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Say you're a programmer and you have your personal home page (blog, about me, contacts, cv and so forth). Several top-devel domain names could apply to this situation.

.com: This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register. Though originally intended for for-profit business entities, for a number of reasons it became the "main" TLD for domain names and is currently used by all types of entities including nonprofits, schools and private individuals. Domain name registrations may be challenged if the holder cannot prove an outside relation justifying reservation of the name, to prevent "squatting".

.pro: Currently, .pro is reserved for licensed or certified lawyers, accountants, physicians and engineers in France, Canada, NL, UK and the U.S. A professional seeking to register a .pro domain must provide their registrar with the appropriate credentials.

.info: This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register.

.name: This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register; however, registrations may be challenged later if they are not by individuals (or the owners of fictional characters) in accordance with the domain's charter.

Then, you obviously have the geographically local domains (.it, .co.uk, etc.).

Other domains are also often misused (for example .me, being Montenegro), just because they sound appropriate for a personal home page and they are usually cheaper than others.

What would be the most appropriate choice for this situation?

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Have you considered .xxx TLD ? ;) –  user2567 Jun 18 '11 at 14:19

5 Answers 5

Ultimately I think your choice of TLD doesn't matter much these days. People will find your site through links and search engines - they're far less likely to actually type in your web address (except from a business card).

Having said that - I always fall back on .com, just because it's ubiquitous. If you choose a .pro, .info, .name - the person who gets the .com will always have the appearance of the one that got there first.

That said, if your name is already taken, then roberto.aloi.name is probably better than robertoaloi2.com if you get what I mean!

As a programmer you have a global audience, and by choosing a geographically-bound TLD (.it, .uk etc.) you could appear to be saying, "I'm only interested in my own local market."

This is why I registered http://www.stevemayne.com/ for myself - although as with so many side projects, I have yet to make much use of it!

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For me, .net sounds like 'I'm part of the Internet' and .com like 'I'm a business site'.

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You said it yourself, .com is the most widespread, so there are reasons to use .com one.

Imagine you register the domain name roberto-aloi.me. Are you sure that the people who will type this name will remember that it's .me at the end? What if they forget? That's it, they will type .com instead. Now what if somebody named Roberto Aloi (or even somebody impressed by your success) register his own website as roberto-aloi.com? Yes, all those users who forgot that your domain name ends by .me would see his website instead.

But this doesn't mean that you must only register .com. If you have enough money, take two or three domain names (probably two is largely enough for a personal website). For example I live in France, where .fr is now open to people, not only to the organizations related to the State, so I often see the companies registering both .com and .fr, and using .fr as their primary domain name (i.e. in search engines, in links on other websites, etc.).

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I think .io is pretty cool. Although it's actually the ccTLD for the British Indian Ocean Territory, it can also stand for Input/Output, which is clever because your website is a kind of 'interface' between you and the rest of the world, in a sense.

.io domains are available for anyone to register, but do cost about $40/year.

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One important aspect is your target group and maybe the language.

If you work on an international (English-speaking) level, I would recommend .com - see the other answers.

But maybe you work in a local market. When you use .com you may frighten your local customers who don't talk English.

When you live in Germany and you offer your service to local people and companies, I would recommend .de.

If you work in a specific region, think also about a GeoTLD if available.

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