I’ve been trying to register a domain name for a web site but all my choices are unavailable. I’m finding it impossible to find a .com. domain. This is really disheartening. Are there no good alternatives to .com? Which one would you recommend?
Several countries have allowed global use of their ccTLD (Country Code Third-Level Domain). Don’t get stuck with the “I only want a dot-com” idea and end up with a long and unwieldy domain name. You prospective business might just fare better with an alternative to the .com.
Imagine running an AM radio station and picking up name that ends with .am (country code of Armenia). This not only extends your brand value but also helps in standing out from the competition! And there are tens of ccTLDs available – all that’s required on your part is a little creativity.
When the domain name system was introduced in 1985, the .com was meant only for commercial enterprises. The .net and .org were for network and organisation, respectively. However, it soon became popular and web users started associating domain name primarily with the .com extension. A rush to get attractive dot-coms has resulted in a depletion of sorts. It is virtually impossible to find a good domain name with this extension.
The domain name authority, ICANN, understood the problem and has released many new extensions. Additionally, several countries have allowed worldwide usage of their country-code extensions.
I’ll start with the most obvious – ones for commercial entities, because, I assume, that’s what you are looking for – and end with specific alternatives to the .com. I’ve also grouped them for your convenience; and there are many more than 10 in the list below.
|.co||Country code extension of Columbia|
|.co[.uk]||Substitute .uk with your own country-code domain extension|
|.biz||Domain name extension for businesses|
|.mobi||For mobile businesses|
|.me||Montenegro’s country code which is ideal if you plan on building a brand around yourself!
The other options are .guru and .expert. These have recently been introduced.
|.company||A new domain name TLD for companies|
|.tv, .fm, .am, .agency, .media, .today||For advertising and media houses, TV channels (including YouTube), news and radio stations.|
|.academy, .education, .center||Newly introduced TLDs for specific organisations|
|.dj, .club, .solutions, .technology, .consulting, .marketing, .services. clothing, .properties||Appropriate for several different kinds of businesses|
|.lv, .li, .la||For businesses in Las Vegas, Long Island and Los Angeles.|
There are hundreds of companies selling domain names on the web and it becomes difficult to pick one when there is so much choice. Though price should be the important criteria, remember to purchase your domain name from a trusted source and not from a fly-by-night operator. The domain name would soon become your online identity and you wouldn’t like it to be in the hands of a shady firm.
I highly recommend the two companies below. I use them personally and they not only offer great prices but exceptional support. Also, all the extensions mentioned above are available with these companies.
Remember, not only is there a higher chance of your business name being available on a alternate TLD, as I mentioned at the start, it may gel really well with your business motives. Best of luck in finding the domain name of choice.
In the wise words of Jeff Bezos, founder amazon.com, “Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical world.” And he was the guy who chose the name of one of the largest rivers in the world for an online bookstore!
By the way, the original name of Amazon.com was “Cadabra” (from ‘Abracadabra’). Bezos soon realised that it sounds similar to cadaver and so changed the name.
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) created the once popular Altavista Internet search engine. They were also the first computer vendor to launch a public web site at dec.com. Their domain name is the fifth oldest in the world and, at one time, hosted a popular software repository. [more...]