Starting a blog has become a popular way to learn, share, and connect with others.
The first step to getting a blog set up is finding a domain name for your blog.
A domain name isn’t just a name. It is made of different parts that have a different meaning. A domain is usually made up of a subdomain, a second-level domain, and a top-level domain. The top-level domain (TLD) is also sometimes called the domain extension.
In this article, we will look further at the parts of a domain name, popular domain extensions, and how to set a domain up.
First, you should have some basic understanding of a domain name and it’s different parts.
In basic terms, a domain name is what users type in as the URL to access your site. Let’s look at an example, www.onlinefoodblog.com.
As we mentioned, domain names are made up of 3 different parts: the subdomain, second-level domain, and top-level domain.
The first part, “www” is the subdomain. The subdomain is a division of your domain that can be used to create different sections of your website. For example, you could have a subdomain for pictures that could look like this:
Unlike your second-level domain or top-level domain, you can create subdomains as you wish after you register your domain.
The middle part is called the second-level domain (SLD). This is the name you choose for your site when you register your domain.
Your second-level domain is the name that your audience associates with your site. For example, the SLD of this site is “Onlinefoodblog” as you can see:
second level domain example
Like your top-level domain, this part of your domain cannot be changed after you register it. Do your research and choose a blog name that is best for you.
This is the part at the end of your domain name also referred to as the domain name extension.
Top level domains (TLDs) are generally divided into two categories, generic TLDs and country-specific TLDs. We will look at how to choose which is best for you later on.
For this site, “.com” is the domain name extension or top-level domain.
top-level domain example
Once more, your domain name extension can’t be changed after you register unless you buy another domain name with a different extension. Be sure what you want and pick the right one at the start.
What Domain Extensions Are Most Popular?
Now that you know what a domain name is, you may be asking, what domain extension will be best for my site?
Your domain name identifies your site with your readers. Having a professional domain name is important in establishing your brand.
Tip: Unlike your subdomain, the domain extension stays with your site forever and is unchangeable. If you want another domain name extension, it is a completely different domain name which you must buy.
In addition to being important for your audience, a domain name can also affect your site in search engines.
Although this should not be the main factor in your decision, search engines take your blog’s domain name is taken into consideration. If a keyword is found in your domain name, you can rank better for that keyword in search engine results pages.
Also, your domain name extension can influence your search engine position for a specific country. If your TLD is for a certain country, you will rank higher for searches in that country. However, you will not have as much ranking power on a global scale compared to generic TLDs.
country specific blog domain name
If you have a generic domain name extension and want to target a specific country, you can also tell Google this information in their search console. Google also takes other factors into consideration when judging what country your site is for such as IP address, Google My Business information, and links to your page.
Usually, you will want a generic domain extension for your blog such the popular “.com” extension. This one is the most popular, however, there are a few more common ones you can consider if you need.
Popular Domain Name Extensions
Let’s look at the five most common domain extensions you have most likely seen.
.com – Stands for “commercial.” This was it’s original intended meaning, but it is now the most popular TLD on the internet used for any kind of website.
.net – Stands for “network.”
.org – Stands for “organization.” Intended originally for organizations and non-profits.
.co – Stands for “company.” This is becoming a popular alternative to .com domains. It is relatively new and because of this gives you more opportunity to get the domain name you want.
.gov – Stands for “government.” Available only to governments and restricted to the public.
For a blog, you will most likely want to get a “.com” domain. This is the most recognized and popular domain extension in the eyes of most internet users.
Are There Other Popular Domain Extensions?
There are some other common domain names that have become popular more recently. If your domain name is not available, and the name is not used by an existing business, you could consider other domains extensions.
In most cases, you should try to find a “.com” domain. As the most popular domain extension, it can help make your site look more credible. In some cases, certain other domain name extensions can make your site look illegitimate or spammy.
Here are some domains names that you could consider as an alternative:
.biz – Stands for “business.” Not as popular as .com, but this is an option for commercial businesses.
.io – Technically, “.io” is a country specific domain name. However, it is now being used for tech and software sites as it can stand for input/output. There is a higher possibility you can get the name you want because this domain extension has only recently started to get more popular.
.info – Stands for “informational.”
.xyz – .xyz was made available on June 2, 2014
and has gained a lot of popularity as a generic domain.
.me – This domain extension is intended for personal sites and is not as popular as the others.
If you are absolutely attached to a name that isn’t available as a .com domain, you can consider other domain extension options. Remember that your domain name is important in representing and establishing your brand, and you should choose a domain name that will give you the most credibility.
Getting A Domain Name
To set up a blog or website, you will need to find a hosting company to make your site available on the internet. With the right companies, you can get good, affordable hosting for your blog.
Visit this guide on how to start a blog to learn how to get a free domain with hosting.
If you already have a hosting account, you can get a domain from a separate company like Godaddy.
Take the time to choose the right domain for your site. Your visitors will use your domain name to access your site, and in many cases, it will be the first thing they see.
The domain you choose also has SEO benefits. If you want to target a specific country, consider a country-specific domain extension. Otherwise, get a generic TLD like the popular .com.
Your domain should be memorable and easy to identify. A name that people can remember will be easier to type in and will ultimately help bring more traffic to your site.
To learn how to start a blog and get a free domain name, visit this tutorial.