To .com or not to .com?

One thing I grapple with is long URLs vs. short ones. In this particular case, I’m referring to the actual domain names.

The domain names in the .com field are getting more and more challenging to come up with. You virtually have to make up a whole new word if you want a one or two word domain name. The cyber squatters have pretty much landed everything you can imagine shy of pure invention.

As we get ready to launch, I’ve been struggling with our original choice, “healthtransformationcenter.com” That is a mouthful to say, let alone type in. However, it’s also a good name for our vision of what the site will become for people. We really do want to help people improve their lives. Whether it’s finding simple ways to have more energy, or to eliminate life-long chronic pain. It’s an ambitious goal, but one I think my wife is truly born to lead.

I digress, so let’s get back to the point. There are a lot of new TLD (top level domains) coming out lately, like .diet, .center, .xyz, but these domains are quickly getting cyber-squatted as well. I wanted to do: “http://health.transformation.center” but it’s taken and the guy’s asking for $5,000 USD. A little rich for my blood.

Amid all this, I keep asking myself this lingering question: Can you do without a .com? Is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

Everything I’m reading says you still need a .com to be legit, but I’m finding it harder and harder to believe because I’m seeing more and more .us, .io, .co, and so on.

My own business site has been a .net for years. “Cybrains” is a completely made up word and I made the mistake of checking for availability on a domain registrar site I hadn’t used before. It got bought within 10 minutes of me checking it’s availability and has been for sale for years (15 years at this writing).

But do I miss it? Not really. Do I feel it hinders my credibility? Not one iota.

The main problem I have is people can’t spell it and when they do, they get my email address wrong, sending to .com even when I clearly tell them it’s .net. .com is, after all, a fairly automatic thing and many mobile device keyboards even have a “.com” key to finish off most URL addresses. Then again, people misspell my email account just about as often as they do the domain name, so it’s really hard to say. What I can say is, be careful if you make up a word — make sure it’s intuitive and easy to deduce the spelling. Don’t call it “dyda” as a substitute for “data” for example. People are going to really struggle to remember that!

I’ve seen some stats for the whole “it must be a .com” to be legit, but those reports are generally four or five years old. The new TLD’s are fairly recent phenomenon. I haven’t seen recent stats otherwise, either, so right now, I’m still going to go the .com route and have settled on trying “healthxform.com” Even so, my brain’s spinning trying to think of the perfect alternative TLD domain to snag in the process.