Your domain name is the address of your website, including the extension. Discover how to get a memorable domain name and extension for your site.
Every website has a domain name, which is what users enter to reach your website. At the end of every domain name is an extension. The extension is represented by a dot followed by a few letters, with .com being the most common. Extensions have additional categories. Top level domains are generic extensions, which include .com, .org and .net. County code top-level domains are for websites hosted in a specific region. .UK represents the United Kingdoms, .de is for Germany and .in is India. Sponsored top-level domains are for specific groups, like .gov for the government or .mil for military websites.
As of writing, there are over 350 million registered domain names. You can purchase a domain name from a domain name registrar. Each registrar has different rates, as well as benefits. Typically, registrars offer additional services, including hosting your website. It is important to note, not all domain registrars are also website hosts.
Choosing a Domain Name
In order for your website to succeed, you need a memorable website name that accurately reflects the content of your site. You do not want to choose a long domain name, as these websites are difficult to remember. With a longer name, you also run the risk of users mistyping your website. Many browsers use these typos for general web searches, so if there is a similar named website, the browser may redirect to that site instead of yours. Whenever possible, keep your domain name under 15 characters. When you are thinking of domain names, say the name out loud. Websites that are easy to pronounce are also easier to remember.
Once you select a name, check to see if there are websites with a similar name. You want your domain name to be as unique as possible, otherwise, it is harder to locate your website through search results. An easy way to check for similar websites is to put your desired name into a search engine and see what other sites come up.
Most Common Domain Extensions
If you have an obscure domain extension, it is harder for visitors to remember the name of your website. Some visitors may even be concerned your website links to harmful content if they do not recognize the extension. The more common domain extensions are typically more expensive, costing around $15, while lesser names are closer to $10.
.Com is the most common extension, used by over half of the websites. Because of its popularity, it may be difficult to register your domain name with .com, especially if your website has a relatively common name. If your desired name is not available as a .com, consider getting a .net extension instead. .Net is commonly associated with technology-based websites, but many websites started shifting to .net if .com was unavailable.
Another possible extension is .org. In the past, .org was exclusively used by nonprofit organizations. That restriction no longer applies, making it an excellent choice if your desired domain name is taken under a different extension.
If you run a business and no other extension is available, consider.co. .Co used to be the country code for Columbia, but in recent years, businesses started using it. This is because most users believed the .co stood for company or corporation, associating the extension with shopping sites. One downside is, .co and .com are so similar. Visitors may naturally attempt to use .com to access your site instead and get frustrated when it returns no results.
Domain.com is a popular registrar because of the low prices and number of benefits. You can get both .com and .net extensions from domain. Domain frequently provides yearly discounts as well, sometimes as high as 25 percent off. There are multiple membership tiers available, but all the tiers include a free website builder. All levels of membership also provide access to SEO tools, PayPal integration and access to a stock image library. Higher tiers of membership offer additional perks, including email, malware, and privacy protection.
In addition to the standard type of extensions, domain also hosts lesser-known extensions for severely reduced prices. As of writing, the .life, .live and .men are available for less than $3 a year. Domain also provides around the clock customer support for chat, email and phone.
Bluehost is slightly more expensive than other domain name registrars. If you purchase hosting services as well as a domain name, you can get a small discount on your total purchase, with prices averaging between $8 to $13 depending on your domain extension. Bluehost has a useful search tool, which allows you to check the availability of your domain name across multiple extensions. This is also useful for locating similar named websites. Bluehost also provides a 30-day money back guarantee if you are unhappy with their services.
Network Solutions is one of the most affordable domain name registrars, with domain registration typically costing between $5 to $8. Unlike other registrars, Network solutions has limited hosting options. With a basic plan, you only gain access to your domain name. Overall, it has less perks than other registrars, but it is an excellent choice if you are first getting started with creating your own website.