Country specific or generic domain?



When choosing the appropriate domain name for a web project, you have the choice of a variety of possibilities. But which is best for your own project? Should you choose country-specific or generic domains? In the following article, we would like to introduce you to the differences so that you can opt for the best solution.

When it comes to the question of country-specific or generic domain, refer to the so-called top-level domain (TLD). The most common ending is the COM domain. This is a generic TLD (gTLD), a generic domain. The abbreviation COM stands for commercial. It was initially intended only for companies on the Internet, but was used over time for commercial offers of all kinds and has therefore quickly become the most popular and well-known domain type. Currently, there are over 125 million registered COM domains. The domain can be ordered by anyone and used for any purpose. Other known generic domain transfers are, for example, the NET domain, the ORG domain or the INFO domain.

Since each domain name is unique and can only be assigned once, it is always harder to find a good name among the classic generic domains. To counteract this, new generic domains have been introduced since the beginning of 2014 under the name of New Top Level Domains (New gTLDs). These include domains such as the BLOG domain, the SHOP domain or the WEB domain.

In addition to the generic domains, there are also country-specific domains. This so-called country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is mainly used for web projects that are targeted to the group in a specific country or language. In the course of the introduction of the new top-level domains (New gTLDs) since the beginning of 2014 not only new generic domains were introduced, but also domains with geographic allocation. The so-called geo-top-level domains (geoTLDs) allow an even more precise regional or local allocation of a web presence than is the case with a country-specific domain.

Advantages of country-specific domains

The biggest advantage of country-specific domain extensions is that the website can be targeted specifically to a specific country. Especially when it comes to cases where a language is spoken in different countries, country-specific domains enable the exact addressing of a specific target group.

Another advantage is the increased trust that Web site visitors have with a domain-specific domain. Especially when it comes to on-line shopping, where sensitive data such as address or payment information must be communicated, the confidence in a clearly local provider is higher than it is in a possibly internationally active provider.

In addition to the visitor's trust, domains with a country-specific orientation also receive a bonus in the search engines of the respective country. One speaks also of advantages in the area Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Disadvantages of country-specific domain transfers

But country-specific domain transfers offer not only advantages, but also a few disadvantages. Thus the strong geographical or linguistic allocation to a particular country is not recommended for every business concept. For example, if you want to make your offer available to an international audience, a generic domain would be more meaningful.

Also with the selection of the appropriate name one is with the country-specific domain somewhat more limited. Since only one country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is possible for a particular country, the desired name may already have been assigned. This must be purchased at a price or you have to consider a different name.

A further limitation for country-specific domain transfers is the partial strict allocation guidelines. For example, a domain can only be registered if the customer has a postal address in Germany to which he has constant access. Such limitations are found in a variety of country-specific domains.

Advantages of generic domain

Generic domains are the most popular worldwide because they offer numerous advantages. The large number of extensions from the pool of generic top-level domains (gTLD) and new top-level domains (New gTLDs) makes a large number of possible domain names available. Even if the desired name under the COM domain is already given, the numerous other domain transfers are quite a good alternative. Furthermore, a generic domain is not tied to certain countries or languages and can offer its own services and products to prospective customers in the World. For this reason, internationally active companies are often opting for a generic domain.

Also, the allocation guidelines for generic domain endings are less strict. Anyone, no matter from which country he comes, can register a domain with a generic ending and use it for his own web project.

Disadvantages of generic domains

In contrast to web projects with country-specific domains, you do not get a bonus in the local search engines, and you may not be able to rely on the basic trust that prospective buyers would offer to a local provider with a country-specific domain.


In summary, it can be said that different criteria should be taken into account when deciding between a country-specific or generic domain. First and foremost, it is individually tailored to your own web project. The advantages of country-specific or generic domain transfers can be exploited and their disadvantages avoided by taking into account the business concept and the target group in detail. If you have chosen the right extension, you can make a domain check to see if the name you want is still freely available.

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