Sometimes it’s tough to find the right domain name—one that makes sense, is memorable, and still available. When searching for the perfect domain, a lot of people don’t realize that there are more options beyond .com addresses. In fact, Jimdo has more than 300 new generic top level domains (gTLDs) for you to choose from. What’s a gTLD, and is it right for your website? Read on to learn more.
What’s a gTLD?
TLDs stands for Top-Level Domains: .com, .net, .org, .biz—these are all of the TLDs that you’ve come to know and love. Over the years, as more and more businesses get online, the well of .com and .net domains has been slowly drying up, leaving newcomers with few options for choosing the domain they love.
To make room for incoming websites, Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have now been introduced to the public. Gone are the days when you could only choose between a .com or a .biz; you can now choose a .pizza domain for your pizza parlor, a .boutique domain for your local shop, or even a .photos domain to showcase your photography. A full list of available gTLDs is at the bottom of this post.
Why choose a gTLD?
The new gTLDs bring some nice potential benefits. For one, domains can now be shorter. Instead of using the domain willmolinaattorney.com, you can save a few characters by registering willmolina.lawyer. Where you previously couldn’t get yourname.com, you now have better odds of finding domains such as janesmith.plumbing or johnsmith.vet. Brand awareness can make or break your company, which is why domains such as .vet, .dentist, and .actor could give your business a boost.
However gTLDs are still the new kids on the block, so they have some hurdles to overcome. Right now, consumers still tend to trust websites with traditional domains rather than new, unusual ones. This may evolve over time as people become more accustomed to websites with .dance and .ninja in the names. But for now, it’s probably worth checking to see if a good .com address is available first before diversifying into gTLDs.
gTLDs and SEO
Do you get an SEO boost from using a specific keyword-friendly gTLD? Not yet. Right now Matt Cutts, the SEO guru of Google, maintains that no preference is given to any particular TLDs—new and old ones compete on equal footing, and content is still the key to ranking well, no matter what your domain is. This may change in the future, but Cutts says he doubts that it will.
Adding a gTLD to your Jimdo website
Jimdo offers domains in three tiers. Each tier has a different price, ranging from $20-$120/year. A full list with prices is available here.
When you’re ready to register one of these new domains, log in to your Jimdo site and head over to Upgrade > Add-ons. Here, you’ll be able to search the availability of the domain of your choice and then add it to your account. If you’re just signing up for a website now, simply enter the domain you want into the domain field when you’re prompted.
Tips for choosing a domain
Even if you already own the .com version of your preferred domain, you can also register one of these new gTLDs— just be sure to follow our best practices for choosing a domain:
- First of all, be sure that your domain is easy to spell, and that it doesn’t replace words with numbers.
- Secondly, avoid using hyphens, as that only complicates things further.
- Don’t make your domain too long. williamsbedandbreakfastandpetpalace.vacations may describe your business perfectly, but it’s really hard to read and type into a web browser (or fit on a business card).
Here’s what I recommend instead:
- Stick to gTLDs that are most relevant and specific to the kind of website you have, like .shoes or .flowers, rather than the more vague .business or .solutions. The more obvious the connection, the easier it will be for people to remember it.
- Even better is if you can choose a gTLD that’s already part of your business name, like williamsgourmet.pizza or fillmorestreet.coffee.
- Try a location-specific one, like .nyc or .hamburg. This can indicate to local users that your business might be perfect for them.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to choose just one domain. You can connect multiple domains to your website (you’ll choose one as your “primary”) so you can experiment and see what works best.
So if you think a gTLD will be right for you, head on over to your website and you can add one directly. Because gTLDs are still so new, it’s not clear which ones will catch on, and it may take a while for people to become familiar with them. But, chosen wisely, they can be a fun, unique addition to your website.