Believe it or not, domain names have gone mainstream! If you watch enough television it probably won’t be long before you see a commercial coming from at least one popular domain registrar. GoDaddy, 1&1, and CrazyDomains are just a few of the companies out there whom have launched expensive television commercial slots all across the world. GoDaddy even buys advertising during the USA super bowl which is some of the most expensive that any company can buy! With that in mind, anytime you go to purchase a new domain you are probably a little baffled by all of the different extensions you see available. Do you go with a .COM? How about a .NET? .INFO? .CLUB? Literally, there are hundreds of different domain extensions which you can register your domains with today. But, which of these are the safest from an investment standpoint? Continue reading below to see my personal thoughts on the issue.
First, if you’re planning to register a new domain for specific purposes (such as a new business or project you’re working on) then you may not think the extension is going to be very important. In fact, that’s completely false. The truth is, not only do business and project domains need to be easily remembered, they are also going to become both an asset and a representation of your new idea as well. Registering a domain such as MyCompany.info because it only costs $4 is like saying “My Company” is only worth $4. Is that what you want potential clients and customers to really think? Remember, your new idea is going to age over time and with that, so will your domain. Spending a little bit extra right now to acquire something more “premium” in a popular extension could likely pay off much more in the long run. For example, lets say Widgets Incorporated just launched this month. The company could have registered Widgets.us for $9.99, but opted to pay $29,999 for Widgets.com instead. Did they spend more cash now? Definitely. However, when they begin telling potential customers their website is Widgets.com nobody will have problems remembering it. Along with that, the powerful name shows that this company is the “real deal” and truly values their business. To go along with all of that, the company has now taken this premium name and developed it around their business. With the traffic and revenue it’s going to generate over time it will likely make that name worth multiple times what they initially paid for it. This is why I always recommend businesses invest more money in a proper domain in the mainstream extension rather than just going the cheap route!
For those who are into investing and flipping domains for profit the scenario changes a bit. Most investors aren’t able to go out and pay five figure sums to acquire hundreds of premium names. At the same time, many small businesses aren’t able to that either. This creates opportunity for investors to find good domains in smaller extensions which they may still be able to flip and make a decent profit on after they’ve found the right buyer. The big question once again is, which of the smaller extensions are safest? Aside from dot COM which is what everybody wants, it’s counterpart dot NET can be a fairly safe investment as well. This is because lots of companies will go for the NET if they can’t afford or get the COM that they want. I always advise staying away from other global extensions such as .BIZ and .INFO unless it’s good premium one word domain. You could find lots of potential buyers out there for Wallpaper.info because it’s premium, but not for something like TapeDecks.info that isn’t. Country code domain extensions like .DE and .NL can also be good, but only for those who know what’s happening in that specific country. You also need to know proper grammar in the country before investing.
My final thoughts would be that it really comes down to what your main purpose is. Those who are looking to buy just one domain for something specific should try to keep it mainstream. Go with a .COM or .NET and if you can’t get either of those then consider going with one of the cool new gTLD extensions like .Media or .Website instead. Lots of short and one word domains are available in these extensions, and if they fit into your business or project idea it could be a worthy investment. For example, if your company is named JD Media Incorporated and you’re unable to obtain JDmedia.com or JDmedia.net, then consider going with JD.media over JDMediaInc.com as this is still super short, easy to remember, and probably available for standard registration costs. As for those who are buying multiple domains for investment purposes, keep it mainstream whenever possible because that’s what everyone prefers. But, also keep a watchful eye out for good bargains on premium one word domains in smaller extensions. If you’re from a specific country (such as Germany, Italy, Netherlands..etc.) then consider investing into some names that represent your countries extension. If you live there you probably know the terminology better than anyone who doesn’t, so that should give you a small advantage over most other investors out there!