The ability to be found is critical to the success of any Web site and the business that relies on it. Apart from a logical domain name, in other words, a name that is appropriate for the business and the content of the site, it is important to consider the domain’s extension.
The domain extension is the last part of a Web address and is also known as the Top Level Domain (TLD). For example, the domain extension in the following URL www[dot]ezinearticles[dot]com is COM.
Apart from .com, there are over three hundred TLDs such as .net, .org, .edu, as well as country or national suffixes. Different types of organizations tend to prefer particular extensions. For example, non-profit organizations often use .org, government agencies, at least in the United States, use .gov, while educational facilities use .edu.
However, for most businesses and commercial operations it is fair to say that .com has become the most popular by far. Even organizations that use alternative TLDs such as those above, often register the .com domain extension as well. One reason for this is that since .com has become so popular it is common for users to automatically type the .com TLD or use it as a starting point when searching for an organization’s Web site. Therefore, it makes sense to register your domain name with a .com TLD if possible.
If your preferred name has already been registered you may be able to find out who it is registered to by using a ‘whois’ database. It may then be possible to contact the current registrant to inquire if the name is for sale. If nothing else, the database provides the renewal date so it is possible to track if the domain name becomes available if the registration is not renewed.
Otherwise, the options are to use an alternative TLD or devise a derivative of your preferred name possibly by using hyphens or underscores in the body of the name along with the .com domain extension. These derivatives can work very well provided they are succinct and alternative suffixes are fine if you promote the site properly and actively drive traffic to it.
Whatever you decide, registering a domain name is a key factor in managing and organizing your presence on the Internet.