UPDATE: This post was first published to GoDaddy's U.S. blog on 18 May 2021 and republished to the Canada blog on 15 July 2021.
For those we call Makers of the Web (designers, web developers, etc.) success can happen quickly. One day you've got a decent side hustle, and the next you're setting up a business. That means creating a brand — and looking at the best TLDs (top-level domains) for web designers and developers.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of TLDs out there and the number keeps growing as new ones get released.
Today, it's not as challenging to create a short and memorable web address.
Even established businesses should periodically check on available TLDs and register the most relevant ones to protect their brands. After all, there's no sense in putting hard work into a brand if you're just going to leave it vulnerable to imposters.
Editor's note: Need a little help coming up with a domain name for your website? Try this free name generator.
The best TLDs for web designers & developers
Newer TLDs offer a distinct advantage because there's usually a better chance of finding the exact domain name you have in mind. You can also stop copycats in their tracks by registering domains similar to your own that use a different TLD and forwarding them to your primary web address.
With all that in mind, let's look at the best TLDs for web designers and developers.
This one tops the list because it's niche, but not so much that it's only suitable for very specific use cases. Radix, the registry behind .tech, is very supportive of designer-developer education — they've partnered with GoDaddy to create opportunities for disadvantaged students seeking to launch a career in web design or development.
When the .pro TLD launched, you had to prove you held some type of professional certification before completing your registration. Today, those requirements have loosened and anyone can register .pro — but it still makes a powerful statement about your capability.
This TLD might be limited to Makers in the design sphere, but it still has the potential to anchor a powerful brand. With .design, you're calling out the process by which you create something, evoking a kind of Apple-esque vibe. Not a bad way to stand out from the competition.
If storyboards and comps are your thing, the .agency domain does a great job advertising the type of experience you provide. For many potential clients, this is a must-have. The agency model is very client-centric, compared with the quicker development cycle favored by many solopreneurs.
The .build TLD was originally intended for the construction industry, but it's relevance for Makers is undeniable. This is especially true now, as technology like GoDaddy's WordPress Hosting makes it easier than ever to quickly build gorgeous websites with robust functionality.
This is one of the best TLDs for web designers and developers because it identifies you as a Maker without being too specific. That lets folks like marketers and SEO experts benefit from this TLD, which positions them as an expert in the digital space.
The .online TLD is likely intended to help brick-and-mortar businesses distinguish their online presence, but it could also be a great fit for Makers, as well. From a client's perspective, the .online TLD describes their goal, making it a kind of call to action directed at someone trying to get online.
Register the .solutions TLD to establish yourself as the no-nonsense professional who gets stuff done. It's a word that anyone will recognize and most people will understand the context: clients come to you with problems (like an ugly website) and you deliver solutions.
This TLD could also be used to differentiate online and brick-and-mortar presences, but it's also one of the best TLDs for web designers and developers. There's nothing like having your product or service in a business name — which makes .website a great pick for Makers.
What's the big deal with TLDs for web designers & developers?
A lot, actually. The longer a TLD is on the market, the more it gets registered. That means less availability when you're looking for something short and catchy. Take the venerable .com domain for example: One of the original domains released way back in 1984, today there are more than 100 million .com domains registered, with an average length of 12 characters.
Know another word that's 12 letters? Abbreviating. And that's a great strategy for creating your domain name.
This list of the best TLDs for web designers and developers includes not only the most relevant ones, but also some of the newest. That should give you a nice head start picking out something that potential clients will respond to (and remember).