For a very long time, the number of website domain extensions that were available was very limited. If you had a personal or business website, then you used .com. If you had a government website, then you used .gov. If you owned the website of a charitable organization, then you used .org. If you ran an educational website, then you used .edu.
Many American Internet users do not realize that Japanese websites have been using the added extension of .jp for a very long time as well. Many foreign countries, such as England (.uk) and New Zealand (.nz) have geographic extensions that associate the website with its country of origin. As the number of websites grew, new extensions were needed so .net was created. For some Internet users, those are the only extensions they know. But there is a growing awareness of the more than 600 extensions that have been added in recent years.
According to a recent ICANN survey published on MarketingLand.com, almost 50 percent of Internet users around the world are familiar with at least some of the over 600 new extensions that have been developed in recent years. New extensions such as .info, .corp, and .club are getting recognition by users all over the world. Since more users are recognizing these added extensions, does that mean businesses should be using them?
While .com domains tend to be relatively expensive to register, then new extensions are showing signs of being cost-effective alternatives. Many hosting companies are offering blocks of new extensions to help a business strengthen its online presence for bargain basement prices. That means that your company can buy a .info domain and a host of other new extensions for prices that are lower than .com domains. That raises the question of whether businesses should rely on new extensions to help host their Internet presence.
Of the people who said they recognized new domain extensions, nearly 90 percent said they would not trust a website that is not a .com, .net, .org, .gov, or .edu. That means that, while nine out of ten consumers would have no problem looking over your website at a new extension, the chances that they will buy from your website are significantly lower than if you owned a .com address.
The act of buying a company website address using a variety of extensions is not new. Many marketing experts will recommend that their customers at least register the .com and .net versions of their websites to prevent copycats from stealing away traffic. But as more extensions become popular and start to build up trust with the public, it may be more beneficial to purchase a full package of extensions to go along with your .com website to protect your Internet presence.
Internet squatters are people who buy domains that companies will need and then try to sell those domains to the companies at exorbitant prices. The practice is frowned upon throughout the Internet and even illegal in some countries. But that does not stop some progressive thinking criminals from trying to steal your business identity before it even gets started. It is in the best interests of every business owner to invest in as many domain extensions as possible to protect their business and prevent others from cashing on the good ideas of others.