The domain extension you register is so much more than just the address for your website. If you want to establish and protect your brand’s reputation, you should also think about registering the corresponding domain name in various extensions. The main reason why you should register more than one domain extension for your business can be easily explained; it is a matter of brand protection and branding. Your domain name is your online identity, and choosing the right name is one of the most important decisions when building a brand. However, doing so is certainly easier said than done. On the one hand, it has never been easier to find the ideal domain name for any business, but the sheer amount of domain extensions to choose from is also constantly growing, which makes it even harder. Unfortunately, the marketing budget of many small businesses is limited; therefore, we want to put our focus on the essentials: .COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ, .INFO; the so-called CNOBI domain extensions.
In the following, we will not just talk about the history of TLDs, the importance of the right domain name extensions, and the advantages they can bring for your business; we will also explain how registering all CNOBI domain names can help you to create a trusted brand image.
The History of TLDs
The Internet, as we use it today, dates back to 1985 and with it the launching of the domain name system (DNS), which allows us to use domain names instead of numeric IP addresses. A domain name is made up of character strings, which are separated by dots. The characters after the last dot are referred to as Top-Level Domain (TLD) or domain extension.
Today, there are several types of TLDs within the DNS, but in the beginning, only seven generic TLDs — .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU, .MIL, .GOV, and .INT — were created by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), while only the first three can be registered without restrictions. The other extensions in this list are considered sponsored TLDs and can only be used by specific groups. .BIZ and .INFO were established later but still belong to the classic generic TLDs. All unsponsored TLDs offer open registration and operate under policies established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
As of the end of 2019, 362.3 million domain names were registered across all TLDs, and all of the legacy domain extensions are still in great demand. The .COM domain extension closed with 145.4 million registrations, and .NET totaled 13.4 million registrations. That shows that .COM is by far still the most popular TLD. But with so many different domain extensions to choose from, you do not have to limit your company to only one option. Fortunately, the team from Xtended View recently published an article explaining how to choose the best domain name for your website.
As mentioned above, the most common gTLDs are .COM and .NET, closely followed by .ORG, and each of the gTLDs has its unique purpose. Below you can find what the CNOBI domain extensions used to stand for back in their early days:
Please note that over the years, the distinction between the five legacy domains has mostly been lost.
Back in 2013, hundreds of new generic TLDs were introduced and added a lot more variety to online branding possibilities. The types of extensions range from the genuinely generic like .BEST, .NEW, .MOM, to brand-specific extensions like .BMW or .APPLE, and to geo-specific domain extensions like .PARIS or .VEGAS. Some of the new gTLDs are subject to certain restrictions, like the .LAW domain extension that was exclusively created for the legal market and can only be registered at certified domain registrars like Join.LAW or 101domain. Those extensions allow individuals as well as companies to add extra value to their domain name by explaining the purpose of the website before a user even opens the site.
When they were first created, only qualified residents could register a ccTLD for that specific country. Even today, many ccTLDs are subject to special registration restrictions, which means you might be required to prove a residence in the country in which your domain name is registered. CcTLDs are commonly used to help you raise local awareness for your website. It shows your company’s commitment to a particular country or territory. The .DE domain, for instance, stands for Germany (Deutschland) and the .FR domain for France. .IO for British Indian Ocean Territory and .AI for Anguilla are also very popular ccTLDs, but they are more often used to present specific industries like the tech or artificial intelligence sector.
Even though the legacy domains are still leading the pack, many ccTLDs, as well as new gTLDs, are picking up the pace. They offer you the possibility to be more creative by using your domain name as an additional form of communication.
Why are CNOBI domain extensions so important?
A decade ago, CNOBI domains dominated the domain name market. Nowadays, most successful businesses own their company name in at least one if not in all CNOBI domain extensions. They play an essential role when it comes to protecting your brand online and make sure that nobody else can register your name, pretending they are you or harm your business in any other way.
The shift to industry-specific domain extensions is a significant trend, but it could end up being short-lived. CNOBI domain extensions are not just country independent; they are all well-established and known by most internet users. If you want to own, possibly dominate your space online, investing in the CNOBI domains is the ideal way to start even if you are on a budget. Registering a customized domain name means you can showcase a professional image when communicating with your audience, which gives you the chance to build trust. You can use it to establish, protect, and grow your brand, or expand into new markets. Registering multiple domains also saves you from having to deal with fraudulent registrations later, ultimately increasing your return on investment.