Your options come from the different TLD’s available such as .com, .net, .org, .biz, etc. The term TLD stands for top-level domain which applies to the extension on the end of your domain name. If the domain name you choose is not available in .com for instance, you may be able to get a .net instead. The .com extension is the most popular and the one most people associate with the Internet, but .net and the rest are just as good to me. Other factors are more important like content, tailoring your selection of products and services, Internet security which includes things like keeping your site free from scams, spam and viruses, personal information protection (privacy) and secured transactions for you customers.
If you have a good site and much to offer, no one cares what your TLD extension is. Did you know that free and cheap domain names are usually owned by someone else? Unless you purchase your domain name from a reliable Domain Registrar (a company authorized to register domain names for the public) and register it in your own name, you are NOT the owner!
Domain Name 101:
• Think of a domain name like an address to your site or business location on the Internet.
• All domain names are registered with ICANN (The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) through an accredited domain name registrar.
• TLD’s or “top level domains” are the extensions that follow the name of your site like .com, .net, .org, etc.
• When someone types in your web address to your site, the “DNS” (Domain Name System) servers communicate with the registry to determine the assigned IP address at your web hosting company the site is located at, the connection is established and the user is taken to your site. This all happens within seconds of you typing in the web address.
• Owning your own domain name gives YOU, the owner FULL control over your domain until you relinquish it or do not re-register it or sell it.
Why is this important? For example, you obtain a free or super cheap domain name called “myonlinebusiness”, you are ecstatic about the savings and how little it cost to get that domain, you think to yourself, “Why should I have spent more, I’m not sure this venture will work or not.” After a few months it becomes clear that your business and site are doing well and growth is on a steady incline. You decide this is going to work and I want to move full steam ahead.
Well guess what? Chances are that you don’t really own your domain name! And now since you’ve decided to keep the business and make it a career, you now have to contact the REAL owner of your domain name and try to purchase it from them. They can charge you whatever they want for the domain and there are a lot of people who make a living buying and selling domain names because of bad decisions made by good people who just didn’t know.
As the owner they have absolute control over the domain because they are listed in the “WHOIS” directory as the rightful owner. Now you feel pretty dumb in hindsight because you didn’t spend that LITTLE extra to register the domain in your own name.
What can you do? I register my Domain Names through a company called Network Solutions, they have been around for many, many years and they are a very reputable accredited domain name registrar who doesn’t play games with your domain registration. You can rest assured that if you register through them, you actually OWN your domain name!
Besides, if you are going to take time to do all the work needed to do research, set up a site, pay for all of the other things you need, why skimp on the domain by saving just a few dollars? Why not give yourself and your business a chance to succeed. Are you seriously committed to your venture? Then why not let your visitors know this by being the actual OWNER of your site or business!