What is a domain name?

The domain name is a website's address. It is made up of a name and an extension.

What is a domain name?

.com .ch .fr ? Choosing your domain extension

Here are two criteria to consider when choosing your domain extension:

The coherence between the domain name, its extension, and your site content:

A non-governmental organisation or an association, for example, will more often opt for extensions such as .ORG, .NGO, while a recruitment or accounting firm will be more likely to choose an extension such as .CONSULTING or .ACCOUNTANTS.

Your target audience or market

The .FLOWERS domainextension would, for example, be ideal for a florist while a .CH domain would be of interest to a SME whose clients are only in Switzerland.

Generic extensions (gTLD)

Universally recognised, generic extensions are very popular and offer an international dimension. These include:

Initially, these extensions were linked to areas of activity or to topics. Now, their popularty makes them essential and they are open to more types of content. They are routine and it is actually common to complete the name of a business with .COM to go to its website. As a result, if you register a .CH domain and the .COM is free, we recommend that you register it in order to protect your brand and your name online. The aim is to prevent a third-party site from attracting, intentionally or otherwise, internet users who think they are visiting your site or would like to do so.

Consult the list and prices of generic extensions

Extensions by country (ccTLD)

If you are targeting the inhabitants of one country in particular, the choice of a domain extension of first national level is certainly indicated, as well as regional extensions. You may for example choose the extension:

By country

By regions and culture

If you are targeting several countries at once, it is possible to choose a domain extension of first national level for each of the target countries, which will allow you to enhance the local aspect of your activities.

Consult the list and prices of extensions by country

New generic extensions (New gTLD)

New generic extensions offer a unique opportunity to find the perfect domain name. They are a unique opportunity to link your role or your activity more precisely to your domain name: .archi, .fitness, .tattoo, .photography, .expert, etc.

These new extensions allow you to enhance your positioning and to gain relevance while distinguishing yourself from others. Given their growing success, we recommend that you reserve the extensions which match your activity as soon as possible in order to protect your brand and your name.

New generic extensions (New gTLD)
This graph shows what the most commonly used new extensions currently are.

What needs to be remembered when choosing good extensions

  1. Choose the extension based on the target audience in order to generate as many followers as possible.

  2. Once the principal extension is found, register the extensions necessary for protecting your brand and your name. Ask yourself whether you want to find your competitors with your domain name on other extensions (for example yourdomain.net, yourdomain.co, yourdomain.com.co or yourdomain.cc). If the answer is no: reserve these extensions.

  3. Browse the web to get an overview of the competition and thus find a unique positioning and make yourself stand out.

  4. Be successful abroad sooner and reserve the extensions for the countries where you are planning to offer your services or products. Don't wait for significant growth to reserve different domain name or extension variants. Keep them in reserve ;)

Three pieces of advice for finding the name of your domain

Your domain name is the main access gate to your website.

Easy domain name

Easy to write and to say

A name which is too complicated leads to confusion and makes searching for your site more complicated. On the other hand, a name which is simple to write makes it more memorable and helps with word of mouth.

Easily remembered and intuitive

Make it easier to memorise and assimilate your domain name by giving priority to the meaning. You can do this by encouraging your activity to be deduced from your company name, with a generic extension or with the extension of the country your target would logically expect.

Just like your company name your domain will be memorable and intuitive thanks to a clever association of keywords or concepts which will help them to be remembered. If you make delicious pizzas, for example, you could choose "delipizza".

At Infomaniak, we are passionate about information technology. That is why we decided to express it in our name!

Memorable domain name
Easy domain name

Use strategic keywords

Use keywords to specify what you are doing, refocus or expand your audience. For example, you can mention a geographical area next to your name to define your catchment area or, on the contrary, use a generic name to aim at a wider audience.

Include a keyword which is likely to respond to internet user queries in search engines in order to generate visits by people who are really interested in your services or what you are offering.

Reserving your domain name

Infomaniak's domain names registration tool allows you to immediately check the price and the availability of a domain name.

When you have found your domain and its extensions, get moving and order them quickly, before someone else notices! Generally, waiting is not always a good idea; in the time it has taken you to read these lines, hundreds or thousands of people, businesses (and "domainers") have registered domain names. A good available domain does not remain so for long. We therefore advise you to buy your domain names as quickly as possible.

What should I do if the domain I want is already taken?

If the domain that you really want is not free, that's the time to generate better ideas:

  1. Take the time to reflect on a less general and more striking domain name which is likely to better serve your objectives and to bring you closer to your audience. This reflection will lead to interesting results and will contribute to the enhancement of your brand image.
  2. Imagine your domain name with another extension. A new extension will probably be just right for your project. These new extensions offer a wide field of expression, allowing strong "name-extension" meaning associations to be designed as well as clever hooks to stand out from the competition.
  3. Finally, it is feasible to buy a domain. To do this, find the contact details for the owner using the Infomaniak WHOIS tool in order to negotiate the purchase directly.

The case of premium domain names

Sometimes identified as high value-added domains, these domain names are put on sale on the market by third parties who have reserved them first. The sellers freely set the price of the domains which they own. As these domains are often strategic, the competition to get them is greater and their price can therefore be very high. The transfer of ownership of a premium domain name is only paid once. After that, only the typical annual subscription fees are payable.

Case of cybersquatting

It is possible that the domain name of the brand you represent was registered by a third party for profit (page full of advertising, page aimed at promoting the sale of the domain name in question, illegal internet storefront forging the brand identity, or an owner did not want to get rid of the domain name without even using it).

Infomaniak is a Swiss domain registrar accredited by ICANN, Afnic, VeriSign, SWITCH and many others.