Are you launching a new blog or website or rebranding an existing business? These days, having a strategic online presence is both smart and necessary. A well-chosen domain name, which is your brand’s digital address, shapes your virtual identity. That’s why Fast Panda professionals are here with this guide to help you master domain name types and choose the best one. By the end of this guide, you will be equipped with the knowledge you need to choose a domain name that resonates with your brand and stands the test of time. 

Selecting an effective domain name is closely tied to understanding what a domain name is and why it is important. Let’s first explore it together.

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What is a domain name and why is it important?

Did you know that each website on the Internet has a unique IP address that search engines use to locate it? If you enter ‘142.250.64.78’ into your browser’s address bar, it directs you to ‘google.com.’

As it is obvious, a domain name is a name, not a number! It is a unique web address for users to find your website. Domain names eliminate the need to remember the site’s IP address. A domain name consists of a name and an extension. For example, in ‘fastpanda.co.uk,’ “fast panda” is the name, and “.co.uk” is the extension.

The Domain Name System (DNS), often called the phonebook of the Internet, assigns user-friendly domain names to unique IP addresses. It translates domain names into IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources. When you enter a domain name into a browser, DNS servers find the associated IP address and web server. This server stores the website’s data, including files, databases, and HTML code. The browser then converts this data into a web page for you.

Data centers house the physical servers that run DNS services. Therefore, the performance and reliability of these data centers can directly impact the speed and efficiency of DNS resolution. Fast Panda’s UK and Europe data centers are powered by 100% renewable energy and equipped with the latest hardware to support the service speed. 

But why are domain names so important?

  • User-friendly Access

Isn’t it simpler to remember google.com instead of 142.250.64.78? Computers are the kings at remembering long strings of numbers, so they use IP addresses to navigate the Web. Humans? Not so much! We tend to remember words better, and so domain names are a much better way for us to surf the Net.

  • Effective Branding

Did you know the average domain name length of the top websites is six characters? A good domain name conveys your project or business values. Shorter names attract more traffic.

  • Credibility

Don’t you feel like ‘www.apple.com’ seems more credible than apple.blogspot.com? Custom domain names look more professional than free subdomains.

  • Custom Email Addresses

With a domain name, you can create professional email accounts like [email protected]. A professional email means your business is trustworthy.

  • Global Connectivity

Isn’t it amazing how DNS connects us globally? DNS enables global connectivity. It ensures users can access your website all over the world.

  • Simplify Updates and Redirection

Have you ever wondered how websites manage to update their content so smoothly? DNS makes it easy to redirect users to new pages or update website content.

  • Facilitate Crucial Online Services

DNS is crucial for services like email and security. For example, email services like Gmail use domain names in their addresses, such as ‘[email protected].’

If you are going to choose the best domain name for your website, you have to know the types of domain names and their purposes as well. We have explained all of them in the next section to help you make better decisions.

What are the various types of domain names?

A table simplifies the comparison of various top-level domains, helping you quickly understand their differences and purposes. Our goal is to make it easier to grasp their characteristics and distinctions. You should always keep in mind that selecting the type of domain depends on your purpose, needs and nature of your online presence.

Type of Domain Description Examples
Generic Restricted Top-Level Domains (grTLDs) gTLDs restricted to specific purposes. .pro for professionals, .biz for businesses, and .name for individuals.
Third-Level Domains Part of second-level domains, used for organizing website sections. ‘blog.example.com’ or ‘support.google.com’

is a third-level domain.

Internationalized Country Code Top-Level Domains (IDN ccTLDs) ccTLDs using non-Latin characters, encoded in Punycode. .рф (Russian Federation), .中国 (China)
Legacy Domains Older gTLDs predating new gTLDs introduced in 2014. Meaning that they existed before new gTLDs. .com, .net, .org
Test Top-Level Domains (tTLDs) Domains exclusively for testing purposes. .test, .example, .localhost
Reserved Top-Level Domains Domains reserved for future use or to prevent confusion. .example, .test, .localhost
Pseudo Top-Level Domains Not officially recognized by ICANN but used by some organizations. .onion (for Tor hidden services)
Unsponsored Top-Level Domains (uTLDs) gTLDs operating under policies established by the global Internet community directly through ICANN. .info, .mobi, .name

 

Domain Name Trends in 2024

Knowing what’s on trend helps your brand identity. In other words, if you’ve got a domain name that’s on trend, it can help your brand stay relevant.

A trendy name can even help browsers to find your website. Your domain name is one of the things a search engine uses to rank results, so choosing the right keywords or phrases can help push your website up to the top page.

In this section, we’ll explore the domain name trends in 2024:

1. Artificial Intelligence for Domain Creation

It feels like artificial intelligence is all over the news at the minute. Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from the fact that AI is getting into almost every area of our lives. Domain name creation is no exception. You can use AI to spot trends and patterns of domain names. This can help you stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to naming trends. In a different section of this article, have explored the Pros and Cons of using AI for Domain Creation more.

2. Voice-Optimized Domains

Voice search is pretty much what it sounds like: people using their words to search the Internet. It’s a practice that’s on the rise, with as many as 50% of consumers in the US using it daily. Stats like this mean it’s no surprise that brands are moving towards domain names optimized for voice search.

Voice searches are often more conversational than text searches, so choose keywords keeping this in mind. For example, if you’re an Italian restaurant trying to boost your traffic, you might want to use ‘cheap pizza’ rather than ‘affordable Italian cuisine.’

3. More Businesses Are Using Country Code Domains (ccTLDs)

ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) are country-specific domain names. Global businesses often use them to create a worldwide presence. For example, Amazon uses ccTLDs to create local websites for the territories it operates in, such as amazon.co.uk in the UK.

Using ccTLDs helps brands reach consumers where they are. Many shoppers will feel more comfortable buying from a site that has a local domain name, as it comes across as authentic and trustworthy.

4. .com is Still King of the Castle, but geoTLDs Are Also Becoming Popular

.com is still the most popular type of domain around; as of December 2023, 46% of all top-level domains were .com. But, there’s another kid on the block getting attention.

Geographic top-level domains, or geoTLDs for short, are popular domain names used to link a website to a specific geographic location. For example, popular geoTLDs include .london, .toronto, and .berlin.

5. .eco and Eco-Related Domains Are Moving Up Through the Ranks

In 2024, shoppers care more about the environment than ever before, and this matters when it comes to the products they buy. Between 2016 and 2021, there was a 71% increase in Internet searches for ‘sustainable goods’.

Many businesses like to go with this trend. For instance, .eco domains are a way of showing they’re ‘green’.

6. New Top-Level Domains Are Widespread

TLDs like .com, .co.uk, or .gov are commonplace, but there’s a huge range of other, lesser-known top-level domains (TLDs) for you to choose from. .ing domains are one example. Imagine how great alwaysbak.ing would be as a domain name for an online bakery!

7. Short and Memorable Domain Names

Shorter domain names can make your website stand out in a marketplace that’s, let’s face it, pretty crowded. A short, snappy name is easy to remember and will have users coming back to your site again and again.

8. Brandable Domain Names Are Becoming More Common

Brandable domain names mean distinctive and memorable web addresses. Instead of just explaining what a company does.

And it works. Think about it: some of the most popular websites you can think of are words that don’t relate whatsoever to what the company does (Google and Amazon both spring to mind).

9. Creative, Personalized Domain Names

Personalized domain names are another winning option for businesses looking to make a lasting impression, especially SMEs and sole traders.

A personalized domain name usually includes the name of the person who owns the business and maybe even a description of what they do. For example, vincentvgpainter.co.uk.

10. Domain Hacks

Have you always wanted people to look at your domain name and think, ‘Oh, that’s clever’? If you have, a domain hack is for you.

To pull it off, you need to use the domain extension alongside the rest of your domain name to create a word or phrase. For example, del.icio.us or exquisite.ly.

They may seem a little gimmicky, but you can’t deny that these names are fun and likely stick in your customer’s heads.

11. SEO-Friendly Domain Names

SEO still plays a massive role when business owners choose a domain name. An SEO-optimized domain name will push a website up the search rankings, leading to increased traffic and increased revenue. Using industry-specific keywords, leaving out numbers and special characters, and using a great TLD like .com or .net are some of the best ways to keep your domain name SEO-friendly.

12. Domains Related to Web3 Are Growing

The idea of Web3 may still be evolving, but there’s no denying that it’s already making waves right across the Internet. Concepts like decentralization, open-source computing, and blockchain won’t be going anywhere any time soon, so we’re likely to see popular domain names like .crypto and .x on the rise.

13. .live Is Dominating

As the global streaming market continues to grow, expect to see .live become more and more widespread. These are often used by content creators as a place to host their videos or podcasts.

14. Domain Flipping Is Appealing to More People

Domain flipping involves buying domain names to sell them for a profit. It’s a surprisingly big business, with plenty of money to be made if you know when to buy and when to sell. However, it has its risks.

15. NFT Domains

NFT (non-fungible token) domains are domains based on blockchain technology. We won’t go too much into the specifics, as it can get pretty confusing, but long story short, they’re domains that can also function as a public cryptocurrency address. with an NFT domain, you can send and receive cryptocurrencies and tokens as payment. They’re also usually 100% user-owned and are bought with a one-off payment rather than on a rolling subscription.

The next section is the most interesting. We will give you the essential tips on creating an exceptional domain name in 2024.

How to Choose the Best Domain Name

Take your time to choose a name that resonates with your business and audience. Here are some comprehensive tips along with examples to help you select the best domain name:

1. Keep it Short and Simple

A short, simple domain is easy to remember and less prone to typos. For instance, Google.com is far more memorable than SearchEngineOnline.com.

2. Make it Brandable

Your domain name should be unique and stand out. For example, Amazon.com is more brandable than BuyBooksOnline.com.

3. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers

They can be confusing and are often misunderstood. For instance, instead of 2Wheels-bikestore.com, TwoWheels.com is cleaner and more brandable.

4. Use Keywords Wisely

Keywords can help improve SEO but don’t stuff your domain with them. FreshFlowers.com is better than BuyFreshFlowersOnlineCheap.com.

5. Choose the Right Extension

Stick with .com whenever possible, as it’s the most recognized and trusted. SpaceX.com benefits from this, whereas SpaceX.net might not be as effective.

6. Be Memorable

A catchy domain name will stick in people’s minds. Think of Bing.com – it’s short, snappy, and easy to recall.

7. Research It

Make sure the domain isn’t already trademarked or used. Tesla.com is unique to the brand, whereas ElectricCar.com might face legal issues if it’s trademarked.

8. Avoid Double Letters

This helps to reduce the risk of typos. For example, PressSetup.com might lead to more errors than PressSet.com.

9. Leave Room to Expand

Your domain name should be broad enough to accommodate future growth. Apple.com allows for expansion beyond computers, unlike ComputerSales.com.

10. Check Social Media Availability

Make sure that your domain name is available across social media platforms for consistent branding. Facebook.com is universally recognized across all platforms.

11. Use a Domain Name Generator

Tools like NameMesh or LeanDomainSearch can help you come up with ideas. Shopify.com, for instance, is a name that could have been generated by such a tool.

12. Consider Using Your Name

If you’re building a personal brand, using your name can be a great choice. For example, NeilPatel.com is a domain for well-known marketers.

13. Think Long-Term

Your domain name should grow with your business and not limit you. Amazon.com started as a bookstore but expanded far beyond that.

14. Get Feedback

Ask friends or potential customers for their opinions on your domain name choices. Dropbox.com was likely vetted through feedback before settling on the name.

15. Check for Trademarks

To avoid legal issues, ensure your domain name isn’t infringing on any trademarks. Google.com is a unique name that doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks.

Pros and Cons of Using AI and .ai Extension for Domain Creation

Pros

  1. Innovation and Relevance: Ever thought about how an innovative domain name can make a difference? AI can generate unique and memorable domain names and help your business stand out.
  2. Availability: Have you ever struggled to find an available domain name? With .ai being a newer domain extension, there’s less competition. This makes it easier to find a domain that isn’t already taken.
  3. Brand Identity: Isn’t it great when your domain reflects exactly what your business is about? A .ai domain immediately indicates a connection to artificial intelligence, beneficial for businesses in the AI niche.

Cons

  1. Cost: Are you prepared to invest more in a domain that highlights your AI focus? .ai domains can be more expensive than other top-level domains (TLDs).
  2. Familiarity: Do you think your audience might find a .ai domain confusing? As a newer extension, .ai may be unfamiliar to some users, potentially affecting brand recognition and trust.
  3. Technical Requirements: Is your business ready to meet these requirements? There may be specific technical requirements for using a .ai domain.

There is an interesting fact about .ai domains: while .ai domains are associated with artificial intelligence, they are a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Anguilla. Fortunately, there are no restrictions for registering a .ai domain, unlike some other ccTLDs.

If your business is centered around AI, a .ai domain could be a perfect fit. However, if AI isn’t central to your business, another TLD might be more suitable. Also, remember to follow the legal aspects and laws of Anguilla to avoid any issues with your domain name.

How to Register Your Domain Name

So let’s get your domain name registered hassle-free! We’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide. Just follow these easy steps to register your perfect domain name in no time!

1- Discover Your Perfect Domain

First things first, you need to pick a domain name that vibes with your brand. If you’ve already got a name, then just use it. But if you’re starting from scratch, no worries, we’ve got your back with some guidance earlier in this article. And don’t forget your options for different extensions like .com, .net, .org, .co.uk, or even some of the newer ones like .shop. So go ahead, get creative!

2- Choose a Trusted Web Hosting Provider

Next, select a trusted web hosting service. The registrar will handle your domain registration, or you can just do it online. Fast Panda offers features like easy website creation, privacy protection, available domain endings, and WordPress hosting. We also offer free privacy protection, while others might charge for it.

3- Check Domain Availability

Check your domain’s availability using a search tool. If your preferred name is taken, consider alternatives suggested by the tool. Be cautious with domain brokering, as it can be costly and time-consuming.

4- Optimize Your Domain Extension

Choose the right domain extension based on your business type. For commercial purposes, .com is ideal. Nonprofits should use .org, and tech businesses might prefer .net. Country-specific extensions like .us or .co.uk can target local audiences. You can quickly check the available domain extensions here.

5- Register Your Domain Swiftly Register Your Domain Name Quickly

Finally, buy the domain and verify ownership. You just have to select the duration for which you want to secure it, add it to your cart, and proceed to payment. Once done, your domain will be officially registered in your name.

For detailed guidance, refer to Fast Panda’s article on domain registration and choosing the right domain extension.

FAQs

What are the different types of domain extensions available?

  • Traditional TLDs like .com, .org, and .net
  • Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs) like .us for the United States or .uk for the United Kingdom
  • Newer generic TLDs (gTLDs) like .app, .blog, and .shop
  • Brand TLDs that are specific to a company or brand. Fast Panda offers a comprehensive list of domain extensions with a discount!

How do I choose the best domain name for my business?

  • Reflect on your brand identity
  • Keep it short, simple, and easy to remember
  • Choose the right extension that fits your business or target audience
  • Conduct thorough keyword research for SEO benefits
  • Consider a brandable name versus an exact match domain
  • Check for availability and avoid trademark issues
  • Future-proof your choice to ensure it remains relevant

Should I include keywords in my domain name for SEO?

Including SEO keywords can be beneficial, but it’s not mandatory. A brandable domain can be just as effective if it’s memorable and resonates with your audience.

What if the domain name I want is taken?

  • Explore alternative TLDs or variations of your desired name
  • Consider purchasing the domain from the current owner if it’s for sale
  • Use a domain name generator for inspiration and new ideas

Are voice-optimized domain names important in 2024?

With the rise of voice search, having a domain name that’s easy to pronounce and spell can improve discoverability through voice-activated devices.

How has AI influenced domain name trends in 2024?

AI is being used to analyze trends, SEO factors, and user preferences to help secure domain names that align with industry standards and user behavior.

What are some creative ways to come up with a domain name?

  • Use puns or play on words related to your business
  • Combine two relevant words to create a unique name
  • Use a domain name generator to spark creativity