Your website says a lot about you, and having the right web address can be a real asset in showing your organisation’s professionalism and integrity.
With the development and expansion of the internet and its use,
registering the web address that you want can be difficult. For the
third sector, the .org or .org.uk extension has become a proud
symbol of not for profit groups, and these domain names are
considered by many internet users to be the most trusted and
credible. However, buying a traditional .com, .org, .co.uk, or
org.uk domain name extension that works for you is becoming
increasingly hard as many of the best names are already being
There are now over 600 new types of domain name extension
however, and choosing one of these as well as or instead of your
traditional address might help bolster the reputation of your
organisation. Last year saw the introduction of .ngo and .ong which
are exclusively for recognised non-profit organisations.
Benefits of .ngo and .ong
To own a .ngo or .ong extension, organisations must go through a
validation process to prove they act in the public interest, are
not-for-profit, are 'independent of direct government or political
control' and have independent staff or members. Once the public
becomes more aware of this validation, owning a .ngo extension will
help internet users know that your organisation is truly
Whilst .org.uk domain names areintendedfor not-for-profit
entities, they can be bought by anyone without any validation and
therefore could potentially be misused.
Benefits of .wales and .cymru
The new .wales and .cymru top-level country domains are designed
to show an organisation's Welsh identity. Many Welsh organisations
have now taken this up, such as the Welsh Government at gov.wales
and the new WCVA Learning Zone at www.learningzone.wales.
There is the added benefit for bilingual sites that can use
.wales for the English language pages and .cymru for the Welsh
There are even more interesting and specific extensions to
choose from that can really highlight your organisation's activity
- names like .foundation, .green, .education, .care and .club to
name a few. Your organisation name might not tell people what work
you do so these extensions can help your audience quickly
understand your organisation's purpose.
Sometimes choice itself can be the problem. Josh Hoole, Digital
Consultant at The Digital Development Company (digitaldevelopmentcompany.co.uk):
'It helps if organisations concentrate on growing the
audience for their online presence as part of their overall
marketing strategy before worrying too much about extensions now.
However, if you're an international group then .ngo could really
help boost your identity and if you're pan-Wales organisation then
using .wales and .cymru is perfect for your bilingual site and to
show you're proud to be part of Wales. Smaller, local groups have
the luxury of getting creative with choosing a relevant extension
to show your focus - visit somewhere like 123-reg.co.uk and have a