Domain extensions, also known as top-level domains, play a crucial role in making your site accessible to visitors as well as establishing credibility and trust in business sites.
A top-level domain is a suffix following the final dot in your website address. For instance, our website domain name, animasmarketing, ends with the .com extension.
However, picking a suitable TLD can be as challenging as creating domain names for several reasons. For instance, some domain endings might be already taken or restricted.
To help you out, we will go over the five top domain extensions. By the end of this article, you will learn how to choose a suitable TLD extension for your domain name.
Role of Top-Level Domains
Top-level domains are essential in the domain name system (DNS) lookup process. When a user types a domain name into their browser, like animasmarketing.com, the domain extension helps point a web browser to the correct internet protocol (IP) address.
Though search engines don’t consider a top-level domain (TLD) as a ranking factor, it can still affect how people perceive websites. For example, using an unusual domain name extension, such as .top or .unicorn, will make your website less memorable than .com since some users aren’t familiar with it.
Consequently, the website will receive a lower click-through rate (CTR), which impacts the search engine ranking. However, there are ways to improve this performance; one such method is via CTR manipulation, which can enhance organic search engine results by increasing your site’s engagement rates and hence click-through rates.
Types of Different Domain Extensions
According to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), there are five categories of top-level domains:
- Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) – these are the most common and widely-used extensions. Several original generic TLDs are .com, .net, .co, and .org.
- Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) – consist of domain extensions associated with geographical areas or countries. For example, .jp represents Japan, and .fr refers to France. In addition to the common gTLDs and ccTLDs, there are other trendy options gaining traction. The .io domain name, for instance, is a fast-growing choice in the startup world, and is also the ccTLD for the British Indian Ocean Territory.
- Sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs) – refer to the restricted extensions that are only available to certain owners or entities. Several examples of sTLDs are .gov, .edu, and .mil.
- Infrastructure top-level domains – are used for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Meanwhile, the only available TLD is ARPA, which stands for Address and Routing Parameter Area.
- Test top-level domains (tTLDs) – are designed for local testing and documentation purposes only, such as .test, .example, and .invalid. Users cannot use these tTLDs as public domains.
Best Top-Level Domains
In this section, we will go over the five best top-level domains and discuss what types of websites they are the most suitable for.
In addition, we will include the TLD price to help you determine whether it is affordable for your business site.
1. .com Top-Level Domain
The .com extension was originally intended for commercial sites or business entities as it stands for commercial. As of today, this TLD has become the most popular domain extension, with over 50% of worldwide users.
Since .com is the best-known TLD, building your brand awareness and reputation with it will be easier. However, most short domain names are already taken, so it might not be easy to register a .com domain name.
On average, domain registrars and web hosting companies offer this popular domain name extension for $13 per year.
2. .org Top-Level Domain
The .org TLD is one of the most popular domain extensions, with a 4.3% market share. If you run an educational website, an open-source software site, or a non-profit organization, we recommend utilizing this TLD.
As the .org TLD is available to anyone, there are no restrictions for registering a domain name. Furthermore, getting your desired domain name with this TLD should be easier since it has fewer users than the .com extension.
The .org extension is available at most web hosting providers and registrars for around $15 per year.
3. .net Top-Level Domain
The .net domain extension is short for the network. It is one of the most common domain extensions found on the internet and is used by over 3% of all websites globally. The .net TLD is considered a substitute for .com because many people will adopt it if the .com domain is taken.
Websites that use the .net domain extension are typically from the entertainment, creative, and tech industries. Therefore, choosing this TLD for business types, such as music, advertising, and photography, is a great idea.
You can register a .net domain via your preferred web hosting company or domain registrar for about $13 per year.
4. .xyz Top-Level Domain
.xyz refers to X, Y, and Z generations, representing the new digital innovators. Even though the .xyz TLD is a relatively new gTLD, it has recently become quite popular since many web3 companies, such as blockchains and cryptocurrencies, have started adopting it.
The .xyz is a non-sponsored TLD with no industry association so it can be a great TLD choice for any website. A business name that uses the .xyz TLD will also stand out more among other domains.
To get the .xyz domain extension, go to your preferred web hosting provider or domain registrar and check whether your domain name is available. This new gTLD usually costs $13 per year, the same as .com and .net extensions.
5. .io Top-Level-Domain
The .io extension is short for Indian Oceanic, meaning it belongs to the ccTLDs category. However, many tech startups or businesses associate it with Input/Output, making the TLD popular in that related business niche.
Therefore, the .io extension can be a perfect solution for those who want to establish a technology business, such as freelance web development services, network equipment, and cloud storage services.
Moreover, as this domain extension only contains two letters, which are quite short, adopting this TLD can make your domain name more memorable.
You can register your domain name using this country-code TLD at most domain registrars or hosting providers. However, keep in mind that the .io TLD is quite expensive, costing $49 per year.
There are various domain extension options to choose from. As a result, you will always be able to come up with a good alternative for your domain name.
To recap, we have gone through the top five domain extensions:
- .com – the most popular TLD, suitable for all kinds of business websites.
- .org – an excellent choice for nonprofit organizations or open-source software websites.
- .net – suitable for entertainment, creative, and tech companies.
- .xyz – a popular alternative for any new website.
- .io – great for new startups.
Moreover, you also have learned several key points about each TLD, such as its purpose, prices, and why they are popular.
Hopefully, this article has given you more insights to help create a memorable domain name with the best-fit domain extension.