What is a domain suffix?

Internet domain suffixes, also known as domain extensions,  are what help identify domain names on the Internet. There are now more than 1,000 domain suffixes for internet addresses, covering everything from .abb to .zw.

You can check out a list of the most commonly used domain suffixes or TLD (top-level domains) and their associated locations here.

How do domain suffixes work?

When choosing the perfect website name, one important aspect is deciding what type of domain suffix will accompany it. You want to use something memorable and branded so that customers have an easy time remembering it and associating it with your brand. If you use a vague domain suffix that people don’t commonly see, they probably won’t remember your website address later on.

The most commonly used website extension is .com, followed by .net and .org. There’s also a wide range of generic suffixes such as .pizza, or location-based suffixes such as .no for Norway.

NOTE: All but the .edu, .gov, and .mil domain suffixes can be registered and used by anyone, meaning not all websites match the definition of the domain suffixes they use.

Why are domain suffixes important?

So, does a domain suffix really matters for a website? The short answer, is yes, the type of suffix use makes a significant impact on the performance of your site.

It’s equally as important to choose the right domain suffix as it is choosing your domain name. Since people are conditioned to see the .com suffix as a default website domain extension, they naturally assume that every website is going to end in .com. Interbrand.com conducted a survey in 2014 about address suffixes and found that 94% of those surveyed remembered the .com names of companies over other suffixes.

If your site ends in a different suffix, it may be difficult for your customers to find your site later on. Selecting a .com suffix is going to be the best move if the domain is available.

How do domain suffixes affect email deliverability?

Having a domain suffix other than .com should not affect your email deliverability in any meaningful, or statistical manner.

Some companies may currently analyze the breakdown of TLDs of their email list, or even use it as a quality control check before sending out an email blast. It will probably take some time before these new domains are popular enough to throw off any reports.

Being a fairly new concept, gTLD (generic TLD’s), may cause some change in your email validation process.

Depending on the depth of your current email validation setup, the impact will vary. If you are simply using a regex script, or a hard-coded set of acceptable TLDs, you might run into some issues when people using their new .email email address try to register on your site.

If you are using an email validation vendor, you should check in with them to see how they plan on handling the continuous influx of new TLDs.

If you aren’t using an email validation vendor currently, maybe now is the time to start. While you could monitor IANA’s list, it will become a maintenance hassle with the continuously changing list of new TLDs.

What does the MailGenius email test tool cover with regards to domain suffixes?

trustworthy_suffix – Tiered Domain Suffixes by Trustworthiness

Additional Resources

  1. Why Do Domain Suffixes Matter for Your Website URL- Website Planet
  2. New domain extensions and the impact on email marketing- TotalSend