The number of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) in the Domain Name System is always expanding. Over 1,300 new names could become available within the next few years. On top of that, there are also 252 country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), such as .CA, .US and .ASIA. With such a massive selection of TLDs, how can you know which you should be registering? That depends a lot on how you're using the domain.
Most TLDs – even the generic ones – are geared towards a certain market, industry or geography. By understanding your target market, you can register the right balance of TLDs to be successful.
Here are some of the most popular TLDs and what markets they work well with:
You could say that .COM is popular because .COM is, well, popular – it saw huge initial success with the Internet boom and became the standard TLD for domains. It is the largest TLD and arguably the highest in demand. But most people are now familiar with other TLDs and don't expect all domains to end in .COM. As a general rule, register the .COM if it is available, but don't worry too much if it's not available – many of them have already been registered
.CA is known as Canada's ccTLD. Studies show that Canadians trust .CA domains more than .COM, which is an important consideration for any Canadian brand, organization or entrepreneur. .CA also has more available domains than .COM. If you're a Canadian individual or organization, .CA is a great TLD for any application – on its own, or in addition to others.
.NET, .INFO, .BIZ
.NET, .INFO and .BIZ can be good alternatives to .COM, particularly if the .COM you want is unavailable. If you're managing domains for a large brand, it's also worth registering these TLDs to manage your brand more effectively.
.ORG – also a long-standing TLD – is most popular with charities and non-governmental organizations. It has a good reputation and is the perfect TLD for non-profit organizations.
.CO is a relatively new TLD. It was originally the ccTLD for Colombia but has since become available to the global market as a generic TLD. .CO is a great alternative to .COM, as there are many more domains available. As it is shorter than .COM, it is frequently used for shortening URLs, such as Google's "g.co" and Twitter's "t.co". Because .CO is still new, it is often associated with up-and-coming businesses and startups. It conveys a new, dynamic personality, which may be a good compliment for your brand.
.XXX is a TLD solely intended for adult content, or organizations which provide goods to the adult industry. .XXX is fairly new and frequently misunderstood. There are two main reasons that you would consider registering .XXX domains. The first is that your website will provide adult content – in which case, you will find there are many more domains available than .COM. The second is that you're responsible for managing brands, and you need to register or block your brand(s) in .XXX to prevent them from being misused.
Aside from .CA, registering other ccTLDs can be very valuable if your business operates or is known in a number of countries. The ccTLDs you register should be determined by your current or potential geographic presence. Keep in mind that you may need to provide proof that you do business in these countries in order to register a specific ccTLD.
I've got my mix of TLDs – now what do I do with them?
You've got a few options, but the key thing is to use them. You can forward your various domains to a single website or use CNAME records to make it appear as if your site is operating fully under these TLDs. You could set up separate websites for each TLD, providing different content in different languages, geographies or markets. You could also forward your ccTLDs to your main website but with different default languages.
Registering multiple TLDs will help you manage and grow your presence online. You can see which TLDs Internic.ca registers and find out more about them by visiting our Domains page. You can also manage your domains by using the Domain Manager, including its many features for bulk domain management.
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