By the end of June 2019, there were nearly 1.7 billion registered websites online; this number continues to grow every day.
The internet is increasingly becoming a crowded space, as millions of unique websites flood every niche. This means that with time, it becomes more challenging to stand out and reach the internet users. This is evident in the frustration of choosing the right domain name and domain suffix to give a new website its identity.
Building a branding identity for your website begins with the domain name and domain extension or suffix. The variation of your domain name is only limited by your creativity, but you have to choose only one suffix among the hundreds that are currently available.
This article provides a detailed and comprehensive guide to choosing a domain suffix for your Ireland website.
Also known as a domain extension or top-level domain (TLD), a suffix is a notation at the end of a web address string that identifies the website’s category, or it’s country of origin. Popular examples include .com, .edu, .net, .uk, and so on.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) controls the domain naming regulations. ICANN permits the use of the various domain suffixes to keep up with the rapid growth of the internet and allow business and other organizations to come up with unique online identification.
Domain extensions are broadly categorized into three types:
Generic extensions are the most common TLDs on the internet. They include the .com, .net and .online extensions. They can be used for both personal and business websites.
The use of a sponsored TLD is restricted to a specific niche, institution, or industry. Sponsored extensions include .gov, and .edu. They are not for general use; for instance, .gov is only used by government institution and .edu by higher institutions of learning.
A ccTLD is used to refer to a site that is specific to a particular country or region. Each country has its unique extension; for instance, .us is for America, .ca for Canada and .uk for the United Kingdom. They are typically used for local marketing and to identify international businesses with variant sites in different countries.
Before hosting a website, you must select a domain extension to go along with your domain name. Most people usually go for a .com extension. .com is very popular with internet users and webmaster. In fact, about 46% of all websites have a .com extension.
This popular gTLD has its perks. It’s easy to remember and has a sense of credibility and originality. Plus, it can be used on any enterprise or personal website for whichever purpose.
However, it’s often tricky to couple a good domain name with a .com extension, since the space is too crowded. So, what do you do if you can’t get a .com extension? Below is a description of a dozen domain suffixes that are equally respected and recognized by Internet users.
The .net extension is the second most preferred extension after .com. .net is short for network, and it was initially introduced for use by networking companies. Nowadays, .net is synonymous with businesses that specialize in online services such as cloud computing, hosting, SaaS, and ISPs.
.net is a poor choice if your business is not in any way related to networking or similar online services. Many companies protect their brands by registering on both .com and .net domains, and redirecting one to the other.
The .Irish extension is a ccTLD that represents the country of Ireland. It demonstrates a site’s affiliation with the country. Using this domain makes it easier to market your products, services, or content to the Irish community.
You don’t have to be Irish to have a .Irish domain. Online entrepreneurs from all over the world can register their websites on a .Irish extension to promote their presence in Ireland.
.Ie is a shortened version of the .Irish extension. It has the same effect as its longer version such that it identifies the site as Irish. The only difference is that it’s shorter, but there are some benefits to having a short web address.
It is advisable to buy both the .Irish and .le domain to secure your Irish presence domain name.
.org is short for organization. It is ideal for societies, communities, and institutions. The extension is typically associated with non-profit organizations such as charities and other welfare groups. Sites bearing this extension are usually perceived as authoritative and credible.
However, it is not recommended for E-commerce or personal sites and blogs, unless they’re directly affiliated with a non-profit organization or mission.
.info extension is used to identify websites that provide specific information such as statistics, or access to data repositories. Spammers have been known to use this extension as click bait to lure web surfers to deceptive sites.
Take care not to mislead online users with this extension. This would affect your reputation and online performance.
.biz is an acronym for business. The suffix is intended for use by any online business as an alternative to .com. Although it is not as popular as .com and .net, the .biz extension is still effective at branding marketing and E-commerce websites.
.Tv is both a ccTLD for a small country in the South Pacific called Tuvalu and an abbreviation for television. A majority of people are unaware of its significance to Tuvalu and only interpret it as television. It is quite memorable for that purpose.
Naturally, the .tv extension is used by websites that are related to the television industry. Streaming and cable Tv companies use this extension on their website. Sites marketing Tv-related content such as tv guides and show reviews also use the .tv extension.
This is a relatively new TLD and is yet to grow in popularity. It was originally intended for individuals to represent their names in their web domains. The .name suffix is only ever used on personal websites, for example, PR campaign websites.
It would be odd to use a .name extension for any other purpose, although it is not restricted.
The .social extension is also relatively new. It is used to describe websites involved in social networking or social activities. You’ll usually find .social domains on event planning, forums, promotional activities, and outreach websites.
It can also be used on a business or personal website, but that can often be misleading. And because .social is not very popular, it would be a bad idea to use it for business.
The .technology and its shorter version, .tech, are used to represent websites and businesses in the tech industry. It is an ideal alternative to .net if your business is involved in tech but not necessarily networking or online services.
The extension is mostly used by tech-based startups, or websites marketing innovative and unique tech ideas, products, and services.
.co extension may be used to represent the ccTLD for Colombia, or as an abbreviation for corporation or company. The suffix is used to brand websites by associating them with the host company. It is ideal for company profiling and business websites.
However, the .co extension is often confusing on its own. Many users assume it should mean .com and often end up missing the website or redirecting to a completely different site.
Many companies prefer to use the .co extension, along with a ccTLD such as co.uk. This practice identifies the company and its country of origin and also avoids confusion.
The .support extension is intuitively used on websites’ support pages. The extension provides an obvious destination for the user to find online assistance and support resources such as FAQs and live contacts.
Many entrepreneurs have also found a clever use for the .support extension in health, fundraising, charity, and wellness websites.
Choosing the preferable domain suffix is often hampered by availability and use restrictions. There are hundreds of domain extensions; you have to look beyond the .com suffix. However, don’t just pick the next best thing — make a few considerations before settling on your choice.
The very first thing you have to consider is the purpose of your site. If your website is business-oriented, you have a choice of .com, .biz, .net, .tech and .co.
Select the extension that best matches your brand and the reason for your online presence.
You also have to take into account the demographic that you are targeting as your audience. For instance, if you want to focus within a particular geographical region, go for the ccTLD of that specific region. Also, look up the extensions mostly associated with questionable websites or are often blacklisted and avoid them.
Coupled with the right choice of a domain name, a domain extension could make your address memorable, appealing, and relatable to your brand.
Contact us today and learn more about the different domain extensions. We’ll help you pick the most suitable identity for your website, and get you started on domain registration.