If you can’t get the .COM, what’s your next favorite domain extension?

Over the last week I’ve made two things very clear:

1) I still think that .COMs are the best investment in the domain space and that’s where I’m putting the vast majority of my investment dollars

2) I think some new gTLDs will take-off over the next 5-10 years and will become very good investments, and in the meantime will see lots of development activity

Sure, most startups would love a one-word .COM, but let’s be honest, most one-word .COMs are six-figure names and I am in 100% agreement that they’re worth six-figures. Here’s the challenge, not everyone can afford a six-figure name, and not everyone wants to brand around a two or three word .COM.

Enter domain extensions beyond .COM.

Companies like Keen (Keen.io) AngelList (Angel.co), About.me, and many, many, many more have stuck with one-word domains but ventured beyond .COM. So here’s my question to you. Suppose you are starting a company, you’ve just raised $500,000 and you want a one-word domain name. You aren’t prepared to spend $150,000, $250,000 or your entire funding a domain name, but you want to brand around one single word.

What domain extension do you choose? It used to be a toss up between .NET and .ORG but now there are many more options what’s your top pick?

Comment an let your voice be heard!

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Samit July 1, 2015, 8:58 pm

    If I had $500k in funding I’d get the best $25k brandable .com domain I could – 3-6 letters.

  • Michael July 1, 2015, 9:17 pm

    I don’t think .com is used up at all or that pricey for good domains. I bought Retransmits.com for $10 one day I wish that one word was worth $100k lol! Plus their is so many good geo names for peoples businesses. If someone is building a website why would they want to use a new extension?

  • Nate Hayes July 1, 2015, 9:55 pm

    I think it depends on the company. Is it e-commerce like selling cherries online? Is it a service like social network for visual effects artists? Is it a new stock trading platform? Then I believe cherries.click, vfx.link, or trading.technology would all be terrific names for the company. Shameless plug and disclosure I own those names but to your point I registered most of them with the intent to develop (I just don’t have $500,000 in funding for them yet as I’m currently working on developing some other domains… one is a .com and the other is .xyz). I don’t have any problem with .com, and I still believe .com is best for many businesses. But I also think new gTLDs offer great opportunities for certain businesses to create a brand that I personally believe makes sense over a .com, even as a first choice. Note that many one-word “through the dot” names in the new gTLDs like digital.photography are necessarily two word names in .com.

  • KC July 1, 2015, 10:34 pm

    You can stay within .com. Startup Buffer’s experience is a good guide. Upgrade path: bfffr -> BufferApp -> Buffer

    “we originally started out with bfffr.com, when Joel launched Buffer in late 2010. Joel went on to change it to bufferapp.com, to make things more clear and worry less about not having the exact domain of your startup’s name, “Buffer” in our case. It can be a huge time-suck in the early days of your company, where your first and foremost goal should be to hit product-market fit and building something people want….We felt that after we’ve established ourselves as a company that at this point generates over $5m/year, has over 30,000 paying customers and that sends around 700,000 social media posts every day on our users’ behalf, making our brand consistent and recognizable was an important step. So, for the last 1.5 years, we’ve been working on acquiring the domain Buffer.com.” (Source: Buffer.com)

  • Mike July 1, 2015, 10:51 pm

    .io domains have a lot of credibility with the tech crowd

  • Joan Holman July 1, 2015, 11:07 pm

    I really like the .club domain.

  • Anunt July 1, 2015, 11:27 pm

    If i raised $500k, then i would put a down payment of $50k on a $500k premium dot com domain name and make monthly payments.
    After i acquire the premium dot com domain, i would have no problem raising $5 Million more.
    And then use $3 Million in advertising and you have a booming business.
    Time to exit and get acquired for $20 Million.
    Pay back all investors and do it all over again!!!

  • NameCollecting.com July 2, 2015, 5:11 am

    I prefer the .company, cuz it has a ‘.com’ keyword 😉
    My best .company domains: Site.company, Development.company (any reasonable offers would be accepted).

  • Alan Dodd July 2, 2015, 10:28 am

    I like .click … I have ShutUp.click … it just works for me … from an investor point of view, these are on the right side of the price gauge. This is a game of Math just as much as game of English …

  • mike July 2, 2015, 3:50 pm

    .today is the best hands down!

  • HowieCrosby July 2, 2015, 4:12 pm

    Short one word generic .xyz in replacement of a two/three word .com

  • mike July 2, 2015, 7:22 pm

    .today hands down are the best new gtlds in my opinion,

  • rory July 2, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I bought some .today and think they are better than other extensions because they convey a message.

  • Daniele July 2, 2015, 9:19 pm

    Even if some new gTLDs may offer some opportunities in the future, if i raised $ 500 K, I would definitely invest in a strong and solid .COM domain name. it will give me rapid credibility and presence online, also for Seo prospective a quality dot COM name, normally is an aged domain name able to adds positive effect ranking in Google, finally and probably is the most important, a .COM will offers the opportunity to easily resale the domain if necessary, so it’s 100% secure.

  • Joe July 3, 2015, 12:23 pm

    Very interesting question in your post.

    I always like it .Com is the preference of all of us.

    But to invest and make money I think the best way to do is get ua keyword search for many global user, and local US.

    Buy and investment domain of a word it is best if you have the figure to be paid at the end of your bid.

    See and check that many of us have bought a $ 25K figure at auction and it then only arrive at a figure of $ 20K $ 5000 have lost what you ought to think about it is not.

    What we do have clear it is that all domain names that have now actually lose money but I will renew my portfolio with new domain names. Com I get to be premium.

    Like what you buy and get to pay on your investments Rob Grant their domain names to continue shopping for two, three, four and five words and the figure is big money.

    Times change the mistakes of the past should be to improve if I do not lose and not liked never lose me.

    I’ve also had bad luck are some registrars many investors domain and domainers have had them as I passed, read DomainSherpa, DomainNameWires including more bad luck no laws according to what often happens and saved by a hidden power that market and industry have this as the other sectors of every industry and market.

    To end the new extensions I think there are 25 extensions can last a long time are always the ones that give results as premium domain name is available, or not available no many how are you 25.

    See more premium domains band, and social, which in xyz, I also have the latter.

  • Gary Yeardley July 5, 2015, 3:17 pm

    Good question Morgan. I think it depends on a few things. If it’s a brand you’re building, using domain for promotional advertising or a specific campaign. Many domain extensions could be useful. My example Officially.sexy to promote a new car model or fashion brand – shameless plug. Also depends on demographic market.

    I live in the Uk and so prefer co.uk from an organic search engine optimisation point of view. But if the audience was global or building a brand then definitely .com would be my preference. I suspect once most other websites build up their brand on say .co or .whatever then they will end up wanting to own .com anyway.

  • Bailey July 6, 2015, 10:07 pm

    In all seriousness, who would want to use a gtld knowing that customers will snort and laugh at their URL? I agree with Anunt and would also put $50K down towards a $500,000 domain while making monthly payments over 120 months until paid off. This way, you get the great domain and let the business pay it off over time.

    Not that different from a house, is it? Most of use cannot afford to buy a house outright, yet you wouldn’t want to buy one so cheap that it’s made out of plywood (ie, gtlds), would ya? Yeah, it would be nice to save a few hundred thousand, but look what you will get! Suddenly, the investment doesn’t seem so crazy.

    Also, if you think about what it costs to lease a commercial bay in a retail plaza, .com prices are considerably less.

    • Morgan July 7, 2015, 7:44 pm

      @Baily – nobody snorted and laughed at About.me, Intercom.io, Vine.co and many more…there are tons of incredibly successful well-funded companies on domain extensions that have been around for less than a quarter of the time .COM has been around. The reality is that the world isn’t just changing…it has already changed, the question is, did it pass you by?

  • Rina July 13, 2015, 6:13 pm

    If the .com domains is already registered, as an alternative I would choose a popular ccTLD such as .ly or .io


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