their original sector, the .edu extensions for education, .gouv for the government and .int for international organizations and treaties are regulated.
As their name indicates, these extensions are related to the geographical area in which the website is based. You know .fr for France, .be for Belgium, .uk for the United Kingdom… In total, there are about thirty of them.
The link between extension and domain name
A domain name is the main component of your web address, displayed in your URL at the top of a web page. Your domain name represents the name that your brand, business or company will have on the web. For example, in the URL www.Ozyss.co.uk, “Ozyss” is the domain name and “.co.uk” is this extension. This address is unique.
What you can read right after, the .com, is the extension. This extension goes hand in hand with your domain name: no domain name without an extension, and vice versa. The extension will also be typed by the user when he searches for the precise address of your site, so it also has a role to play in the readability and memorability of your overall web address.
2. Does the extension impact your ranking in Google?
No suspense, the answer is: no, not directly. In fact, the domain name extension does not have a direct and concrete impact on your SEO, as the mobile version of a site or the use of keywords in your content can have. However, this does not mean that you should completely neglect the choice of your extension.
3. Choosing your extension: everything you need to know?
Criteria to consider
Although the extension of a domain name is only a small element of a few characters, its choice is relatively meticulous and strategic for the further development of your website. So, before rushing on an extension in .io, be attentive to the following:
- Your objectives
Indeed, your objectives and your future prospects with your website are essential to choose your extension. For example, if you start a blog in Paris and you know that you want to extend it to several cities in France or around the world, try not to choose a .paris extension.
If you want to highlight the French character of your products, a .fr extension can be more useful than a .com extension.
On the contrary, if you want to speak to the largest number of people, try to get the .com extension.
- Your location
As you have seen, some extensions are linked to location, like .uk or .fr.
Depending on your location, these extensions are essential for users to understand. For example, on a commercial site, the extension will immediately be a reference point for the user and consumer who will know where the store comes from, deduce in which language the after-sales service will be if he has a problem with his order, know if he will have to pay additional shipping costs…
- Your referencing target
As we said, the extension is not a referencing booster but can be a real brake. This is why your referencing target is an important criterion to take into account in your choice. A niche extension, such as .music or .paris, can slow down users who don’t know about this extension or who don’t feel concerned.
👉 On the contrary, a specific extension if you run a specific business can be a real engagement factor for a small and very loyal community. But, in order not to block you in the development of your business, make sure to choose the extension that will speak to the largest number while remaining explicit.
- Your budget
Yes! A domain name and an extension have a cost. Moreover, this price varies according to the extension. A .com extension and a .fr or .org extension will not have the same price. So, this fact should be taken into account when reserving your domain name in order to fit into your budget and not to suffer any bad surprise.
- The availability of extensions
Finally, a cruel criterion: the availability of your domain name with the extension you want. Often, the .com or .fr extensions are already taken by other companies and are relatively blocked. To overcome this problem, you can either change your domain name or choose a less common extension, which is often more expensive.