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Is a .com Domain Better?
If you are starting a blog, you may be wondering is a .com domain is better?
The .com ending for websites is one of many TLDs (top-level domains) that are available. You may also be used to seeing .net, .org, and other endings.
When you start a blog, you will need to not only decide on a name for it, but also decide which domain ending you will use. Although there are hundreds of TLD endings, .com is by far the most common and recognizable.
But are there any benefits to choosing a .com domain name? What if the name you want to use for your blog is not available as a .com?
Read on to find out what to do!
And when you are ready to register your blog’s domain name, I highly recommend going through Bluehost. They provide a FREE domain name for your first year (saving you $15 to $20) plus web hosting for only $2.95 a month.
If you read my guide on how to start a blog this is what I recommend! I personally use Bluehost and it’s what I would suggest for all new bloggers because of how affordable it is and how easy it is to get started with your blog today.
Another benefit to Bluehost is that you can go ahead and set up your blog today, even if you HAVEN’T decided on a name yet. (You’ll get a credit to come back and choose your domain name within 30 days once you decide.)
Is It Better to Have a .com Domain?
So is it better to have a .com domain name for your blog?
Short answer: yes, although it isn’t a dealbreaker.
You can still have a popular and successful blog without a .com domain. But I would very strongly recommend choosing a .com domain name if you can.
There are tons of TLD endings out there… 1,514 to be exact! You are probably used to seeing some of the more common endings for websites, such as…
Some of these domain endings are restricted by entity (such as .gov, which can only be used for government websites) while others are restricted geographically (such as .ca, which is for websites registered in Canada.)
There are also plenty of very interesting and uncommon domain endings like:
As entertaining as these endings might be, I hope you can see why you shouldn’t choose one of these for your blog! Can you imagine if my website was called “bloggingherway.pizza” instead of “bloggingherway.com”?
So why am I so adamant about recommending that you choose a .com domain name for your blog? It’s because there are actually quite a few benefits to a .com name that you just cannot get with any other domain ending.
Benefits of a .com Domain
There are a number of benefits to choosing a .com domain.
Some of the main benefits of having a .com domain include:
- It’s the most standard and recognizable TLD ending.
- It makes your website seem more trustworthy and professional.
- It doesn’t tie your website to a specific geographic location (such as the .ca ending for Canada, or the .co.uk ending for the United Kingdom.)
- It’s easier for people to remember since it’s so common.
- It’s affordable, usually under $20 (free with Bluehost.) Some of the “novelty” TLD endings can run in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
As you can see, there are a number of benefits to going with a .com domain.
One commonly-held belief about .com domains that is actually untrue is that having a .com domain helps with SEO (search engine optimization.)
This is a myth. Having a .com ending will not help your website rank higher in the search engine results. Although you will typically see .com websites ranking higher in the results, this is just because it’s the most common TLD ending.
So while having a .com domain name does not give you any SEO benefits, it does give you all of the other benefits that I mentioned above.
What If the Name I Want Isn’t Available?
A big issue with .com domain names is that many of them are not available.
Since .com is the most common ending, many names are already taken.
When you start your blog with Bluehost you will get a FREE domain name, saving you $15 to $20. So how can you see if the name you want is available?
After you click “Get Started” on this page and select the $2.95 a month plan (this is the cheapest plan and the one I recommend) you will be able to put in your intended domain name to see if it’s available to register or not.
If you haven’t decided on a blog name yet, you can skip this step and get a credit to come back later to choose your domain name within 30 days.
Unfortunately, you might find that the .com name you want is taken.
Or, someone might have registered the domain name you want and instead of using it for a website, is just trying to resell it for a very high price.
This can be really frustrating, especially when you think you have found the perfect name for your blog only to find out it’s not available.
That’s the point where you might consider registering the name using a different ending. For example, let’s say the .com version of the name you want is taken, so you decide to register it as a .net domain name instead.
However, if the .com name you want is already taken by an established website, this is a really bad idea because it will be hard to compete with their website in the search engine rankings. It’s also just confusing, and in the worst case could lead to trademark infringement issues by having the same name.
Even if the .com domain name you want is not taken by an established website, but is just not available to register (maybe someone bought it years ago but has never done anything with it) you should still not go with an alternate ending, because you are going to lose out on all the benefits of a .com domain.
So if the name you want is taken, I highly recommend choosing a different name.
You can modify the name you want slightly. For example, let’s say you want to start a travel blog with the name Wandering Footsteps but the .com is taken.
You could try different variations such as…
- My Wandering Footsteps
- These Wandering Footsteps
- Wanderlust Footsteps
- Follow in My Footsteps
And so on until you find a name that is available to register as a .com!
I also have a whole series on choosing a name for various blog niches:
- Lifestyle Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
- Travel Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
- Food Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
- Mom Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
- Beauty Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
- Fashion Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
In my opinion, it is very much worth choosing a .com domain ending, even if that means you have to spend a little more time thinking of a name.
Can’t I Just Change My Domain Later?
Unlike changing your username on a social media account like Instagram or Twitter, it isn’t so easy just to change your domain name at a later date.
Trust me, I’ve been through the process, and it’s a hassle!
Once you register a domain name, you should be prepared to stick with it permanently. While it’s possible to change your domain name later on, there are a LOT of things you have to do to make sure that everything is transferred over properly and that you don’t break your website in the process.
Even if you do everything perfectly, changing your domain name can lead to some major drawbacks. For example, if you have an established blog, changing your domain name can cause your traffic from search engines to drop, because Google will see your new name and take a while to trust your website again.
When I first started blogging, I made two mistakes.
I picked a name that I didn’t fully love, and I chose a .co ending.
After one year, I was completely fed up with my name, so I went through the process of changing it. (I hired a web developer to help me, because even though I’m a pretty tech-savvy person, I didn’t want to mess anything up.)
While I’m glad I changed my domain name, I was VERY careful in the future when starting new blogs not to make those mistakes again.
Does a .com Domain Matter?
In conclusion, it is better to have a .com domain when starting a blog.
If you look at the most popular and successful blogs out there, you will see that almost all of them have a .com ending. And it’s not just for blogs!
Look at the websites of most businesses, and you will see they are .com too.
If you are ready to register your blog’s domain name, I highly recommend using Bluehost since they offer a FREE domain name for the first year.
You can read more about setting up your domain name and web hosting with Bluehost in my complete step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
Bluehost is also a good option because they are the only web hosting company that will let you set up your blog right away without choosing a name. If you are undecided about a name right now, you’ll get a credit to come back and pick your domain name within the next 30 days once you decide on one.
More Blogging Tips
Looking for more tips about blogging? Check out the following posts!