Monday, September 24, 2018

It's Time to Go Without a Net

© Can Stock Photo / airn
Once upon a time I used to advise other writers that if the .com name they wanted wasn't available to the get the .net extension instead. At the time .net websites were fairly common, and whenever I registered a new domain, I would, as a precaution, get both .com and .net versions to prevent someone else with the same, or similar, name as mine from getting the .net and creating confusion.

The Internet, however, is an ever changing landscape. What may have worked five years ago, or even last year, may not apply today, and such is the case with the .net extension. Over time we've learned that people will automatically go to .com out of habit, even when .net was clearly posted. It's sort of like my name, Gayle. Not a bad name, I suppose, but it has the less common spelling, and no matter how many times I spell it out for people, they still give me the more common, "Gail," rather than the correct spelling of "Gayle."

So, with that in mind, please disregard my earlier advice. From what I'm seeing, the .net extension is rapidly becoming extinct, and you certainly don't want to make yourself look dated. If the .com isn't available, you'll have to come up with a different variation. If you're an author, try adding, "author" "writer," or "books" to you name. And even if the .com version of your name is available, I'd still recommend getting or with it, just in case. Domain names usually aren't that expensive, but they are crucial for building your brand and promoting your book, so it doesn't hurt to grab as much Internet real estate as you possibly can.