I made the mistake of not buying aarongarcia.com when I had the chance. I did not even search for my name because I assumed it was taken. I purchased my first domain paleolithicfilms.com in 2008. Had I thought to search for it I could have claimed aarongarcia.com 2 years before someone else.
Today, I own aarongarcia.net along with a few other domains since I could not purchase aarongarcia.com. I am not sharing this story to review my entire domain purchasing history, which is quite boring, I am sharing this to illustrate the struggles of not owning a memorable .com domain.
Aside from not being able to spell Aaron correctly, my name should be memorable enough if you know me. The agarcia.tv domain that I purchased in 2011, while short, is challenging for some to remember. I found that agarciatv.com isn’t much better.
After years of searching, I believe I have narrowed down the criteria for a good domain.
- Easy to spell
- Easy to remember
- Contains keywords that are searched on Google
- Short, because typing in long domains is obnoxious
- Matches available social media handles
- Is an obvious choice when people guess your website’s address
- Looks good as an email address
- Most likely a .com
- Does not tie you to a topic, unless you want it to
While aarongarcia.com violates the above criteria, it would be an obvious choice for my blog. Ideally, I’d want garcia.com to comply with my own criteria.
So, what if your ideal domain is taken? Or is being held hostage by domain resellers for thousands of dollars? Then we must go with something else. Like .net, .us, .blog, .tv, .xyz, etc.
In this case, I chose aarongarcia.net. This is a blog, portfolio, and my social media hub. I will likely never rank as high as facebook.com and that should never be my intention. So maybe it doesn’t matter what I choose?
But, you want to optimize for more traffic right?
I might get more traffic as my name dot net than I would agarcia.tv. Simply because people can remember my domain. They can guess what it is even I don’t tell them. They could even find me in a Google search.
These are just some thoughts. There are a lot of authortative sounding opinons out there. I have read a lot of them. I have experimented with my own domains for a decade now. What I am going to suggest to not listen to anyone. Think instead. The rules will change. People may eventually learn that there are more websites out there that do not end with .com. Search engines may do more in the future.
So, no—.com domains are not your only option, unless you want them to be.