Sure, everyone thinks of .COM when they’re looking to buy a domain name, but the problem is that most of the good ones are taken. A lot of the big registrars are marketing other top level domains like .INFO, .ME, .WS (for website) or now, .CO (for COmpany or COrporation) as alternatives.
But just how popular are those domains anyway? Is it worth getting the .NET or the .ORG if the .COM you want is already taken? Will people take you seriously if your business website ends with some obscure extension? (like .TK which you can get for absolutely free.)
Is it worth getting a domain hack (where you use other domain extensions to spell your domain name)?
Del.icio.us is a classic example of a domain hack which uses .US for the States. (Del.icio.us now points to Delicious.com).
More and more country codes are getting used as alternatives to .COM domain endings. For example, people use .ME (Montenegro) for personal sites. Several radio and music sites use .AM (Armenia), .FM (Federated States of Micronesia), .CD (Congo) and .DJ (Djibouti).
We used Google as a benchmark to see how popular certain domain extensions were. Sure, the numbers change based on which Google data center you use and when you do the search, but you get an idea for which domain extensions are more popular: There are 14 billion .COM domain names listed in Google and around 230 million .INFO domain names. Does it really matter if the numbers are off by a couple of million in this case?)
Here are 6 things to think about when choosing a domain extension.
6. There are over 33 billion (33,706,342,951) domain entries showing up in Google (Aug 2010)
5. Today, the top 3 generic domains are .COM (14.5 billion), .ORG (1.5 billion) and .NET (1.4 billion)
4. The top 3 country domain names are .JP Japan (3.3 billion), .KR South Korea (1.0 billion), and the .UK United Kingdom (just under 1 billion)
3. ICANN, the non-profit organization that manages .COM domain names, publishes a list of .COM domain name registrars every month. As of April 2010, there are 882 accredited registrars selling .COM domains.
2. The number one registrar in the world (in terms of the number of .COM domains registered) is GoDaddy. They have registered over 25 million .COM domains. (The second place registrar is eNom which has only 7 million .COM domains registered.)
1. In looking at the Top 10 .COM registrars in the world, the average price to register a .COM domain is $21.44 USD per year. The most expensive registrar charges $35.00 per year and the best price (including promotional sales) for a .COM domain is $1.99 per year.
Feel free to speculate on where the internet is heading, and what the next popular domain name extension will be.
And you’ll have to decide whether you want to struggle to find an acceptable .COM domain name, or whether you can live with something creative or SIL.LY