Are Domain Names With A National Extension Like '' or '.cn' OK?

We are frequently asked by people who are planning to launch a website in the UK and Canada whether they should use their national domain name extensions which are '' and '.cn'.

My advice is the same for anyone in any country.

If possible you ahould always try to get the ‘.com’ domain name, particularly if your site will have a global audience.
A country specific domain name, such as ‘’, is okay if you’re only targeting a national market. For example if you are creating a fan website for your local soccer team a domain is fine.

However if you want to reach an audience outside of your own country at launch or at anytime in the future you should choose a domain which is not tied to a specific country.
If you can’t get the ‘.com’ name, ‘.net’ is the next best global name.
If you are planning on creating an association or society, then ‘.org’ is fine.
You should try to buy as many variations of your domain name as you can before you launch. If your site is successful, you will suddenly find competitors, affiliates and other disreputable people buying up all the similar URLs to exploit your success.
The main domain name extensions you should grab:
  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .info
  • .biz
  • plus your own national domain name

Domain name registration is still quite cheap so this represents a good investment. Your domain name could become your online business' most valuable asset.