Domain Name Primer by Simon Coopey SimonCoopey.com @SimonCoopey
What is a Domain?Domain names are the Internet addresses users type in tovisit websites. e.g. google.com is Google’s domain name.Without domain names we would have to rememberwebsites’ IP addresses e.g. 220.127.116.11 to reach Google.Domains make life easier for humans.
Domain ExtensionsTLDs - .com, .net, .org, .info, .name, .prosTLDs - .mobi, .jobs, .aero, .tel, .coop, and more...ccTLDs - .uk (.co.uk, .org.uk, et al), .ie, .nl, .de, .be, .fr, .chand many more...But which should you choose?
Brand ProtectionUsing UK-based entities as examples, what extensions shouldI register my company or brand’s domain in?1: Local Business (UK-only).co.uk for main siteAlso register .com and divert to main site in case anybody isunsure of your address and types the wrong extension!
Brand Protection 22: Non-Proﬁt Organisations.org for main site.com, .org.uk and .co.uk all diverting to main site to catchand trafﬁc or mail that visits the wrong extension.3: International Businesses or Brands.com for main site.co.uk diverting to main site for local visitors.
Brand Protection 3For media companies, there is the added possibility ofowning a .tv domain..tv is the extension for the tiny island of Tuvalu, however it ismarketed and generally treated as a global extension formedia brands.In addition to a .tv domain, it is also worth buying a tv.comdomain too i.e. example.tv and exampletv.com
.net? .biz?A technology company or an ISP might want to also registeror even use .net as part of their branding - I would suggestregistering .net in addition to .com.biz was launched for business sites, but did not catch on. Itis not recommended to use this extension as it looksunprofessional to some people and their could be someconfusion with your users.
.co for companies?Colombia’s ccTLD/extension underwent a relaunch in 2010,allowing registrations at the second level e.g. example.coSome companies are marketing this as a new extension forcompanies- there is little knowledge of this extension withusers- who may think this is a typo of .com or .co.ukOnly buy .co if you own the .com and are worried about typosquatters after trafﬁc from your .com/.co.ccTLD domain
TyposTypo Squatting is when unscrupulous characters register adomain with a spelling similar to yours. They have theintention of making money either by putting adverts on thesite and hoping users mis-spell your domain to see them, Orby trying to sell the domain to you at an inﬂated price.If you own example.com, you might want to also secureexampel.com
Typos 2There is also the possibility of registering differentextensions to anticipate typos e.g. as well as example.comyou may want:example.co (Colombia)example.cm (Cameroon)example.om (Oman)There are also ccTLDs that are similar to each other, or couldbe mistaken e.g. .si and .sl
CybersquattersCybersquatters purchase names of established brands andcompanies with the intent to make money from their work.An example would be someone buying microsoft.com to sellto Microsoft. This is not a generic term and its registration isclearly not in good-faith.Someone buying Google3DTV.com in anticipation of Googlemaking and selling a 3D TV is also squatting.
Cybersquatting 2The easiest defense is to register your company/brand namein as many extensions as you see ﬁt.Also register additional names that ﬁt your service orproduct. e.g. If you sell widgets from your site example.com,you should also obtain examplewidgets.comIf a cybersquatter has your name you can follow the UDRPprocess to gain control of the name. (This can be lengthy!)
Domain InvestorsDomain investors are different to cybersquatters. A usefulanalogy is of property investors who buy vacant plots.For example, if an investor held apple.com this is perfectlylegitimate (providing they didn’t try to sell Apple Computersthrough the domain!) as Apple is a generic word. If AppleComputers wanted the domain they’d have to buy it.Investors generally hold generic terms & potential acronyms.
Domain Name Primer Where to register domains...
RegistrationWhere to register?Factors to consider:-Price-Extensions Offered-Management SystemDo you spread your names around or keep them alltogether?
RegistrarsUse a well-established company with a good reputation.Set up your own registrar. You can establish your ownregistrar direct with the registry. Some big companies do this(e.g. Google)- this is very expensive!Or get a ‘reseller’ account with a big provider.
RegistrarsEstablished US registrars for multiple extensions:Name.com, eNomCentral.com, GoDaddy.com, Moniker.comUK-based registrars:UKReg.com, 123reg.co.ukEuropean registrars:EuroDNS.com, Switch.ch, Domeneshop.no
www or not?If set up correctly, example.com and www.example.comshould lead to the same page. The www is superﬂuous.From a branding point of view, omitting the ‘www.’ makessense and gives a cleaner image.BUT - Amazon redirect all of their trafﬁc from amazon.com tothe www.amazon.com domain. They’re aware they don’thave a tech-savvy audience and might not trust a domain
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