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  1. #1
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    How important can a domain extension be?

    Until a few years ago, there wasn't much choice regarding the domain extension one could use for their website, whether is was for a business or a personal website. .com, .net, .org and national extensions were pretty much the only options, not just because they were the only one sold (duh), but also because people had grown used to them, and, of course, they trusted websites with similar extensions.
    Nowadays, though, the extensions pool has vastly expanded, now including original and more specific alternatives like .space, .cloud or .racing (I've always found this one... oddly specific), right next to the middle-ground ones (in terms of usage) like .io and .me. People can get more creative with their names and, since they're at it, they can also save quite some money by investing in new but promising domains.
    Such domains are growing more and more common and, at the same time, the Internet audience is growing younger and younger, getting used to these news and giving up on the old habits. Websites with odd domains aren't looked down upon as much as before, neither are they seen as shady as before, but, on the contrary, some may be praised by peculiar uses of such new extensions.

    Given all this, is the choice of a domain extension as valuable as it used to be? Can one go with cheaper and quirkier domains without risking to lose potential audience because of this?

  2. #2
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    Back then, domain extension used to be an important factor to consider when creating a website but its importance diminishes as the day goes. The point now is to brand your website with a relevant domain name and do well to sell it out.

    The .com extension is the generic extension which most people are used to but not everyone uses them on their website. As a matter of fact, it is becoming overrated. Some Government owned websites use .gov, Education website use .edu, and some organization use .org. This institution still thrive without having to use the usual .com extension.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeiss View Post
    Back then, domain extension used to be an important factor to consider when creating a website but its importance diminishes as the day goes. The point now is to brand your website with a relevant domain name and do well to sell it out.

    The .com extension is the generic extension which most people are used to but not everyone uses them on their website. As a matter of fact, it is becoming overrated. Some Government owned websites use .gov, Education website use .edu, and some organization use .org. This institution still thrive without having to use the usual .com extension.
    Good point. Yeah, using a plain .com extension for non-business websites looks like a solution nowadays, that's the impression I had as well. Maybe typically recurring extensions like .edu can be used for clever names, too (maybe it's better not to mess with .gov domains, haha).

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    Maybe typically recurring extensions like .edu can be used for clever names, too (maybe it's better not to mess with .gov domains, haha).
    Most people would not have a choice on if they want to use these 2 extensions or not. A .edu can only be registered by an educational institution and a .gov can only be registered by a government. Their has to be requirements met in order to register these that most people or businesses can't fulfill.

    Some people I have known over the years have been able to get a hold of one of these but only to lose it later because they did not have the rights to have it.

    Some domainers can be quite ingenious at times while also being not too bright at the same time.

  6. #5
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    I still stick with .com and here is why...

    let's take a well branded site that you think the extension would not matter. last.fm

    I still as well as many others type in lastfm.com instead of last.fm by habit.

    .com is ingrained in surfers brains. The new extensions are not.

    Plus, watch what happens when you type a domain name into a browser without the extension.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulterios View Post
    Most people would not have a choice on if they want to use these 2 extensions or not. A .edu can only be registered by an educational institution and a .gov can only be registered by a government. Their has to be requirements met in order to register these that most people or businesses can't fulfill.
    Oh, so .edu is a reserved domain as well? I thought it only applied to .gov domains, but it makes sense. After all, major organizations really benefit from the privileged status their domain has, as it works as a guarantee for a company's reliability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Whisonant View Post
    I still stick with .com and here is why...

    let's take a well branded site that you think the extension would not matter. last.fm

    I still as well as many others type in lastfm.com instead of last.fm by habit.

    .com is ingrained in surfers brains. The new extensions are not.

    Plus, watch what happens when you type a domain name into a browser without the extension.
    Yeah, this is definitely true and we can't just ignore this. However, do you think this mentality will be eradicated in the years to come, thus making the use of alternative extensions more feasible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    Yeah, this is definitely true and we can't just ignore this. However, do you think this mentality will be eradicated in the years to come, thus making the use of alternative extensions more feasible?
    Not for a long time. Go where the money is now... Not where it might be a long time down the road.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    Oh, so .edu is a reserved domain as well? I thought it only applied to .gov domains, but it makes sense. After all, major organizations really benefit from the privileged status their domain has, as it works as a guarantee for a company's reliability.
    Yes it is. You must be an accredited educational institution in order to be able to register one.


    Here's some info on registering a .edu domain from the .edu powers that be: https://net.educause.edu/edudomain/show_faq.asp?code=EDUELIGIBILITY

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulterios View Post
    Yes it is. You must be an accredited educational institution in order to be able to register one.


    Here's some info on registering a .edu domain from the .edu powers that be: https://net.educause.edu/edudomain/show_faq.asp?code=EDUELIGIBILITY
    Thanks! It's always nice to acquire new informations. I think it's a little unfair that non-U.S. educational institutions can't be granted easy access to such a distinctive and useful domain, but such is life. I'm sure they'll open it up in the future, as this domain's popularity grows larger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    Thanks! It's always nice to acquire new informations.
    You are very welcome and I am always trying to acquire new info on thins myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    I think it's a little unfair that non-U.S. educational institutions can't be granted easy access to such a distinctive and useful domain, but such is life. I'm sure they'll open it up in the future, as this domain's popularity grows larger.
    There has been talk of it for as long as I can remember but the key sticking point has been that some countries don't have much trust in their accreditation processes, rules and so on. In many countries gaining accreditation for being an educational institution is as easy as paying a fee or having a paid license. They are doing this to help keep the integrity of the extension but I am sure that changes will happen at some point in time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ulterios View Post
    There has been talk of it for as long as I can remember but the key sticking point has been that some countries don't have much trust in their accreditation processes, rules and so on. In many countries gaining accreditation for being an educational institution is as easy as paying a fee or having a paid license. They are doing this to help keep the integrity of the extension but I am sure that changes will happen at some point in time.
    That makes sense. I guess this is similar (and possibly related) to how educational titles (like degree, bachelor's and so on) don't have the same value in every country, and some don't even hold any value.

    On second thought, though, maybe international institutions don't care much about it, since most public educational ones can just request a .gov local domain (I think it's different from the standalone .gov one) and be done with it. All they need is to be recognised as official, even if they could have a more fitting extension.

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    That makes sense. I guess this is similar (and possibly related) to how educational titles (like degree, bachelor's and so on) don't have the same value in every country, and some don't even hold any value.
    Well they do hold value but not as much as some places because many of those can be had for just paying a fee/price/etc.. I know people that have basically bought degrees in other countries and how others were obtained.

    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinManiac View Post
    On second thought, though, maybe international institutions don't care much about it, since most public educational ones can just request a .gov local domain (I think it's different from the standalone .gov one) and be done with it. All they need is to be recognised as official, even if they could have a more fitting extension.
    The .gov is for US use only but there are other options in other countries. I know that Brazil has a dedicated government extension ".gov.br" and if I remember correctly there are 1 or 2 others that do the same with their CC. I haven't looked into those in some time so there may be more now. Many other countries just use their dedicated country code extension for their educational and government use and some use other options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ulterios View Post
    Well they do hold value but not as much as some places because many of those can be had for just paying a fee/price/etc.. I know people that have basically bought degrees in other countries and how others were obtained.
    Yup, that's exactly what I meant. They're dismantled easily in work fields that require you to have specific knowledge and skills, and those, fortunately, can't be bought with money. It's hard to tell apart legitimate titles from paid ones at times, though :/

    Quote Originally Posted by ulterios View Post
    The .gov is for US use only but there are other options in other countries. I know that Brazil has a dedicated government extension ".gov.br" and if I remember correctly there are 1 or 2 others that do the same with their CC. I haven't looked into those in some time so there may be more now. Many other countries just use their dedicated country code extension for their educational and government use and some use other options.
    Yup, that's what I was referring to. I think the UK has a similar domain (.gov.uk) and Italy as well. I like their concept, since they make it even easier to describe a website just by looking at its address, and it still can be considered safe because of the needed requirements.

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    I am afraid that .com is the extension of choice for the foreseeable future. You can get traffic from Google with non .com domains, but it is difficult to get people to remember. I still depend on people putting in .com instead of .net for one of my websites.

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