Going Local vs. Global: How to Choose Your Domain ExtensionIn today’s Google-search world, it has become not only ideal, but necessary for every organization, company, or institution in the region to have its own website. Be it a small mid-cap firm or a big business house with an annual turnover of millions, having a website is a must for everyone. Some of those who did not have one until now are either in denial or under the process of building one.

But before building a functional website, the first step is to book a specific domain name. For example, a company in a specific region may want to have a domain denoting its geographical location. Therefore, many organizations have started opting for local domain extensions such as ‘.ae’, ‘.sa’, ‘.om’, ‘.qa’, etc., in the representation of the firm’s country.

These localized extensions (such as .ae denoting the United Arab Emirates) are referred to as ccTLD, standing for ‘country code top-level domain.’

Advantages Of a Local Domain Extension

There are many advantages to opting for a local domain. Some of which include:

  1. Localized extensions of the domain names confer a more professional look to a business, house, and/or a company.
  2. It demonstrates the organization’s commitment to its target audiences.
  3. A local extension would maximize the online visibility of the company.

Thus, a local domain should serve as a good opportunity for a businessman, a local company, and/or an international institution to attract clientele in their region. Not only this but registering for a local extension would also seem more proximal to the residents of that region. Such new domain extensions would attract the attention of local audiences. Advertisements for local products or services could find no better place than these websites.

Advantages Of a Global (.com) Domain Name

It has been observed repeatedly that anyone wanting to start a website on any topic would primarily seek a .com domain extension.

The only reason for this is that .com has become the norm. It has been the first version of a domain name; internet users tend to suffix .com after every search they type in the address bar.

For instance: Maggie, a popular FMCG product was the first-ever food item that could be cooked in less than 5 minutes. Its taste and ease to prepare naturally attracted consumers and it became extremely popular within no time. Thereafter, a lot of companies launched such easy-to-cook noodles, but no brand name could enable the users to distinguish it from Maggie. For the masses, all easy-to-cook noodles became MAGGIE.

Similarly, the .com domain name also gained widespread popularity owing to its first impression among internet-friendly people. It was much later that they realized memorable domain names can be location-specific.

A Local Domain versus .com or .net

Local vs Global Domains

From a marketing and branding standpoint, local domains would definitely be much better for companies and institutions based in specific countries. 

  • A golden rule in the world of the internet is that the size of a domain name does matter. The smaller the name, the better it is; since it will be easy to remember, easy to brand, and rules out the possibilities of typos.
  • Enhanced relativity to local businesses

Similarly, just like related keywords enhance search engine rankings, a local domain will be able to help the consumer relate to the firm.

What The Numbers Tell Us

As per a recent report, the registrations of .ae domains have observed a 30 percent hike. The telecom regulators reported that most of these domain registrations took place in Dubai.

In a recent discussion, the Telecommunication Regulation Authority officials told Emirates Business that the former believes this growth to have been caused by a new policy framework thereby putting an end to a sheer non-monopolistic environment prevalent amongst the registrars.

“In one year, the number of new registrations increased by 30 percent compared to the corresponding period the year before. There are more registrars providing .ae domain name registration. Customers have the choice to select their registrar as competition leads to better service. The registration process brought online has also made it easier,” said TRA.

As a result, even the ccTLDs for Middle East countries also rose globally by 14 percent during the same period. And this growth is over 74.4 million extensions of various new domain names.

Registrations Regulations For .ae Extensions

Registrations for the local domain names are only allowed at the second or third level at the unrestricted or restricted zones respectively. Commercial entities used to use the ‘.co.ae’ extension, which was thereon denigrated by UAEnic (United Arab Emirates Network Information Centre) in the recent period. The authority preferred the use of second-level registrations for all sorts of commercial usage.

However, the existing domains with such extensions were permitted to be retained at the sole discretion of the user.

Later on, the .ae extension got re-delegated to TRA. Following this, new policies were published by the .ae Domain Administration (aeDA), which is the regulatory body and registry operator responsible for setting and enforcing all policies relating to the operation of the .ae domain. The policy entailed that the ‘.co.ae’ extension was only introduced for the commercial companies operating at the local levels. Moreover, it also implied that this extension is related to the name of the business and is known to the clientele too.

Following is a list of extensions that denote the organizations who can get them registered –

.ae – All types of companies and business organizations

.co.ae – Companies already having a website under the said extension

.net.ae – Available only for the network providers

.gov.ae – Can be registered by the ministers or the government only, and so on

 extensions that denote the organizations who can get them registered

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Husam Jandal

Husam Jandal is an internationally renowned business and marketing consultant and public speaker with a background that includes training Google Partners, teaching e-business at a master's level, receiving multiple Web Marketing Association Awards, and earning a plethora of rave reviews from businesses of all sizes.

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