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Domain Extensions

Choosing the right domain extension is important when starting a business website. Read this to learn all about the different domain extensions.

Your domain name is the digital DNA of your site and it needs to integrate with your other URLs and digital assets. Whether you are a new business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, you will want to build a website that enables you to reach an entirely new set of customers. A website provides you with a way to hone in on a target audience or advertise new services or products. Think of a website as your address in digital form.

Mailchimp is one of the top full-service platforms ready to help you secure a domain and attract the audience you desire most. But first, you need to understand what a domain extension is and how to pick one.

What is a domain extension?

The domain extension is the part of the URL that follows the domain name—for example, .com, .org or .edu. You see domain extensions all the time and probably give them no thought. Domain extensions typically categorize websites by type. The most common types are:

Generic top-level domains (gTLD)

These are the original domains and are most recognizable to the average person, like .com and .net. Because they are generic, they do not belong to one country. If you want a global market, a gTLD is the way to go.

Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)

Domain extensions that specific organizations and businesses use are sponsored extensions. The general public don’t use these. For example, .gov and .mil.

Additionally, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, a regulation organization committed to making the internet stable and secure, has begun to allow organizations to register their own individualized domain extensions, such as .toyota.

Country code top-level domains (ccTLD)

Country Code domains are those an individual country uses, such as .us for the United States and .ca for Canada. Each country has its own set of rules for the ccTLDs. Some countries allow anyone to use it, and some only allow government agencies to use it.

Restricted domain extensions

Some generic URL extensions are restricted. This means they have specific requirements for those who want to use and register them. For example, only U.S. government agencies and entities can use the .gov extension. Another example is .jobs, which is limited to websites with job listings and openings. However, these domains typically don’t apply to businesses looking for domain extensions that add trust and authority to their sites.

It makes sense to consult with platforms that specialize in domain and URL creation to procure the most valuable and recognizable addresses for your content.

Special use domain extensions

Some domain name extensions are used solely for specific technical uses. These extensions include .local and .test, which the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) reserves to avoid misuse and confusion.

Why are domain extensions important?

Different domain extensions influence how visitors view your website. For example, a visitor will likely determine that a website ending in .edu is more trustworthy than a website ending in .zip.

Think of your domain name extension as your chance to create an excellent first impression. It should reflect well on your branding and help attract users to your website. In short, make a thoughtful, deliberate decision before committing to an extension.

When you choose Mailchimp to purchase a domain customized just for you, you are taking an important step in branding your company or organization. Your unique domain allows you to publish your website, email customers, create landing pages, and build and support an online store.

The 5 most common domain name extensions

The most common domain extensions are:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .edu
  • .gov
  • .net

Each of these extensions give people an idea of what type of business or organization you have.

A web address ending in .com mainly indicates commercial sites. Over 50% of websites use .com, and it is familiar to web users worldwide.

Organizations use .org for non-commercial sites. None of the regulatory agencies police the use of this extension, which has been somewhat abused.

Educational websites started by using .edu. This extension is now reserved for post-secondary educational organizations accredited by one of a handful of agencies in the United States. This domain will not be used in other countries.

Federal, state, local, and tribal governments register a domain using .gov. However, there are some government agencies that use their own domain extension, such as .usps for the United States Postal Service.

Businesses and organizations that represent network-based technologies traditionally used .net for their websites. Now, companies that are unable to get their desired .com address default to .net.

How many domain extensions are there?

Thousands! With the ability to customize the extension, organizations creating websites have a virtually infinite number of choices.

To keep it simple, Mailchimp allows clients to choose from 200 recognized domain name extensions. We have the most popular and widely used extensions, such as .com, .net, and .org, but we also have .info, which shows visitors your website is only to provide or share information and .club for websites created by clubs, local groups, and associations.

Choose the extension that best meets your users’ needs.

How much does a domain extension cost?

The prices of domain extensions vary widely. In general, the price of top-level domains ranges from $12 to $50 per year (or even more in certain cases). You can get top-level domains with added protection from Mailchimp for the low-end price.

For example, when you purchase an extension from Mailchimp, we use ICANN. This helps give you the most secure and stable web address. Each URL purchased is registered for one year and you receive an alert via email when you need to register again.

Our experts also ensure your domain includes free privacy protection through WHOIS and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to safeguard your personal information. This also means your website will be verified and encrypted so people do not have access to the content.

Top-level domains such as .com, .net, and .org are priced differently. The .com domain is $12.99 per year, with an annual renewal fee of $12.99. The price for .net and .org sites is $15.29 for one year, as is the renewal each year.

Tips for choosing a domain extension

Branding includes every tool you use to draw attention to your business. In the digital realm, you can make a positive impact on viewers by choosing the right website extension. For example, a domain with your brand name in it can help your ranking. In addition, your domain name can allow people to recognize your brand immediately.

Many clients use Mailchimp to plan and launch their marketing CRM. So, what's the big deal with marketing CRMs and why are they different from other websites? CRM marketing tools generate leads that may result in increased revenue and profits. So, choosing the right URL and extension can impact your results in a big way. With that being said, we’ve come up with a few tips for choosing a website extension for your business.

Consider your brand image

You want your brand image to be one people recognize and hold in a positive light. If you use an extension that is recognizable, then you will have more of a believable and trustworthy online reputation. Also, you want people to readily know what your business or organization is all about. For example, if you use .org, users will assume that your website supports a nonprofit organization.

This can backfire if you try to trick visitors into believing that you represent something you do not. For example, many supplements and other products have .org extensions, while the websites exist merely to promote and sell the products.This can result in decreased Google rankings and poor reviews. If you have a legitimate organization, it's not worth it to confuse your target audience.

Make it memorable

Because your domain and extension identify your brand, make them easy to remember. Thus, make sure you don’t overcomplicate your company’s domain extension—try to make it something simple that people will remember after just a single visit.

Default to .com

When all else fails, choose .com. Users immediately recognize this extension and trust it because .coms include over half of all website extensions. Unfortunately, this may pose a challenge when you need to come up with a unique URL.

If all else fails, you can revert to one of the dozens of extensions offered by Mailchimp to make your website as easy to remember as possible.

Keep location in mind

If your company is specialized to a region or country, you can use a ccTLD or other extensions that tell customers you are located in a certain area. For example, many Canadian organizations use the .ca designation for their country.

Use Mailchimp to secure a domain name

Choosing and securing a domain name and extension can be a little daunting if you are not comfortable with all of the technical jargon used. It can also be something you do not have a lot of time to devote to. Let branding specialists at Mailchimp do the work for you.

To buy a domain through Mailchimp, complete the following steps:

  1. Click on “Website.”
  2. Click on “Domains.”
  3. Click “Search for Domains.”
  4. In the find section, type in the domain you desire to see if it is available.
  5. If the one you want is available, click “Claim Your Domain.” If it is not available, search for one that is close to the one you wanted.
  6. Once you claim your domain, fill in the information requested and click “Register Domain.”
  7. You will be taken to a page to choose the one you want based on price and the features you need.
  8. On the email page, you will enter the email you want and click “Create Email.”
  9. The next step is to decide if you want a Google Workspace with your email or if you want a basic email with no inbox.
  10. Finally, you will go to “Checkout” to review your information and select “Pay Now”.You will be asked to verify your email address and then you can use your domain to create your website.

Now that you know what a domain extension is and how to buy one, you can begin building your company’s online presence. As you establish your company’s online footprint, use Mailchimp to achieve the results you want. Mailchimp is your all-in-one marketing platform that offers the capability to run digital ads, email marketing campaigns, and much more. Come to us to buy domain names and build a website users will remember and trust.

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