- By Dianna Gunn
- May 29, 2020
There are over 1,500 domain extensions available today, including specialized extensions for numerous industries, interests, and website types. They all tell users something different about your site. So why do you need the .com domain? Do you really need it at all?
This guide will explore the benefits of using a .com domain, along with why you might want to consider a different extension. But first, we need to establish what a domain extension, otherwise known as a top level domain, actually is.
What are domain extensions?
Domain extensions are used to categorize websites. In professional web development spaces, they are often referred to as top level domains.
Despite this name, there is no level system for domain extensions. All domain extensions are top level domains (TLDs). Your browser will treat them the same way. Google has also stated that no preferential treatment is given to .com or any other TLD.
There are, however, three types of top level domains:
- Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) – These are domain extensions that can be registered anywhere in the world. This includes the commonly-used .com, .org, .net, as well as less common extensions like .info and .io. The vast majority of domain extensions are gTLDs.
- Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) – As the name suggests, these extensions can only be registered by residents of a specific country. Some commonly used ccTLDs are .ca, .co.uk, and .ru.
- Restricted Top Level Domains – These are domain extensions that can only be used by specific types of institutions, such as .edu for post-secondary educations. Due to the restrictions, we will not be discussing these TLDs in the bulk of this article.
New TLDs are added occasionally, and you can find a full list of domain extensions here.
Your brand and .com
So, if your browser and search engines treat .com the same as any other TLD, why do you need the .com?
The answer lies in your branding. A .com domain is recognizable and lends your brand credibility. The .com also indicates that you are open to doing business with people from anywhere in the world.
Your website is also easier to remember when you use the .com. If people remember the name of your brand but don’t have your website URL, they are probably going to type “yourbrand.com” into their address bar. If your website is at the .com address, they will find themselves in the right place.
The dangers of leaving the .com available
As we mentioned before, if people remember the name of your brand but don’t remember the URL, they will often attempt to go to “yourbrand.com”. If your brand isn’t
This article was written by Dianna Gunn and originally published on WinningWP.