Welcome to the "new" Internet where something odd has occurred: While registering a domain name is super simple, deciding which one to get and what "extension" to hang it on is more complicated than ever. When you select a domain name for your business, you must also choose an extension – the portion of the name that comes after the "dot," like .com, .net or .org. These extensions are called "top level domains" or TLDs, and they've been proliferating like mosquitoes in a swamp. Newer TLDs include .jobs, .coop, .name, .aero, .mobi, .geo and .tel, among others. Of course, the "original" .com is great for most businesses, but the best names on that extension are long gone. One of the newer TLDs of interest is .pro, for professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers. The .pro extension is available in two flavors: "profession-specific," such as patent.law.pro and "generic" such as patent.pro where the "middle name" (here "law") is left out. Here's a rundown of some key TLDs:
- .aero – air transport industry
- .biz – for business use
- .com – commercial organizations, but unrestricted
- .coop – cooperatives
- .info – for informational sites, but unrestricted
- .jobs – employment-related sites
- .mobi – sites catering to mobile devices
- .name – families and individuals
- .net – unrestricted
- .org – unrestricted
- .pro – for specified professions
- .travel – travel-related sites
- .post – postal services
- .geo – geographically-related sites
- .us – for U.S.-based entities
Enter your desired domain and see what happensBe prepared to search many different names before you find one that's available.
Get your domains at a discountFor great pricing, GoDaddy is great - consider this site if you are registering multiple domains or have a tight budget.
Look like a real proThe .pro domain is a little more complicated to figure out, but offers benefits for certain types of professionals.
Discover how domain names workGrasping how the system works can help you decide what type of domain to get for your business.
Want something more memorable? Try a .tv addressIt works exactly like a .com address, but allows you to brand you or your business using one of the most recognized two-letter symbols in the world - "TV." Many good names are still available on this domain extension.
- The profession-specific .pro extension is exclusive to licensed pros in law, engineering, accounting and medicine. Others being added include architects, financial planners, dentists, nurses, insurance agents, real estate brokers, veterinarians, psychologists, educators and others.
- The .pro extensions cost more than most others, but are still a minor expense in the overall picture. Many professionals register both types - one for their corporate identity (such as aed.eng.pro) and one to boost their search engine rankings, such as advanced.pro. One of the first names to go was business.cpa.pro.
- Dot-com remains king, but as business owners migrate to the newer TLDs, the distinctions may begin to disappear.
- Remember that you aren't limited to one TLD. If you find a name you like, it's best to register it in multiple extensions in order to protect your brand.