There are currently hundreds of alternative TLDs available for businesses to register, and the number is growing every year. Some of the most popular ones include:
While these TLDs may seem like a good alternative to .com, they can also create confusion for customers. For example, if a customer hears about a business called “MyBusiness” and tries to find it online, they may assume the website is mybusiness.com, but if the business is using mybusiness.co or mybusiness.io instead, the customer may end up on a different website or be unable to find the business at all. This can lead to lost sales and missed opportunities for the business, highlighting the importance of securing a matching .com domain early on.
When it comes to business branding, having a memorable and distinct domain name is crucial for building brand recognition and attracting customers. While there are now many new TLD options available beyond the traditional .com extension, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of using them as a primary domain.
One of the main issues with settling on an alternative TLD is that there are a virtually unlimited number of possible extensions that a potential customer might have to recall. For example, if a business were to use a .io domain, a customer may accidentally type .ai, .oi or .ioo, all of which would lead them to an error page or a different website altogether.
In contrast, the .com extension is the most widely recognized and remembered domain extension in the world, with over 150 million registered domains as of 2021. This means that customers are more likely to remember and trust a business with a .com domain, as opposed to an alternative extension that they may not be as familiar with.
Furthermore, acquiring a .com domain early on in a business’s lifespan can be a wise investment, as the value of premium domain names tends to increase over time. Waiting to acquire a matching .com domain until later on in a business’s growth can be a costly endeavor, as premium domain names can sell for millions of dollars in some cases.
For example, in 2019, the domain name voice.com was sold for a record-breaking $30 million. Had the company behind the brand Voice waited to acquire the matching .com domain until after they had built their brand and grown their customer base, they may have had to pay a hefty price to acquire it.
In short, while alternative TLDs may seem like an attractive option due to their availability and lower cost, they can ultimately be a trap for businesses looking to build a strong, recognizable brand. Investing in a matching .com domain early on can be a wise decision that pays off in the long run.