It’s been over a year since the generic domain name extensions launched. Where once anyone wanting a website was restricted to .com, the online world has now opened up. You can be .entrepreneur or .marketer if you so see fit – the web is more open than it ever has been. True to form, many businesses have been early adopters, snapping up generic domain names.
It was a huge change for the internet; one that many users are still not entirely accustomed to. Why the big switch? The reason for domain extensions going generic was need, as as reported at www.telegraph.co.uk.
After nearly 20 years of companies like www.wizzhosting.co.uk making it simple and affordable to register your own domain, the stock was drying up.
It was becoming nigh on impossible to find a new name. Opening up the web to generic extensions fixed this problem with the initial releases, and more are set to follow over the coming years.
So, there is an immediate…
PRO: You Can Be Unique
No longer do you have to try and register a domain that’s sort of good enough. You can now opt for a succinct, simple domain with a generic extension. The world of “JimAndBobsPlumbingBusiness.com” needing to exist thanks to lack of option is fading into the past. If you’re operating in a specific niche that has long sold out of all the good .com names, then a generic extension can be a huge advantage for you.
CON: People Don’t Trust Them
The reason that .com (and its regional variants, such as co.uk in the UK or com.au in Australia) became the standard is because they were simple. They were reliable. They had an air of authority to them; people learned to trust them. With generic suffixes are becoming more widespread, they’re still not standard – and that might put some customers off.
PRO: You Can Have A Short Name
Before, the answer to the lack of .com availability was to make your domain name long. This was fine; it served its purpose, even if it did seem like a bit of an internet mouthful. However, it didn’t work so well offline; if you tried to fit your long domain name onto a business card, it would only fit in a tiny font. It also didn’t exactly trip off the tongue to say: “go to JimAndBobsPlumbingBusiness.com!” – but “go to JimAndBob.plumber!” is far easier.
CON: They Might Not Fit Your Demographic
The younger someone is, the happier they are going to be to adjust to the times. If the demographic that you’re targeting is under the age of 50, then you’re probably fine to make the switch to a generic suffix. The same cannot be said for older users, who are just getting used to using the internet at all – so there’s a good chance using an irregular domain name might confuse them. If you do have an older target demographic, then it’s worth finding a reputable seller and buying a generic domain, but keep hold of your .com for those who prefer it.
So which do you prefer to use – generic or standard domain names?