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Ask HN: Importance of a good .com domain?
3 points by vishaldpatel on Sept 3, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
Hey all, I'd love some marketing / growth people to comment on this:

I can't seem to get any one of the .com domain that I want, mostly because of squatters. The .co domains seem to be available. How much of a disadvantage is it to not own the .com domain?

IMHO you're at a disadvantage if you spend too much time on non-core elements of a product.

So, if the name/domain/brand is crucial to the success of the company (if it's a clothing line for example), then maybe it's worth spending a lot of time brainstorming until you find a .com that works.

But, if the core value-proposition of your product has little to do with the public-facing branding, then your time is probably best spent elsewhere, and you should just buy whatever domain is available ASAP and move on to other things.

I depends. But as others have said I would try to get creative with the name to find a .com for it. PG recently wrote a post on changing your name but I don't agree with it 100%. http://www.paulgraham.com/name.html

However if your product is a mainly accessible via a mobile app then I would use the .co or other clean TLDs. For example, Vine is still using .co and it's a massive success.

I would look at alternative names that you can get the .com for. A .com is like the "The" badge on Amazon or a "Verified" check on Twitter: it also gives you much better odds of not having to deal with trademark disputes.

For some tips on naming, see my Trello board of notes on naming and domains: https://trello.com/b/TekvQe5x/naming-and-domains

As someone who's very bad at looking for names, I also wanted to thank you :) .

A marketing expert acquaintance recommends one-word names over the two-names approach you advocate there, though.

From your trello: "Even internationally, two English words is usually considered fine. This works for a number of sites, Facebook being one of the most notable examples" (I also thought of SnapChat, InstaGram, etc.)

However, the marketing expert wrote this advice to me "No future company is called (bad two-word names), they're called google, oracle, hulu or oculus. Go clean and easy to remember & pronounce""

This is awesome. Thank you.

Unless you own a super common word or group of words as .com; it doesn't make too much of a difference. Only enthusiasts will use a smaller service, regardless of its usefulness and will be ok googling for a domain or entering a less common TLD. Wait to see if it develops and if it does, use your profits to buy the right domain for more casual consumers.

I'd say best you can do is make your site https and responsive and make sure you have all relevant SEO data to increase its indexing performance.

Got it. Yeah, I figured. I suppose the only time this could be an issue is through word-of-mouth. I tell someone its 'awesomedomain.co" and they'll type in "awesomedomain.com" after a couple of days - but hopefully they'll just type it into google anyway.

Just avoid the TLD that are marked as spam by most filters and you'll be fine.

Oh, wow. I hadn't thought about that. Thanks!



Interestingly .biz and .co which were designed for businesses are heavily blacklisted.

.co is a country code domain belonging to Colombia. It was never "designed" for businesses, simply allowed to be registered by anyone outside of the country.

My bad. Then it's a de factor usage by businesses. As per the wikipedia page "Actual use: .CO top level domain has become the leading global alternative to .com for innovators, entrepreneurs and startups"

But you're right, that was not the first intent.

Get creative with domain name as much as you're creative with your product.

You need .com

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