Namibian Domains – The Importance of Country-Specific Domain Names

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Why are Namibian domains important? In this article we will explain the benefits of localized website names. They really matter.

Sometimes it seems like it’s a dot-com world and all websites have just the familiar .com extension in their URL. People even talk about “dot-coms” as in the “dot-com crash” a few years ago when the “dot-com bubble” burst, or how someone made their money with “dot-coms.” We’re also familiar with the .gov extension that indicates a governmental website, or .org which is usually a non-profit organization.

Basically, the whole idea of website suffixes were to give people a clue as to the nature of the website: commercial, governmental, academic, non-profit, educational and so on. However, there are a few major flaws with this naming system.

First, as the World Wide Web has dramatically grown over the years, it’s become more and more difficult to find appropriate names for websites as most of the “good” .com, .org and .gov domain names are already taken. Often it’s next to impossible to come up with a website name that is descriptive enough for people to find and remember a site.

Second, to make matters worse, since domain name registration is cheap, unscrupulous speculators have been buying up huge numbers of website names as commodities. They then sell them to the highest bidder, often making it impossible for a small business to get its own name. Early on in the history of the Web, some major companies had to fight for the right to their own domain names!

Third, the major website suffixes don’t tell anything about location. This may not be a big deal for a giant multinational conglomerate, but it can be very important to a small local business. It just makes no sense for a business in Namibia, Mauritius, Kiribati or Timor-Leste to use the same global .com suffix like Toyota or General Motors. Domain names should provide searchers an idea of not only the nature of the website, but also where it is located.

This is why in addition to the roughly 20 generic top-level domains, there are two-letter country code domains. Those global two-letter country-specific address allocations are overseen by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). To make things a bit more complicated, IANA itself is administered by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers, a California non-profit corporation that works under contract with the United States Department of Commerce.

So what this means is that domains can be localized so that searchers know not only what kind of entity they are looking at, but also where it is located. Namibian domains, for example, have the two-letter .na country suffix after their top-level domain. If a website ends in .com.na you know it is a commercial entity located in Namibia. Likewise, .gov.na points towards a governmental website in Namibia.

So now you know why it makes sense to localize your domain. Not only is it more likely that a good .com or .org name is still available with a country-specific suffix, but people know where you are and where they can find you! So make sure your Namibian website uses a Namibian domain.

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