The first step to crafting your digital masterpiece is choosing the perfect address for your website. And what better way to do that than by selecting the perfect domain extension?
Let's start with the basics of domain extensions before diving into the nitty-gritty of how they work. The final piece of your website's address is the domain extension, commonly known as the top-level domain (TLD).
What is a domain extension? It's the URL segment that typically ends in .com,.net, or.org. And you better believe that the diminutive suffix packs quite a punch. It's the address people enter to visit your site, and your domain extension tells them a lot about the genre and focus of your webpage.
But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of domain extensions, let's first define what they are.
For example, the most familiar domain extension is .com, which stands for "commercial" and is typically used for businesses and e-commerce sites. .org is commonly used for non-profit organizations, and .edu is for educational institutions. Let's remember the heavy hitters, like.gov and.mil, which are reserved for government use.
Choosing the right domain extension can establish credibility and trust for your website and its purpose. For example, a .edu extension for an educational website or a .gov extension for a government website can lend credibility to the site. Additionally, domain extensions can also affect the SEO of your website, as search engines may consider the extension's relevance to the site's content.
The domain extension you choose is not just an afterthought; it's an essential piece of the puzzle. Make sure to choose wisely and select a domain extension that accurately reflects the purpose and content of your website. Surely, it's worth the extra effort.
A brief history of domain extensions
The history of domain extensions dates back to the early days of the Internet. In the beginning, only a handful of TLDs were available, such as .com, .net, and .org. These were created in 1985 by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), responsible for managing the global Internet's domain name system at the time. The first-ever domain name registered was symbolics.com on March 15, 1985.
The original purpose of the TLDs was to indicate the type of organization that owned the domain. For instance, .com was intended for commercial entities, .net for internet service providers and network infrastructure, and .org for non-profit organizations. However, these distinctions became less important over time as the Internet grew, and the TLDs became more widely used for any website.
In the late 1990s, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created to take over the management of the domain name system from IANA. ICANN's creation marked the beginning of a new era for domain extensions, opening the door to creating new TLDs. In 2000, ICANN introduced the first batch of new TLDs, such as .info and .biz. These new TLDs provide more options for businesses and organizations and to help alleviate the shortage of available .com domain names. In the years that followed, ICANN introduced new TLDs, such as .travel, .jobs, and .mobi. Some were created to serve specific industries or communities, while others were for general usage. In 2012, ICANN started a new round of TLDs and opened the door for companies to apply for their custom TLDs. Because of this, top-level domains (TLDs) like .apple, .google, and .amazon were developed. This new level of online visibility and brand security was made possible by these unique TLDs. ICANN also implemented country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) like.ca (Canada), .tv (Tuvalu), and .co (Colombia), in addition to the new generic top-level domains (Columbia). These top-level domains (TLDs) were meant for country-specific websites, but anyone can use them. For instance, the .co top-level domain (TLD) has quickly replaced .com as a favorite among startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
Today, there are over 1,500 TLDs available for use. While the original TLDs like .com, .net, and .org remain popular, introducing new domain extensions and custom domain extensions has provided more options for businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish their online identity. With the increasing number of TLDs, it's vital for companies and individuals to carefully consider their domain extension choice because it can affect their online visibility and credibility.
From a modest initial offering of top-level domains (TLDs) in 1985 to the plethora of TLDs accessible today, the history of domain extensions is one of gradual expansion and diversification. By allowing for the creation of new TLDs and custom TLDs, the Internet has become more flexible regarding how businesses, organizations, and individuals can create their own unique identities online. It has helped them stand out from the crowd on the web and become more easily recognized. Since the quality and popularity of a website's online presence can be affected by its domain extension, it's important to consider this decision as the number of TLDs expands.
Domain extension meanings: Top 10 most popular
- .com (commercial) - The king of domain extensions, fit for businesses and e-commerce sites, the one that comes to mind first for most people. This extension was one of the first to be created and in use since 1985.
- .net (network) -Designed for internet service providers and network infrastructure, but now it's a versatile choice for all sorts of websites. This extension was created in 1985 as well, alongside .com.
- .org (organization) - A popular choice for non-profit organizations, but also used by personal and other websites. This extension was created in 1985, the same as .com and .net.
- .info (information) - A go-to for websites that aim to inform, such as news sites or reference sites. Like.com and.net, this one also debuted in 1985.
- .biz (business) - The best choice for companies and solopreneurs serious about their internet reputation. This domain extension represents a new generation of domain extensions that emerged in 2001.
- .us (United States) - Intended for use by websites related to the United States, but can be used by any website. The .us domain extension was created in 1985, the same as .com, .net, and .org.
- .co (company) - Originally for use by companies, but now often used as a clever alternative to .com. It was initially established in 1991 as Columbia's official country-code TLD.
- .ca (Canada) - A domain extension for websites related to Canada. The .ca domain extension was born in 1985, along with .com, .net, and .org.
- .tv (television) - Initially developed for TV-centric sites, it has since found widespread application beyond that genre, even on personal blogs. Since its inception in 1998, this TLD has served as Tuvalu's official country-code TLD.
- .me (personal) - A winning domain extension for online portfolios, resumes, and other forms of self-promotion. The .me domain extension represents the second generation of domain extensions, it was established in 2001.
Registering a domain extension with Strikingly
When building an online presence for your business, having the right domain name and email address is crucial. Not only does it make it easier for customers to find and remember your website, but it also gives your brand a professional and trustworthy look. One option that's been gaining popularity in recent years is using Strikingly domains and email addresses.
Image taken from Strikingly landing page
Strikingly is a website builder that allows users to create a professional-looking website in minutes without coding or design experience. One of the features that sets Strikingly apart from other website builders is the ability to register and use Strikingly domains and email addresses.
One advantage of using Strikingly domains and email addresses is that they are simple and easy to remember. Customers are less likely to mistype or forget your website address, which can lead to lost sales.
Registering a unique domain name can help your brand stand out in a crowded online marketplace. Another advantage of using Strikingly domains and email addresses is that they are affordable. Unlike traditional domain registrars, Strikingly offers a simple, all-in-one pricing plan that includes your domain registration and website hosting. We offer a free domain for a year if you sign up with the yearly packages. Check out our pricing page to see which plan suits you best. Signing up with Strikingly can save you money in the long run and make it easier to budget for your online presence.
Another benefit of using Strikingly domains and email addresses is that they are easy to set up. With Strikingly, you can register your domain name and set up your email address in just a few minutes. Needless to say, it is a great option for small businesses or individuals who don't have the technical expertise to set up their domain name and email hosting.
To register a Strikingly domain and email address, you first need to sign up for a Strikingly account. Once you've created an account, you can search for the right domain extension for your business. Once your registration is complete, you'll have a unique domain name and email address that you can use to promote your business.
Strikingly domains and email addresses are excellent options for small businesses and individuals looking to create a professional online presence. They are easy to remember, affordable, and easy to set up. Additionally, they are unique, which can help your brand stand out in a crowded online marketplace. If you're looking to create a website and build your online presence, consider registering a Strikingly domain and email address today. Take a look at the steps for registering your domain below:
1. First things first, head over to your Strikingly Dashboard and go to Domains.
Image taken from Strikingly
2. Type in your desired domain name in the search bar. Suppose it's available; congrats! You're one step closer to creating your online presence. If not, Strikingly will offer suggestions of similar options.
3. Once you've found the perfect fit, proceed to the checkout page and complete the registration process by providing your personal and payment information.
But that's not all; Strikingly also offers various services such as website building, email, and hosting. In other words, you now have a domain name and a hosting service upon which to construct and launch your website. It's a one-stop shop for everything you need to get online, making website creation a breeze. You don't have to switch between services because we've got you covered. In a nutshell, Strikingly's straightforward UI and additional features make domain registration a pleasure. Why not give it a shot and judge how well it works?
Image taken from Strikingly
With so many different domain extensions, such as .com, .org, and .net, it can be hard to stand out in a crowded digital landscape. However, with the introduction of new generic domain extensions, there's a new opportunity to make your website unique and memorable.
Here are 5 reasons you should consider using a new domain extension.
1. Improved availability of names
With millions of websites already in existence, finding a desirable .com or .org domain is becoming increasingly difficult. However, with the release of new generic domain extensions like .shop, .blog, and .app, it's possible to snag a catchy and relevant domain name that's perfect for your business.
2. Better search engine optimization (SEO)
Google has stated that they don't treat new domain extensions any differently from traditional ones, but having a relevant and meaningful domain extension can make it easier for people to find your website through search engines.
3. Distinction from competitors
With so many businesses using traditional extensions, a new one can make your website stand out and be more memorable to potential customers.
4. Indicate the nature of your website
Different domain extensions can indicate the nature of a website's content or purpose. For example, a website with a .shop extension is a store, .blog is a blog, and .app is an application. Seeing different domain extensions can tell you what the website is about and what you can expect to find there. Just like how different colors on a package can tell you what's inside, different domain extensions can display what's on a website.
Image taken from Project Puncline - a Strikingly user’s website
5. Location indication
Specific domain extensions can also indicate a website's location. For example, a website with a .uk extension is based in the United Kingdom. With this domain extension, you can target specific geographic regions and build credibility with local audiences.
Choosing the right domain extension can be the cherry on top of your online sundae. With so many options available, including the newer generic domain extensions, it's worth considering all the flavors before deciding. And remember, just because something is "vanilla" (i.e., .com) doesn't mean it's boring. But if you're feeling adventurous, go for something a little more "rocky road" (i.e., .blog or .shop) and see where it takes you. Don't settle for a bland domain extension; spice up your online presence with a unique and fitting one.