Domain names

What do you think of using non .com extensions for domain names?

Mike Lattier

September 14th, 2014

After spending countless hours trying to come up with a name for my start-up that was catchy, only to find them taken already, I finally came up with one that was unique, catchy and available.  I spent a few days running it by friends and family.  Everyone agree it was great.  When i went back, coincidentally it had been purchased just a few days prior.  Given the spelling, I found that very strange.  At any rate, it was gone.

Now the dilemma.  The .com of the name is unavailable, so I purchased it as a .org.  It's a social network type company.  I'm not real thrilled with the .org so I am considering some of the newer extensions, such as .co, .io, etc.  What is your opinion about utilizing one of the newer extensions, utilizing the .org for a company that is for profit, or staying with .com and finding another name.  I really do not want to give up the basic name.  Thanks.

Marcus Matos Software Development & Information Technology Professional

September 14th, 2014

A bit of advice for anyone looking at domain names: be sure you are using a reputable, well known registrar during your search. Unfortunately there are some out there that do exactly what Michael has described: they capture the domains you are searching then buy them up and offer them for sale at a much higher price.

Dan Itsara Co-Founder at Glazziq

September 14th, 2014

My rationale when I was dealing with this problem was that if whatever I was doing became successful, I'd be able to get for the domain name from the squatter. In the meantime, your options are:

1. Register a domain such as .co, .io, etc. I would avoid .org, because that I think that was originally created for non-profits.

2. Use a variation on your intended domain name like "hq", "my", etc. Dropbox started with, and Square originally used

3. Use a domain hack like "", "", etc. I'd personally would rather not try to artificially cram my company name into a domain hack, but if it fits then go for it.

Corey Blaser Sailor. Mormon. Entrepreneur.

September 14th, 2014

It depends on your brand positioning strategy. Your name should explain what your company does or is unique enough to make you stand out. But you are right, the extension says a lot about your company.

I would shy away from the .org, it generally connotes 'non-profit' to your potential customers. While .com is seen as a more legitimate to business extension, .net occasionally works. .co and the likes are new players and need time and bigger players adopting them to figure out where they stand in the internet ecosystem. There is nothing wrong with them and you might be one of those that can make it work (like But you are taking a gamble.

If you are looking to grow to a point where you can purchase the straight .com down the line, then go for it. We did that with a domain owned by Vivendi during one of my former startups. Just budget in the high price as a 'down the road' cost (You'll have to accept that you'll pay through the nose though.)

John Sechrest

September 14th, 2014

You might consider the .co domain.

Sharon McCarthy Chief Marketing Officer

September 23rd, 2014

Having a .com matters. At least here in the US. It's all about brand perception. If you don't have the .com, you won't really be able to control your brand perception (the .com version of the brand will control it), users are less likely to remember your business (yes that funny extension is just one more thing for them to remember), less likely to land on your site, and you look less legitimate if your primary presence is online and you don't have the .com extension. The .org is confusing if you're not a not for profit...could even be a bit deceptive. I share your pain on naming. I just went through this process myself. But I would try to get the .com. 

John IV Founder at Creators Capital

September 14th, 2014

I would purchase the name from the squatter (if that's what they are) or come up with another name that works. You need to own all important aspects of your brand.

All this said, it is really hard for is to give you sound advice without the details. 

You know, what's the name of the domain and for what kind of social networking business?

Regardless, naming is very important. Sounds like you understand that. I would recommend you push until you have a name that is available and that you own. 

Or hire an expert to help you. Check out the way the folks at think about naming.


September 19th, 2014

Do not confuse popular with reputable - GoDaddy is among the sleaziest of the DR's out there. 

If you find a domain on GoDaddy, you better buy it within the next 3 minutes or it will be available to you for $499 (or more) after that. If you have a website with GoDaddy, prepare to pay a host of outrageous fees every time you want to do something with it. You think they can afford all those commercials by charging $1 for domain names? They nickle and dime you to DEATH once they have your account. Except those nickles are $75 each.

Try using a reputable company like 1&1 or InMotionHosting and save yourself a ton of headaches AND MONEY.

Steve Karmeinsky CoFounder City Meets Tech / Lean Capital Ltd / Placeholder Ltd

September 28th, 2014

Sorry the TLD doesn't matter much in SEO - there are various ways to improve SEO but having links to your site from know site works better (though not link share sites).


Giuseppe Turitto Development Manager at ServiceChannel

September 15th, 2014

That is the horrible story of the Domain Squatters, I personally prefer to reserve a domain name right away at soon I see is available and later on if I don't need It I give it away (yes if you see a domain name under my name that I am not using just ask me I will give it for free you just have to pay the transfer administrative costs).

Now regarding a domain name, my five cents contribution. Everybody is used to the .com, try to keep it in to the .com if can. A solution is using the high level domains as part of your domain name, example or on my case, this are domain names that somehow are catchy enough easy to remeber once you know what the site is for. 

I personally avoid the .org and will give a try to the .co and .us and since you mention is a social network type I will say to try .net as well 

Shobhit Verma Ed Tech Test Prep

September 14th, 2014

Check if they listed it on
Please let me know the name of the squatter. I will search a lot of names there that I don't intend to buy. Let's hope they buy them all.

My personal philosophy on domain extensions is to go with the .com extension only, unless I am a non profit.

There are many stories countering this argument. For example has always been an org (it is not a non profit). However I remember that in the early days was owned by someone else and they hosted a single page of sexually explicit content. I am sure craigslist had to buy the .com domain for a huge premium to preserve their dignity.