Which TLD to use when choosing a domain

Which TLD to use when choosing a domain

This article will attempt to sort them out a little bit for you, and hopefully make your decision on which TLD's to register a bit easier.

A lot of people choose to register the same name under several TLD's to protect it form being used by someone else. Others only register the TLD that they are the most associated with. The choice is yours. Without a doubt, .com is the most popular TLD. It was the first public TLD, and it is synonymous with the internet around the world. Because of this recognition, .com domains are the most highly sought after of all TLD's, and as a result, are becoming extremely hard to obtain.

Chances are, if your business has even a remotely common name, your .com is registered already. One way around this, is to use abreviations, and acronyms for your name. .net is also a good choice if your business is internet related.

.org is the domain to use for non-profit organizations. This TLD has become very well known for this purpose, and it is the first place people will search for your organization on the net. It is no longer required that your .org domain must be for an organization, but let's just call it netiquette to do so.

country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) are an excellent choice if you need to market your business to a certain geographic region. As previously mentioned, some ccTLD's are open to the public, others are restricted to residents and businesses of that country. ccTLD's are a great addition to your .com. They provide a more regional awareness to your name. For example, if someone has a .uk domain, you know that they do business in the United Kingdom.. The .us registry will be live and open to all us residents, and businesses for the first time ever in April 2002. It is expected to grow very quickly, as people will want to promote the 'buy American' theme.

There are several new TLD's available this year. Of them, three should become quite popular; .biz, .info, and .name. With .coms becoming so hard to obtain these days, these three TLD's will offer millions of new names in a more structured way. They are all operated by different registries, so each has it's own policy unlike .com, .net, and .org which are all operated by the same registry. Here is a brief description of each, and what benefit they have.

.biz was created strictly for businesses. It is a restricted TLD, so it can not be registered for personal use. .biz promises better security for your domain name, through enhanced authentication. The .biz registry also updates their database every 15 minutes! This means changes happen almost instantly.

.info is the only new TLD that is completely unrestricted. This means that anyone can register a .info domain, for any purpose. Because of this, in addition to information being synonymous with the internet, it is expected to grow very quickly as well. As of February 2002, there are already over 750,000 .info domains registered since only July 2001!

.name was created for personal use. This is by far the most unique of all TLD's. What makes it different is that domain names are registered on a third level rather than the normal second level. So if your name was 'Bob Smith' you would normally register 'bobsmith.com' or 'bobsmith.info'.

With .name you would register 'bob.smith.name'. The reason that they set it up this way, was so that everyone with the last name of 'Smith' has a chance to register their own .name domain. In addition, the registry has created a mail forwarding service that can be purchased in with your domain name.

Using our example above, you would get the email address of 'bob@smith.name'. You can then forward that address to any existing email account. This is a great alternative to trying to find a .com for personal use.


About the Author

Daniel Segall (dan@serve-you.net)