I want to start to have a place on the internet I can call my own. Stack Exchange, Google+, and Twitter are nice, but they're all services where I have to play by their rules and I don't really own my own content. So I've decided that I really need my own site.

The problem is, my desired .com/.net domains are taken. If it matters, my desired domain involves my name.

  • Will people have difficulty remembering or typing a less common extension and/or will I be judged in a less favorable light if I don't have a .com/.net?
  • If not, which extension would be best for a personal site? .org, .co, .me, .us, and many others are available?
  • I use .info for mine. It's "information" about me, so I think this works really well. – Dan Oct 6 '11 at 17:07
  • kcronin.net would still be available. The .com's gone, though. – Pekka Oct 6 '11 at 18:47
  • Have you considered buying the domain from the current owner? For example, the domain I wanted, <mylastname>.com was taken but after some investigation, it turns out it was abandoned by the owner - because they got married and changed their name. They were happy to sell it to me at the average normal domain name price. – rlb.usa Oct 6 '11 at 23:40

My experience is the perception of owning a .com or .co.uk (I am UK based) seem to be taken a bit more "seriously" by the average Joe Bloggs. I think it's familiarity, .com and .co.uk are used in company TV and radio adverts every day, so could be considered "trusted".

Maybe you could consider using the extension as part of your name for example, kylecron.in?

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  • Yeah, that's what I'm thinking w/r/t .com, that it's taken more seriously by average people. I've definitely considered something like kylecron.in, but .in is the TLD for India. There's nothing wrong with India, I'm just thinking it might be better to avoid associating myself with other countries. – Kyle Cronin Oct 4 '11 at 5:06

.name TLD fits nicely. And if you'll have good site, you can don't worry about top-domain

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  • .name is definitely a possibility, but it seems a little self-referential ("<name>.name") – Kyle Cronin Oct 4 '11 at 5:11
  • Isn't that the point? – VxJasonxV Oct 4 '11 at 5:19
  • self-referential?! No... My wife have name.net for all your old-netizen-life, name.name for all every-day-offline notes, name.pro for obvious reasons - and none is over – Lazy Badger Oct 4 '11 at 12:37

I would recommend against using a different suffix (such as .org) for a domain that is already taken, because even if you get it for the URL you want users will constantly be trying .com or .net and missing you anyway. Thus I recommend trying to find a slight variation with which to brand yourself online, such as cronincontent.com or something like that.

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  • This is actually a really good point. I'm kind of hoping the existing owner of the domains lets them lapse (they're currently unused) but there's no guarantee of that. – Kyle Cronin Oct 4 '11 at 5:09
  • If the existing domains are unused you could try to use something like WHOIS to contact the owner... Of course, the more interested you appear the higher they may try to sell it to you. But if they're not using it or planning to it's a waste of money for them to keep it so they may have an interest in selling it at some price. – joshuahedlund Oct 4 '11 at 12:51

Top level domains are becoming less relevant everyday. Especially starting out with a new site, people will find your page via links, social media, search engines or bookmarks. Even a established, high traffic site with a short URL will only generate 10-15% of their traffic via direct input. And by that time, your brand will be strong enough for users to remember it!

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  • True, and internet-savvy people usually don't have a problem with different TLDs anyhow. I fully agree that whatever I do end up picking I should just stick with it. – Kyle Cronin Oct 4 '11 at 5:07

.orgs are very common, especially for non-commercial sites, so I would have thought there is no drawback in using the .org version.

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  • I always thought .org was associated with organizations... How come that is associated with being non-commercial? – Anonymous Oct 3 '11 at 17:16
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    Yeah, .org at least is a recognizable TLD to normal people, and for that reason it's probably the one I'm going to go with. It is a little odd to have a personal site whose domain makes it seem like I'm an organization, but just as ".com" frequently is used for non-commercial sites and people understand that, I could probably get away with .org – Kyle Cronin Oct 4 '11 at 5:13

You can still get a .com/.net/.org you just need to be creative. Put a hyphen in the phrase or add descriptiors like:

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There are some relevant questions on our sister site User Experience SE:

My personal perspective: I (not from USA) associate .com with commercial companies resp. ad-based services (domains using .org or .net get more initial credit of trust from me.). Whenever I see a personal site using .com, it feels slightly inappropriate to me. Also, I don’t assume .com to be the "default" TLD when I only remember the second level domain name.

When I chose my personal domain, I had the following criteria:

  • don’t use my name (as it might change; and there are possibly others with the same name)
  • don’t use the ccTLD of my country (as I might move)
  • don’t use any other ccTLD (as it would give the wrong first impression that I’m a citizen of that country)
  • don’t use any second level domain that is already registered with other TLDs (as visitors might end up at the wrong site; and I don’t want to be associated with other sites when people search for my term)
  • pronounceable as one word in my language and in English
  • it shouldn’t be embarrassing to write this domain on business cards etc., even in 30 years from now
  • no .com (see above), no .info (bad record), no .name (see above re. name) … so in the end, .org vs. .net
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The .me tld was created specifically for individual branding. I don't think it's necessarily important to have the "common" tlds as it is a function of branding. If you are good at letting people know that your online presence is http://kylecronin.me, then it won't matter what the extension is.

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  • Yeah, this is a strong contender - also, I live in Maine (ME) so .me is a good fit there too. – Kyle Cronin Oct 4 '11 at 5:06
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    "The .me tld was created specifically for individual branding. " -- NO: .me is the Internet country code top-level domain for Montenegro. – Osvaldo Oct 6 '11 at 18:27
  • @Osvaldo, Agreed. .me is tld fom montenegro. Thank you! – swatkins Oct 6 '11 at 20:32

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