If you missed the memo, having a quality website for your church or nonprofit organization is kind of a big deal. Your website serves as the “front door” to your organization — is it where first impressions are made and visitors get an idea of what you’re all about.
Much goes into the building and maintenance of your website. There is a layout to plan, graphics to create, and copy to be written. Other than all of the aesthetics of your website other behind-the-scenes aspects need to be taken care of first. One of the most important is your domain extension.
Of course, it is important to iron out your actual domain name (the web address that shows up in the address bar on your web browser), but the domain extension you choose may directly affect the domain name you choose.
It may feel unimportant to dedicate an entire blog to talking about domain extensions but your organization needs to understand your options and the pros and cons of them.
But wait — what is a domain extension? A domain extension, also known as a TLD (top-level domain) is simply the characters that follow the period in a web address. In “Google.com”, the domain extension is “.com.” Okay, pretty simple right?
Domain extensions may seem like the random characters that exist for websites to work, but they have much more significance than you think. Each extension serves a different purpose, costs a different amount, and reflects on your brand differently.
Let’s get into it! Here we will cover 5 popular domain extension options for your church or nonprofit and which one you should consider when building or rebranding your website.
It is a no-brainer that the “.com” extension is one of the most popular domain extensions on the web; it is used for over half of websites online. It works for essentially any type of organization from churches to nonprofits to small businesses.
But here’s a fun fact: “.com” actually stands for “commercial.” This means that this domain extension typically corresponds to for-profit businesses and organizations. While it can work for just about any entity, it is worth considering that nonprofits in churches may not want to opt for this extension since they are not commercial organizations.
There is a benefit to the popularity of this domain and it makes it one of the cheaper options, costing less than $20 annually. However, because it is so popular, there is a high likelihood that you may not be able to obtain the exact domain name you want with this extension.
This means that the hundreds of churches named “City Church” or “First Baptist” may have to opt for a longer domain name or even a different domain extension. Overall, “.com” is a safe default option, but there are quite a few other extensions that may better suit your organization.
This domain extension is the 3rd most commonly used one worldwide coming just behind “.ca” (a TLD most commonly used in Canada). This extension stands for “organization” and is most popular for nonprofit organizations.
It’s no question that this domain extension is advantageous and appropriate if you’re running a nonprofit or even a church. Because this extension only makes up about 4.4% of all online domains, the likelihood of getting that domain name of choice is a lot higher than if you were opting for a .com.
While it is good to assign .org for a nonprofit, it can be kind of a toss-up between .com or .org for your church website. Churches like Zoe and Churchome opt for .com while other churches like Lakewood and Vous went for a .com. Choosing between these two domain extensions is just a matter of preference.
This domain extension is a great church for churches (sorry nonprofits!). This extension is relatively newer to the game and made famous by the pioneers over at Life.Church.
The “.church” extension is brilliant and rising in popularity for church organizations. Although the previous 2 extensions could suffice, the ultra specificity of this extension is super helpful for branding. It makes it obvious to those searching that the website is for a church.
One con for this extension is the higher cost as compared to other TLDs. However, many major churches are utilizing this specific domain extension for their church websites. If you can shell out a few extra bucks, this extension is an excellent one to use.
This TLD is all about the power of words in your branding. Typically used by nonprofit organizations and charity foundations, “.life” is just plain great sounding. I mean come on, nothing sounds more lighthearted than “life!”
Churches have begun adopting this extension into their domain address and it sounds a bit better than a .com or even a .org. However, this extension can also be a little pricier than the more popular TLDs we have mentioned.
Choosing your domain extension may feel like you’re splitting hairs a bit, but there is a lot of significance behind the one you choose to use. You must consider your budget, the domain availability, and how the extension reflects your overall branding and organizational image.
For churches, we are a fan of the “.church” extension and for nonprofit organizations, we would opt for “.org.” However, the choice is still up to you! Before you make a concrete decision, consider what best fits who you are as an organization and you will be good to go!
Once you’ve chosen your domain name for your organization, you can leave the website strategy up to our squad at PMF Creative. We’ll take the domain you have and help you reach people online with an optimized and strategic website. Reach out to us today to get started!
The church is at a decline in this post-pandemic era. How can you overcome this emergency in your church?
Community is greater than competition every single time. How can you emphasize community in your church?