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Ask HN: The importance your domain (.com vs .io)
14 points by beck5 on Feb 23, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments
When picking a new domain name what value do you put on having a .com domain? Assuming most of the 'good' .com's have been taken I go straight for something like an .io rather than having some strange .com (or of course paying for a cool .com).

Was this a big decision for you? Do you worry having something other than a .com looks a bit amateurish?

I don't find other domains amateurish, but certain domains I'm unlikely to give information to: such as .ru and .ly and maybe in the future .ng but haven't seen evidence for that yet.

I think the main advantage of .com .net .org is the google boost but that might change in the future and if your product is right it shouldn't matter.

Personally I really don't like when the domain name is part of the name it makes it harder for me as typing a period in between a word seems unnatural: bing.com is easier for me than bi.ng.

Totally agree with you on having it as part of the name is an awful idea.

I have a geek crush for .io because of I/O

I'm working on a startup with a friend and past colleague and the domain we want is (not surprisingly) already registered. It is not a parked domain, but it is simply a graphic for some technology group with an "All rights reserved" from 2000 and a mailto link.

We emailed the owner of the domain and asked if the person would entertain offers to buy the domain and received the simple response:

"The domain is not for sale"

I'm curious, has anyone ever encountered a stonewall on a domain like this and was anyone successful prying it away from the squatters with a generous offer?

If you are squatting on a domain for over 10 years without putting it to use, isn't there always some amount of money you would sell it for?

Only because a domain has no content doesn't mean it's only parked. It may actually be in use for email and maybe other internal things.

Everything is for sale for the right price. Make them an actual offer. If they still say no, your offer wasn't high enough.

I think at first it doesn't matter. Facebook was originally thefacebook.com, delicious.com was del.ico.us, dropbox was getdropbox.com.

I know those examples are all .com, but the point is that you can change your domain once your product gains traction and you have a proven product. Then you can spend the big bucks on the domain you really want.

I hope everyone agrees del.ico.us was the worst URL in history


I think you've proven beck5's point.

I had a similar question. I had planned on registering a domain name a week back for a webapp/blog that we were developing, which at that point was available, however as of now, the domain.com is gone. It was registered yesterday. Should I settle for that domain.net/org or go with something like theDomain.com ? Are there any implications ?

> change your domain once your product gains traction and you have a proven product. Then you can spend the big bucks on the domain you really want.

Makes sense but at the same time, I guess there would be no harm in trying to get (buy) it at a lower price right from the beginning.

Yeah, most people will get to you via a Google search. Then when you're big enough you can legally claim the prized .com URL from the squatters.

...just check first that it's not a legitimate company using the .com address.

I typically live by the rule of not using a non-com TLD unless you actually own the com-TLD

It can lead to a bad situation, what if a existing site on the com domain closes and someone puts a porn site or worse on the com with your prefix ?

I went through something similar recently, and have settled (for the moment at least) on the non-.com. I guess the other question is do you approach the .com owner about a potential sale before or after you have launched? If you are successful, you will pay more for it post launch but at the same time if you are successful without the .com you probably didn't need it in the first place. On the other hand, it's difficult to justify splashing out for a .com when you haven't even shipped. I agree about going with a .something over a strange .com though.

The change in price is a good point, what initially made me think about this problem is pinboard.in, one of the first .in addresses I came across and it doesn't seem to have done them/him too much damage. I'm sure pinboard.com would cost a lot more now.

Always get a dotcom. Anything else is just asking for confusion, especially if you ever plan to market to non-tech customers.

That said, if it's just a webapp or something, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Here's what I do, especially for web apps: choose a great name, then get the myGREATNAME.com or getGREATNAME.com

It worked for dropbox, Mint and 37 sigs.

Our corporate IT department blocks most foreign domains, such as .ly, .io, .tv, and .ng. A special exception has been made for bit.ly, but this won't help me with your new startup.

LOVE corporate IT. They should sell t-shirts that say that. And wear them ironically.

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