If you’re on the lookout to finally own your domain after building your website, you might be turning to the trusty .com or .net, but hold that thought - because your choice of a domain extension may be worth a little more thought to help you stand out. While your choice between a .net and .com domain extension can come from basic user recognition, some out of the box domain extensions can be open for your consideration.
While these domain extensions will probably be more familiar to you, such in the cases of:
Choosing a non-traditional domain name can be a helpful boost for your unique style and brand recognition that can even reinforce your brand values - provided they’re approved by ICANN. If you’re looking to focus your options and pro-con the two most popular website domain extensions .com and .net, you can read about our thoughts on that on a separate article here.
Enter the xyz domain.
Xyz certainly does not roll off the tongue like most top-level domains do, but the xyz domain is one of the most popular domain extensions in the world - caught on and trends in more than 230 countries and counting. It’s one of the many domain extensions released by ICANN to promote competition in the domain name market while also working as a marker for secure and stable websites. ICANN approves only a handful of domain names over a span of time. The ones that do get released, known as new generic Top-Level Domains or gTLDs, help accommodate the constantly growing customer base of website registry service providers - Strikingly included.
The xyz domain was first made available to the general public in June of 2014 and has since been registered with 1.5 million domain names to date. Xyz is the fourth most registered top-level domain name on the internet after .com, .net, and .org, used most famously by the multinational conglomerate that holds and owns Google Inc. called Alphabet Inc. - see: abc.xyz. The reasoning behind choosing such a domain name requires a quick piece of internet history trivia.
Larry Page - the co-founder of Google, writes about the creation of Alphabet Inc as a necessity to be able to compartmentalize their internet products from their health efforts. Managed by him and fellow Google founder Sergey Brin, described the restructured company in his letter found on the Alphabet Inc website as, “(Alphabet is) about business prospering through strong leaders and independence… (they) liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations.”
Anyone who wants to set themselves apart has their own story behind choosing their brand name, and it’s important to give some more thought into all that extends your brand - including how your website would appear and be used by your target customer base. When you know your target audience and how your choice of branding can affect and elevate, you’ll want to create its internet presence to be as aligned to your marketing as much as possible.
While the practical choice of using a .xyz domain for Alphabet Inc. was due to previous domain names already being owned and registered online (a fleet management division of BMW owns alphabet.com, and abc.com belongs to the Disney-owned American Broadcasting Company), “abc.xyz” became a nod to the idea of a domain name that made the most of the three letters that start and end the actual alphabet. A philosophical idea that you can extend to your branding with more unique applications to your needs.
Others have used the xyz domain to reference the actual generations of today’s internet users. Those who grew up in the late 1960s were a part of the incredible trajectory of connectivity and access to technology that transcended from science fiction-fantasy to an everyday tool for convenience and daily processes. Baby boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and Zoomers - a wide demographic of users can find the use of a .xyz domain-inclusive and universal.
You may find inspiration from choosing xyz as your domain name when you make it your own with a deeper meaning. In Mandarin Chinese, the same characters for xyz or “小宇宙” actually translate to “little universe” - which is exactly the form and function of a personal website. It’s a space of your own creation that you can change as you see fit.
Xyz websites have the added boost of coming off as fresh and creative from the website address from the get-go and that impression can carry over with smart web design and content. An xyz domain from previous discussion of its origins and uses is memorable, transcends a language barrier while also an excellent opportunity to put your own brand story alongside it. Alphabet Inc with its abc.xyz was definitely created with a tongue-in-cheek punny quality to its branding - and you could do the same too.
Strikingly currently offers xyz as a domain extension option - alongside the more traditional extensions approved by ICANN. You can help boost your site with this as a starting unique tag to your branding AverageJoe.com doesn’t leave quite the same impression as JazzyJoe.xyz, if you know what we mean.
Regardless, your choice of a domain extension should primarily support your domain name, and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Much like the choice of a domain name, you need to make sure of the following pointers:
- Your domain name thematically benefits from an xyz domain extension.
No names are created equally and while Alphabet Inc ending its website with xyz is a stroke of creative genius in itself, it’s not as easy to replicate. Similar businesses - rather those that are of the more serious end of profit-making, may not have a business name that benefits from a more creative domain extension like xyz. So smaller businesses, creative professionals, or those working in the tech industry may have a better chance at making their impression standout with an xyz domain extension.
- Your website address is short and memorable.
With the absolute exception for gag or prank websites that are designed to confuse, most other websites need to find that balance of short and sweet but memorable in name. Is your name or branding open to punny opportunities? An xyz can be the cherry - at the end of your domain name. If yours is a business in providing whole packages of services like planning, designing, or developing, ending your domain with xyz could be how you’d communicate your “point B to point B” business solutions.
- Your address can be used for the long term.
Buying your own domain is an investment for the long term, and if you nail the two previous points, your xyz domain extension can be the out-of-the-box decision that can domino into an opportunity of compounding interest. Your fresh domain and business idea is a talking point - imagine getting clients because they remember you as the one with the cool domain extension. While .com and .net communicate reliability, .xyz communicates a sense of freshness and openness to experiment, and it's always going to take your customer base by surprise - reinforced by your stellar services, you’ll leave a lasting customer experience of being a cut above the boring rest.
- Your website name isn’t taken.
If yours is a brand that’s not quite unique in name, but just different in function - to call back on that case example for Alphabet Inc, choosing to go with an xyz domain extension may just be the next best choice instead of rebranding back to square one. Taking the time to check your domain name’s ownership history and shared existence on the internet is part of market research - ensuring that you’re not accidentally replicating another business’s model and presence. For resume websites, it’s even more important to ensure that your website, should you name it after yourself, doesn’t clash with someone else’s, especially if - you happen to work in similar fields - Peter Parker vs. Peter B. Parker, anyone?
Buying your own domain and hosting your website costs money, and with that comes different factors on how much you’d be paying for - and what exactly you’re getting out of those payment plans. Strikingly, for example, purchasing a domain and connecting it to your website costs $24.95 a year that you can get after a one-time registration - we do all the back-end connecting for you.
It pays to remember that xyz is like any other domain extension, and part of the reason these alternatives are always talked about, even boosted as an option for those looking to build a website, is because choosing these alternates is aligned with ICANN’s goal to help consumers with more options in what’s otherwise a very busy and exhaustive market for unique domains. You can be the best at what you do, but you can’t get very far if you don’t know how to set yourself apart - and consider that a unique xyz domain just may be the kick-start you need to get noticed.
Build your own jazzy xyz domain with Strikingly today.