#6 - The dot com alternative: Choosing an alternative domain extension

Maris Callahan joins me on today’s podcast to discuss alternative domain extensions. Maris is Director of Public Relations for Donuts Inc., an Internet domain registry company that offers alternatives to the traditional dot com naming conventions. Many companies are moving away or adding to their dot com domain name, but there is a lot to think about when it comes to buying personalized and other alternative domain extensions.

What is an alternative domain extension?

Maris Callahan - alternative domain extensions

For businesses and entrepreneurs who are experts in their field, the purchase of an alternative domain name means they may be able to purchase a domain extension that better suits their area of expertise, i.e. yourname.yourfield, which allows businesses to clearly tell the world who they are and what they do. For example, if a photographer named Bob Smith has the domain name BobSmith.com, it does not tell people what Bob does, however the domain name BobSmith.photographer clearly tells people Bob is a photographer.

Why would I want an alternative domain extension?

Let’s face it—there are less dot com’s available nowadays! Dot com’s have been around for 30 years and online real estate is shrinking. Donuts Inc. has worked for three years to bring new domain extensions to market. These alternative extensions have been trickling out for three years and are finally hitting the mainstream, including with larger brands, such as Google who uses blog.Google and domains.Google. Hollywood movie studios are using alternative domain extensions, such as dot movies, take LaLaLand.movie, for example.

The alternative domain extensions are new, but they do not have to be backup domain names either. Businesses are also not being told to drop their dot com’s, but they should know they do have a choice if they are looking to personalize their domain names. There are so many alternative domain extension choices, including dot media or dot computer or more lighthearted ones such asdot cool,  dot life ordot pizza – to name just a few. You can be very creative to the left of the dot and very specific to the right of the dot, for example thebiz.studio.

Are there a lot of alternative domain extensions available?

There are over 1000 specific and generic dot coms as well as some geographic options, i.e. dot NYC or dot Vegas, as well as branded domains, which are for large brands who went out and bought their brand name as their extension, i.e. dot Marriott. Alternative domain extensions can also be used for microsites or marketing purposes, especially for brands, i.e. see what BMW has done.

How can I use an alternative domain name in addition to my dot com?

Because the dot com domain extension has been around for a long time it is definitely more recognizable. A common objection is that people won’t take a company seriously unless they have a dot com, which is why we are not suggesting people move away from that.

Another objection is if a business already has a dot com, why would they need another domain? Donuts Inc. doesn’t exist so people will drop their dot coms. If a business already has a dot com then a unique domain extension may be in addition to a long web address—a shorter one may make sense for marketing or word of mouth.

You may also want to increase your SEO with an additional alternative domain extension. For example, if you are a shoe store who also sells jewelry or clothes you may want to buy the dot shoes, dot jewelry and dot clothing to increase your brand’s SEO. Amazon does this well.

Again, creating microsites to compliment a main website is also a good use of an alternative domain extension. There are a few pet food companies who use this to market their specific pet food i.e. dot dog, etc.

Students use alternative domain extensions, such as dot land or dot world to house their online portfolios that directs people directly to what it is they do. Professionals also use them when applying for jobs i.e. dot engineering.

Where can I purchase an alternative domain extension?

To purchase an alternative domain extension visit Google Domains, GoDaddy or Name.com and type in what you are looking for to see if it is available. You can also go to Donuts.domains to find out more about how to chose a name and Name.kitchen for naming inspiration.

There are many fun and inspirational domain names to choose from. Just remember to keep it relevant and easy to remember, if you can!

If you have bought an alternate doman extension, leave me a comment and let me know what it is. You can check mine out at www.thebiz.studio!

Resources & Links

Donuts Inc. 

Google Domains



Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
  • share the podcast on social media; or
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • You are a badass by Jen Sincero
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!