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If you have a website, the following scenario will sound all too familiar.

You heard that getting a .com domain is the best way to go for a small business. So you sit down at your computer and brainstorm domain name after domain name, only to realize that all of the names you want are already taken. After searching for hours, you end up settling for a domain that’s available but doesn’t really match your brand.

It’s no surprise that finding the perfect .com fit can be difficult. Luckily, you no longer have to settle for a less-than-ideal domain. Instead, you can opt for any of the new top-level domains (TLDs) flooding the web — think .host, .space, and .store.

What exactly is a TLD?

A TLD, also known as a domain extension, is he string of letters that follow the dot at the end of an internet address, such as .com, .net, or .org. Some TLDs are restricted to specific entities. For example, .edu can only be used by accredited educational institutions and .museum can only be used by, you guessed it, museums.

However, there are several other domains available to describe your business in a more relevant way than traditional TLDs. A travel company could use .travel, a pizza parlor could claim .pizza, and an up-and-coming photographer could register .photo.

Advantages of opting for a non-traditional TLD

It puts an end to the tyranny and expense of obtaining a .com. Like we talked about earlier, there’s a .com shortage, and some web-savvy individuals have made a business of buying up .coms and then selling them to business owners at highly inflated prices. No one should have to pay thousands of dollars for a domain name. Selecting a non-traditional TLD makes getting your website up and running much less expensive.

It can be more effective for branding your business than a .com. Imagine a freelance writer with a domain that ends in .write. That domain becomes a powerful statement of what the freelancer can do and reads equally well on resumes and business cards.

It can help with SEO. This makes it easier for web crawlers to know which content will be most relevant to searchers. For instance, if a website ends in .ru, Google knows the site originates in Russia and will probably be in Russian. If a domain name ends in .pizza, Google expects the site to serve up pepperoni-related content.

Consider these TLD’s as an alternative to .com

  1. Technology and Startup
    • .tech
    • .io (popular among tech startups)
    • .ai (for artificial intelligence-focused businesses)
    • .app (for mobile and web applications)
  2. Retail and eCommerce
    • .shop
    • .store
    • .boutique
    • .sale
    • .shopping
  3. Healthcare and Wellness
    • .health
    • .fitness
    • .care
    • .clinic
    • .yoga
  4. Professional Services (Law, Consulting, etc.)
    • .consulting
    • .law
    • .expert
    • .pro
    • .services
  5. Food and Beverage Industry
  6. Real Estate
    • .realestate
    • .properties
    • .house
    • .rent
    • .land
  7. Entertainment and Media
    • .media
    • .tv
    • .film
    • .music
    • .entertainment
  8. Education and Training
    • .education
    • .academy
    • .school
    • .courses
    • .university
  9. Travel and Tourism
    • .travel
    • .vacations
    • .tours
    • .holiday
    • .guide
  10. Art and Design
    • .art
    • .design
    • .gallery
    • .studio
    • .graphics
domain names

Find your next domain name

You don’t have to be limited by generic .com domains. Click here to secure a unique TLD for your site today.

Choosing an alternative Top-Level Domain (TLD) can be highly beneficial for several reasons. These domains can reinforce your brand by immediately associating your website with your industry or focus area, such as a .tech domain highlighting a technology focus. They offer improved availability compared to crowded spaces in more common TLDs like .com, making it easier to secure a precise and memorable domain name.

In terms of search engine optimization, alternative TLDs hold no inherent disadvantage. With proper SEO practices, websites with alternative TLDs can rank as well as traditional domains. They are particularly effective in appealing directly to target audiences, such as a .travel domain attracting travelers, making the site more relevant and appealing.

Using an alternative TLD can also project an image of innovation and modernity, valuable for businesses in tech-savvy or creative industries. These unique TLDs are likely to be more memorable, standing out in the minds of the audience and easing recall and revisit.

Additionally, some alternative TLDs can reflect a local or international presence, like .london or .global, helping to establish a connection with users in specific geographic locations. This approach to domain selection enhances brand identity, maintains competitive SEO, and achieves memorable and locally relevant online branding.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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