Marketing · Website

How important is a .com vs. alternative top level domains these days?

Chris Taylor Director, Channel Marketing at Yuneec USA, Inc.

February 3rd, 2016

I'm from the old school of pursuing a .com first and foremost for your company or product. But as we all know, alternative top level domains have exploded in recent times. I'm just engaging with a new client who has an excellent product but they're using a .me TLD. It's a SaaS offering with broad appeal. I don't know the background yet but my immediate reaction was...we gotta get a .com!

Am I behind the times or should I try and change it?
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Rodrigo Vaca Product & Marketing

February 3rd, 2016

Chris -

I think for consumer-facing businesses, .com remains a must.

For businesses that primarily cater to developers, IT, or technologically-sophisticated people, I think any domain will do. For example, .io, .org, other country TLD domains that spell a cutesy name, etc.

Not sure who your client caters to. If it a SaaS product focused on SMB - then I'd go with the consumer rule. If it is a SaaS product that provides some of technology (analytics, storage, etc), then I'd go with the any domain works. "Broad appeal" sounds to me like "consumer".

Best of luck!

Rodrigo





Chris Kitze CEO at Safe Cash Payment Technologies, Inc.

February 3rd, 2016

It depends on the business entirely.  If things spread by word of mouth, you'll want a .com and a normal spelling.  Good luck there, the dictionary is out of .com words at this point.  If the business is generated exclusively online and people can find your service embedded on web pages, it probably doesn't matter what the domain is.  We're using safe.cash and having a lot fewer issues with people finding the site than when we had xoom.com  In fact, we got sued for trademark infringement (and won) against zoom.com.  You can have a lot of other problems besides people not finding your site.

Ogden Rattliff, MBA

February 3rd, 2016

If you do decide to get a .com, use domainnamesoup.com to find an available domain name. It has a full domain thesaurus. Sent from my iPhone

Barry Bryant Strategy, Vision, Ideation, Invention, Innovation

February 3rd, 2016

Chris, Dot com is for commerce, so is this a commerce site, a personalized service platform, a subscription service, publisher, a B corp? Does it matter, does anyone really even notice? How many sites that you visit today actually require typing an entire URL address in the search field? Do you stop to think, hey this is a philanthropic site so I'll type .org or does you web browser, typically Safari or Chrome, finish the action for you? So who really types in a web address? Don't all of your devices all work for the most part interoperably? If you visit a site on your laptop doesn't your mobile phone remember it? Address field entry is at worst, a one time affair. Entering an address still happens but I only need to do this rarely and almost never more than once. Enter IOT, things have addresses now. Wireless transmission automates Internet protocol without you, the user, doing much of anything. In this case the domain extension doesn't really matter in the least. The opportunity to drive mobile traffic to web domains in IOT environments (dare I say) even makes search obsolete. If we're talking competitive e-tail, the dot com has inherent value, otherwise dot com doesn't hold the value it once had. Cheers! Barry

MaxBlox/Founder Institute Director, Chennai Area at The Founder Institute

February 3rd, 2016

I still advise our startups to get the .COM address. There is a certain amount of credibility that still accrues to it. Plus many systems make allowances for .com as a default.
But since most discovery is now through search it does not really matter what the extension or even the name is anymore.

Jake Carlson Software Development Manager at Oracle

February 3rd, 2016

Need a .com but it can redirect to the other TLD if the other TLD is part of the brand.

Richard Harris Top 25 Inside Sales Leader, Public Speaker, 40 Most Inspiring Leader, Sales Trainer, Start-Up Advisor, SalesHacker

February 3rd, 2016

Who is their target market GenX or Millenials. 

If millenials it's .io is always a good option and frankly they don't care. I work with them day in and day out and they are more concerned about functionality. 

If GenX then yeah perhaps a .com is good but again if the name before it solid and memorable even then it won't matter. 

If the product/service is good people will remember it or bookmark it, etc. If they get it wrong, they will remember the second time.

Finally the amount of time and energy that can go into something like this at such an early stage of a company has tremendous opportunity costs. That time is better used building something that works well and solves a do-ers pain. 

You can rebrand later


John Philpin People | Passion | Platforms

February 3rd, 2016

who types in http://www.foobar.com any more ?

you either type the name into duck duck go / google / bing / yahoo  .... and click on what comes up 

OR

follow a link

which of course means that SEO is important AND

what someone up ^ there ^ said .. make it 'person friendly' - someone I know set up an URL that sounded like 'Red Ocean Strategy' (name modified to protect the innocent) I spent 10 minutes with different versions of endings and still couldn't get there - WITH the URL ... I was told 'type it as it sounds' ...

turns out redoceanstrategy wasn't available ... so it was ACTUALLY spelt 'redceanstrategy' ... GAAH!

John Ellis Digital Media Executive, Entrepreneur and Board Member

February 3rd, 2016

For consumer-facing businesses, it should be an app; the domain is less important. If it’s just a corporate site with info (non-transactional), it also probably doesn’t matter as long as the name can be easily spelled. For a SaaS offering, get a .com if you can but you probably need to weigh the trade-off between a crazy name with a .com vs. a good name with an alternative domain. Focus more on phonetics and making sure you’ve properly set up SEO so you’re easily found in Google. This is far more important than your domain extension.

Neal Tricarico Leader in transforming how sales works in creating meaningful impact and results

February 3rd, 2016

Chris, Thank you for starting this discussion. I too, am very curious about this. I have a client company who wants to use .sales and it’s available with their name. While it looks awesome, I have no stats on adoption. I do see .io popping up quite a bit in Silicon Valley. Interested to hear feedback from folks! Much appreciation, Neal