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So I have an idea I want to try for a side-business, and it's web-based. I think about names, and find one I like, let's pretend it's wibblewobble.

I check for wibblewobble.com and it's taken, but there's no site there, just an "Under Construction" page. A whois indicates that the domain has been registered for about 9 years.

wibblewobble.ie is available though, and I'm in Ireland, so I can get it. I imagine that after a few months of attentive site management, I should be ahead of the existing .com address.

My fear though is that , should I be in any way successful, others may try to undercut me, and buty the .com to steal traffic from me. Is that a real risk? Do a lot of people automatically use .com, or do people remember tlds?

I've tried contacting the .com domain owner, a private individual, but I've got no answer. I'd pay him a modest price for the domain if he's not using it.

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2 Answers 2

It is fine if you are primarily targeting your site at people in the country the ccTLD refers to. If your goal is, however, to reach a more global audience you would be better served by a .com, even if you have to find another name for your site.

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What advantage, in your opinion, does the .com have? –  puppybeard Oct 12 '11 at 11:08
    
It is a matter of perception. ccTLDs tend to be perceived as relating to that country whereas .com speaks to a global audience (.net also works to a lesser extent). There is also less likely to be confusion between your site and the .com if you are targeting a narrower audience. –  Kris Oct 12 '11 at 12:24
    
I see what you mean, thanks. –  puppybeard Oct 12 '11 at 12:38

Lets's they there are the domains

    (1) wibblewobble.com
    (2) wibblewobble.net
    (3) wibblewobble.org
    (4) wibblewobble.ie

A local customer (also living in Ireland) remembers the name wibblewobble, but nothing else. Almost certainly, he will try them in the following order:

    (4) -> (1) -> (2) / (3)

If, however, the customer does not live in Ireland (and you a you alone will know if you're targeting the global audience), he will try:

    (1) -> (2) / (3)

He might not even try (4), unless he knows somehow that the business is located in Ireland.

Then again, he could always google wibblewobble, but if you're afraid wibblewobble.com might steal away your customers in the future, yes, that might happen if they're from elsewhere.

The same goes for second best choices like

    (5) getwibblewobble.com

or something like that. In any case, you should buy (4) and (5).

Besides that, .com domains don't have any advantages or disadvantages over .ie domains besides the price, depending on how much a .ie domain costs.

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Thanks, I hadn't thought of it in that context. –  puppybeard Oct 12 '11 at 12:39

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