Come one, come all! There are new(ish) top level domains for sale, and we’re here to tell you all about them! Okay, for the uninitiated, top level domains are basically those little bits at the end of a website’s home address. You know, “.com”, “.org”, “.net”, etc. If you have a website, you could be paying anywhere from $15 to $10,000 USD a year for one, depending on how popular the keywords are. Well now there are a bunch of new ones out there.
.com and its siblings are getting more expensive as time goes on, and there are fewer good ones to go around. Some people get around this by drastically misspelling words, making really long domain names, or just getting unusually creative.
On the other hand, you can just buy a domain with a new TLD. It’s cheaper. It’s probably available. And whatever industry you’re into, or wherever you are, there is most likely a TLD for it somewhere. In this article, I’ve focused on the options that might best suit web designers and developers, with a few odd extras sprinkled in.
Note: These can confuse some people. I told one guy that a website was at “example.works” (not the real domain), and he was confused for quite a bit ’til I explained that “.works” was a thing, now. So yeah, not everybody is caught up yet. But hey, that’s what we’re here for!
Other note: I’ve included some personal recommendations for when I’d make use of each TLD on the list. These recommendations are just that: personal. You might find that one of these fits a situation outside my capacity to imagine.
Okay, there aren’t too many TLDs made specifically for the web designer. In fact, for all of the various titles that we designers have given ourselves over the years, it seems a bit weird that there’s no such thing as “.UIninja”. But that’s probably a good thing.
.design is probably the most specifically designer-appropriate TLD. There may be some competition for these domains, though. Interior designers, architects, product designers, set designers, and more will probably be interested.
.graphics is only barely relevant. Basically, if most of your job on the Internet revolves around making graphics, this works. Otherwise, I’d not pick this one.
.media is one I’d use if I were at an agency that offered web design as just one service among several.
.art is one I generally wouldn’t use for a web designer or web design agency. I still contend that design and art are overlapping but nonetheless separate disciplines and should be kept that way. However, if your business focuses a lot on the overlapping areas of the two disciplines—for example, if you have a special focus on art direction in your web design—this TLD might be appropriate after all.
Now what about our dear friends, the developers? If you’d rather stare at code for the rest of time than ever touch an image editor, these are the TLDs for you!
.engineer and .engineering are perhaps a bit generic, and you’ll be competing with some non-software-engineers for these, probably. Still, if you want to embrace the title of software engineer, there are few better ways.
.software is a bit on the nose, sure. But if the shoe fits, might as well wear it with pride.
.systems, .tech, .technology, and .tools are pretty darned generic, but you might find that one of these fits your business better than others. For example, if you write software for both mobile and web applications, a more general TLD could very well work for you.
Now we come to the domains for very, very specific kinds of web design and web content.
.host is pretty obviously for hosting websites. Enough said, really.
.review, .music, .audio, and .video are just some of the TLDs available for quite specific forms of content. Just grab the one that fits your project best, I guess.
.search basically only works if you build search engines. And I guess it works if you spend a lot of time searching for stuff offline, too.
Generic But Fits the Theme
Here’s a quick list of other TLDs that are web-related, but not at all limited to the fields of web design or development. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t use most of these myself. It’s purely personal opinion, mind you: they just feel soooo ’90s.
- .click (I know. Seriously.)
It should be mentioned that pretty much every country, large region of land, and major city you can think of is in some way represented as a TLD. From .africa to .yokohama, there are always more region-specific domains to be bought. If you plan on limiting your web services to a specific region, you might consider grabbing one of these.
Lastly, we have a variety of general new-ish TLDs for businesses of all kinds, with an emphasis on those you might want to use as a designer or developer. Personally, I actually quite like .works, especially when you pair it with a designer’s name. The truth is, I saw someone else do it on their site, and I pretty much immediately did it for my own. I thought it was just that clever.
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