Soon after choosing the company or product name, business owners, entrepreneurs, or marketers usually go and secure the domain name for their website. Most people take the time to choose the domain name itself, then register their domain names with .com, .net, .org – if it is available, or perhaps under their country code, such as .ca or .uk.

These letters, such as .com and .org, are top-level domains. Top-level domains (TLDs), which are also known as domain extensions or domain suffixes, are the last segment of domain names. Traditionally, TLDs represented details about the domain, as .com used to be for commercial use, .org was initially for non-profit organizations, and .edu is used by educational institutions. These main TLDs are referred to as the generic TLDs. The next most recognized TLDs are country-code TLDs, which represent geographic locations. Some countries require proof of relation to the country either by citizenship or residence, but most do not.

Over the last few years, more TLDs have come into the market and have been increasingly used by websites to make more memorable domain names. Country-code TLDs like .io and .me have been popular among technology companies, as they do not require ties to their respective countries, and when used, can be catchy and easy to remember. Wordpress cofounder Matt Mullenweg’s personal website ma.tt, uses the country-code TLD for Trinidad and Tobago, for example. Some organizations may also choose such TLDs if the .com version of their domain name is not available, or if they want to avoid identifying the location of their organization (which can be the case for companies seeking a global, location-agnostic market).

Most recently, ICANN has introduced more generic top-level domains which are intended to be used by specific target markets. For example, .app (for phone apps), .biz, . blog, and corporate identifiers like .realtor and .ventures are becoming more commonplace. It also allows organizations to take an even more creative approach in choosing their domain names. For instance, when Google unveiled their parent company Alphabet in 2015, Alphabet.com was already being used by another unrelated company. Instead, they chose abc.xyz as their URL (which subsequently pushed the popularity of the .xyz TLD).

A company or organization can have many reasons for wanting to switch domain names, including TLDs. While many website owners opt to simply purchase domain names and redirect them to their website, there may be cases when changing your main domain name and TLD is necessary:

  • The .com of your desired name becomes available
  • Your company will be concentrating on a certain country/market and you decide to switch domains to reflect the change, or you are expanding from one location to a global market
  • Your organization is shifting its purpose, i.e., becoming a nonprofit or an educational institution
  • Your company/organization/project name can be used in a full URL (for example, About.me, worldhappiness.report)
  • You are taking advantage of great branding opportunities (CES recently changed their URL from CESWEB.org to CES.tech)

Regardless of the reason, domain changes go beyond rebranding and updating your marketing collateral. If you are migrating your website, it is important to make sure that the migration process goes seamlessly, without losing your search engine rankings. A clever, memorable domain name is not worth it if your audience cannot find you online. EasyRedir can help ensure a smooth transition to your new domain name. Our platform is easily scalable and highly efficient, so we can handle URL redirects for websites of any size. Sign up for a free EasyRedir trial today.

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