Give consideration to obtaining multiple extensions, as well as several spellings, of your domain name. This would secure your online brand and protect your website name. You can then set up redirects on these so that if visitors head to one of the other domains that you posses, it would redirect them to your main website.
What Exactly are Domain Extensions and TLDs?
A top-level domain (TLD) is the piece that comes after the last dot (for instance, .com).
Domain extensions, is anything and everything that appears after your chosen name (for instance, .co.za).
An extension is nearly always just a top-level domain, but sometimes it consists of a top-level domain as well as a country code second-level domain (ccSLD).
By way of example (type is highlighted):
.CO.ZA-> Domain extension
.co.ZA -> Top-level domain
.CO.za -> Country code second-level domain
In the above illustration, the ccSLD suggests that it is a company. The TLD indicates that it is a South African extension.
"Professional Domain Purchasers" invest in multiple extensions of actual domain names. They obtain it at low-cost, and then sell it to either another interested individual, or the person who already own the same website name, but with a different extension. In the last mentioned case, the person would buy the URLs with the alternative extensions so that they can secure their online brand and make sure that no one else can possess similar domains.
You will also need to shield your domain name from "Traffic Robbers". As soon as your website becomes well-known and you acquire more and more traffic, some dishonest (and lazy) people may try to "steal" some of your traffic for themselves. These Traffic Robbers buy a domain with the same name as yours, but with a another extension. This grants them two advantages: Firstly, when a person searches for your website via a search engine, there is a good possibility that their website or blog would also appear in the search results. This is a shortcut for them to instantly have better search rankings. Secondly, someone who wants to visit your website, might inadvertently type in the wrong extension and land on the Traffic Robber's website or blog instead. Imagine all the efforts that goes into getting your website or blog popular and at last having a significant traffic volume - and then another person coming along and "getting" your hard work's success, just by purchasing a synonymous domain name!
You have got to look after your domain name and secure your online brand!
- .com (commercial) - One of the first top-level domains, and has grown to be the leading TDL in use. Any individual or company is allowed to use this TLD.
- .net (network) - It is one of the first top-level domains also. Initially planned to be used only for network providers but now any individual or entity is allowed to register.
- .org (organization) - This is primarily connected with non-profit organizations but any person or company is allowed to register this extension.
- .biz (business) - Being used by businesses, it was formed as a consequence of the need for top notch website names available in the .com top-level domain, and to provide an alternative to businesses.
- .edu (education) - Mainly utilized for educational institutions, mostly in America. However, only post-secondary institutions that is accredited by an agency on the U.S. Department of Education's list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies are suitable to apply for a .edu domain. The extension was originally intended for educational institutions internationaly.
- .info (information) - Planned for informative webpages, although the use is not restricted (anyone can obtain this extension). The .info was one of the numerous extensions that was meant to take the strain off the popular .com domain.
- .gov (government) - This extension is used by government entities in the USA. It's actually administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the federal government. The United States is the only country that owns a government-specific top-domain along with its top level domain. This is resulting from the origins of the web as a US Federal Government-sponsored research network. Other countries characteristically use a second-level domain for this purpose.
- .mobi (mobile) - This extension is devoted to presenting the Internet to mobile phones.