Choosing Your Domain Name Extension

Domain Extensions

One of the first and most important steps in creating your website is choosing your domain name. You probably have an idea for your domain name–but what about your domain extension? Should you get a .com? What if it isn’t available? While most SEO experts agree that shorter domain names rank better in the search engines, and that you should try to include the keywords you want to rank for in your domain name, there is still some debate as to what the best domain extension is.

Although .com is still the preferred extension for most people, frequently the .com domain you’d like is already taken. Some experts say you should only get a .com domain no matter what. And while I usually try to get .com for my sites, my experience has been that a .net or .org can rank just as well. Of course there are many factors that go into search engine rankings, but if you’ve got great content I see no problem in a .net or .org domain name.

While .com, .net, and .org are the top level domain extensions, there are many other possible choices these days (.info, .us, .co, .me, .biz, etc.). Some website owners like to get all of these domains for their site just to cover themselves and make sure no one else takes away potential visitors. But since it seems they’re coming out with new extensions every day, I would not worry about trying to gobble up every extension with your domain name.

The search engine world is changing all the time, so it’s not impossible to have a successful site with one of the newer extensions. And though your web hosting provider may try to sell you additional domains with the newer ones, for now, I think .com, .net, and .org are still preferred.

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