How to Choose the Best Domain Name Extension (2021)

domain name extension help

Are you looking for the right domain name extension?

If you truly want your website to be a success, you have to get the right URL.

There are a lot of different domain extensions out there to choose from. It might be hard to narrow it down.

In this post, we’re going to share what a domain name extension is, some popular extensions and why it matters to your website.

Domain Name Extensions Defined

A domain name extension is the letters after your domain, like .com or .net. They’re also known as Top Level Domains or TLDs.

For example, our domain name extension at Nameboy.com is “.com”.

Your website URL is made up of these components: a protocol, a subdomain, a domain name, and a domain extension:

Website URL breakdown

If you’re going to own a website, you will need to decide on the domain name and the extension. Anyone wanting to visit your website types your domain name in the search bar of the web browser, so it’s pretty important.

You may have seen other URL extensions out there, like .org or .net. Ever wonder why they’re different? It’s because there are different types of top level domains.

The Different Types of Top Level Domains

There most common types of domain extensions or top level domains:

  1. Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) are generally the most recognizable and popular TLDs. It’s simply an extension with three or more characters. An example is a .com or a .net.
  2. Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLD) are sponsored extensions by a specific business, government organization or group. For example, .edu for education-related organizations, or .gov for a government-affiliated websites.
  3. Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) are top level domains that represent specific countries or locations. For instance, an extension for India might be .in or the United Kingdom might use .uk.

Now that you know the various types, we can check out some popular extensions.

5 Most Popular Domain Extensions

The most popular domain extension, by far, is .com.

Here are the top TLDs:

Top TLDs

As you can see, .com is pretty popular!

But, there are hundreds of different website extensions out there. To break down the “others” category, here’s a bit more about the popular options for domain extensions:

.com (commercial)

This is the most popular extension. It was originally used for commercial sites, but now it’s extremely common and the most used across the web. The .com is recommended because it’s the most trusted by web users.

.net (network)

Originally intended for networking websites, this domain extension is used a lot more today. Some companies purchase both a .com and a .net to make sure they have both.  You may have seen this on SlideShare’s website, which is slideshare.net.

You can also find out the difference between .com and .net and what that means for your website.

.org (organizational) 

A .org website is best used for not-for-profit organizations or donation websites. For example, the website for the charitable organization for animals, Habitat for Humanity, is habitat.org.

.edu (education)

This TLD is used by colleges and educational communities. For instance, the website for the University of Michigan is umich.edu.

.co (company or corporations) 

The .co TLD is used for companies, corporations, or commercial ventures, like a start-up. Many new brands have begun to build their websites on a .co.

.us (United States) 

The .us is reserved for citizens of the United States. It can be used for individuals, corporations or nonprofit organizations, but they must be a resident or have a registered business in the United States.

.info (information)

The .info extension is mostly used for websites that are purely informational. If you’re not trying to sell a product or service, this may be the best extension for you.

These are just the most common options for extensions. There are more top level domains out there as well.

But as we mentioned, we recommend the .com above all else, because it’s the most trusted.

You are almost ready to choose the best domain name extension, there are just a few more things to consider.

Things to Consider For Your Domain Extension

When choosing the right domain name extension for you, you may want to consider a few extra things that will impact your website and your wallet. We’ve compiled some things to consider here:

Cost

Typically, a domain name costs anywhere from $2 to $20 a year.

The domain extension you choose can affect the cost of registration. A .com domain costs $10-15 yearly on average. But some of the newer TLDs like .blog or .app can cost $30-40 per year or even more.

The domain registrar, the company you buy your domain from, will also affect the price. We compiled the best cheap domain registrars to help you decide who to buy your domain from.

Then there are optional add-ons like SSL certificates or registration privacy.

Finally, you should also consider the renewal cost. Your domain is a yearly expense, and some registrars will increase the cost when your subscription renews.

If you’re looking for ways to save on domains, we recommend getting a domain for free with Bluehost when you purchase their web hosting plan.

Popularity

If the domain name is popular, it may be used for another website.

Never fear! Nameboy is here. Just check out your domain name availability and compare it with similar websites with a domain name generator.

Also, your domain name extension can help you here. For instance, if you wanted to buy a domain name that was taken but the .com was not, you may be able to get what you want by switching up the URL extension.

Branding

Your domain name extension a reflection of your branding.

What your brand does should reflect in your domain name and also in the extension. If you’re an online business, then a .com is the most trusted for eCommerce stores. If you’re a non-profit organization, perhaps opt for a .org extension.

Location

If you’re a local business, you can use a country code top level domains (ccTLDs) to help with geographic search.

If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can help build your local business by personalizing a new URL extension. For instance, hotairballons.ny might be a good name for a hot air balloon company based in New York.

Domain Registrar

Behind any good domain name and extension, is a trusty registrar. Finding the right domain name registrar for you is important for the future of your website.

We mentioned that a domain name registrar is the company where you’ll buy and register your domain name. You’ll want one you can trust as it’s taking care of your website.

You can also choose from some of the best domain name registrars to find the right one for you.

Don’t forget you can find a good domain registrar that offers web hosting and a free domain, like Bluehost.

free domain with Bluehost

Availability

Last but not least, you have to see if your domain name extension is available!

Before you get your heart set on the right extension, check to see the availability with a domain name generator tool. Nameboy offers a domain name search that will help with extensions too, so you can see if your website is available before buying it.

We do this by analyzing the keywords you enter in the domain name search tool and suggest the best domain name ideas along with extension help.

It’s free and easy to use.

There you have it! Now you can decide what the best domain name extension is for your website.

What’s The Best Domain Name Extension For You?

We hope this article has helped you find the best domain name extension for you.

As a quick recap, we reviewed what a domain name extension means for your website, things to consider when choosing the right one for you, and how to get a free domain with Bluehost.

If you’re still looking for more help check out these extra tips on how to choose the best domain name.

At Nameboy, domains are our favorite thing to help with, so be sure to let us know if you have questions. Check out the domain name generator and good luck finding the best domain name extension.

You got this!

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