If you’ve got a website or are planning to build a website, you’re going to need a domain name. And not just any domain name. You’re going to want the perfect one for your business. With .com and .uk domains being hugely popular, you might find that the one you've got in mind has already been snapped up. But don’t worry, many (and we mean many) other gTLD domain name extensions have been released, giving loads of alternatives to choose from.

Loads of new extensions are now available that are ideal for startups, smaller businesses and even seasoned industry professionals. Whether you own an ecommerce website, are looking to take your physical store virtual or have a store section on your site, there are plenty that are ideal for you, like a .shop domain!

gTLD stands for generic top-level domain name and refers to more general domain extensions that are focused on a theme like .com (short for commercial) or .org (short for organisation).

What is a .shop domain?

.shop is a domain extension that you can choose when you register a domain name and it goes at the end, just like .com does. It’s a great way to give your business a unique identity in an online world that has become jam-packed with other businesses trying to get noticed.

The .shop domain extension was launched in 2016 as a short and snappy extension that makes it easier for businesses to brand themselves. Since its launch, it’s become so popular that in July 2021 it hit 1 million active domain registrations. In fact, it’s even being used by big brands like Netflix as a unique address for the ‘shop’ section of their sites.

Did you know… there are over 1,500 domain extensions available to register?

What are the benefits of a .shop domain name?

There’s no doubt that ecommerce is one of the fastest growing industries out there. And whether you’ve jumped on the bandwagon already or are planning on getting involved, you should definitely register a .shop domain. Why? It has loads of benefits to offer!

A .shop domain is memorable

One of the fundamental rules of business is being memorable. If you’re forgettable then it’s going to be harder to grow your customer base. Being only 4 characters long, a .shop domain name is short and sweet and super easy to remember. And, being a globally understood word, even international visitors will remember your name. Extensions like .com and .co.uk are popular options and there’s no saying you shouldn’t register one of those, too. But, with a .shop domain you’ll be instantly recognisable across the globe.

Users know what to expect from a .shop domain

Don’t you love it when you know precisely what to expect from something? When you click on a link, you want to know where it’s taking you and, let’s be honest, you’re more likely to trust it if the destination is obvious. Well, your potential visitors feel exactly the same, and with a .shop domain they’ll know exactly what to expect when they land on your website. It’s straight to the point, telling everyone you have a store and building trust with them before they even see your site.

A .shop domain is good for SEO

Having a specific domain extension will help boost the rankings of your site because of two things – UX (user experience) and SEO (search engine optimisation). UX and domain names are more connected than you think, as users will see the .shop domain and know exactly what they're clicking on. Which is helpful when attracting new customers.

URL structure is also a major part of SEO, which means choosing the right TLD is important (here’s our breakdown of ‘what is a domain name’ if you need a refresher) and this is where a .shop domain name comes into play. As the .shop TLD can double as a keyword itself, and the gTLDs .com and .co.uk can't, the .shop domain has the upper hand. With a .shop domain in tow, the focus keyword of your site is boosted. This means it's more likely that backlinks will have relevant anchor text that aligns with your focus keyword.

Over time, this can help increase your rankings. Pretty great if you ask us.

Separate your ecommerce site with .shop

You don’t have to register a .shop domain as the primary domain name for your site. You can also use it as a great marketing tool both online and offline. Imagine you’re running an ad and you’re trying to promote your brand new online store. Instead of using a domain like ‘mybusiness.com’, you could use ‘mybusiness.shop’ and link it to your ecommerce site. Or, if you have a ‘shop’ page separate from the rest of your website you could forward users straight to it without using a long URL like ‘mybusiness.com/our-shop’ – it’s the best domain extension for ecommerce!

A .shop domain is affordable

When it comes to purchasing a gTLD, opting for something other than .com or .co.uk can work out a lot cheaper. For example, a .shop domain is an inexpensive alternative and you get the bonus of it boosting your SEO practices and rankings. It’s a win-win. You’re also more likely to be able to purchase the full domain name of your choice if you opt for .shop rather than a popular gTLD, so this is definitely something to consider when registering a domain.

Use a .shop domain for marketplaces

Nowadays you don’t necessarily need your own website to have an online store. With powerful platforms like Etsy, Amazon and eBay, you can sell to a huge global audience. And having an online store on a third-party marketplace doesn’t mean you can’t make use of your own domain. Actually, loads of businesses are linking to their Etsy shop with their own domain name. All you have to do is register your .shop, redirect your domain to your Etsy shop (or other platform), and you’ll be able to send traffic to your store and look smart while you do it.

Optimising your domain for voice search may not have crossed your mind, but it can be hugely beneficial. Helping your website to rank via voice search means including keywords within your URL. For example, if someone voice searches for a certain type of shop within your niche, then your site could be more likely to appear if it has a .shop domain.

How to register multiple domain names

We’ve hinted a few times at registering multiple domains for your site and it’s with good reason. When it comes to registering a domain, you don’t need to stress over picking just one. The truth is you can register as many domain names as you like and we’d actually recommend snapping up more than one.

The bottom line is, .com and .co.uk domains are the most popular for a reason – they’re what people search for. When you look up a company online, you probably type ‘companyname.com’ or ‘companyname.co.uk’ into the search bar and pretty much everyone else using the internet does the same. That’s why if you can get a .com or .co.uk domain you should (think about all the potential website visitors you might lose if you don’t).

But (and it’s a big but), you can be flexible with it. When you register multiple domain names, you can pick your primary one (the one you use for your site) and forward the rest to that address. So if you did want to register a .shop domain and use that for your site, you could also register a .com and a .uk domain and forward them both to your .shop one.

Is .shop only suitable for online stores?

We’ve talked about ecommerce a few times but don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to own an online store to make use of a .shop domain name. You might own a physical store and still have a website that gives visitors information about your business and where to find you. If you do, why not register a .shop domain for your site and get all the benefits. And, if you do decide to expand and build an online store, you’ll already have your domain name sorted.

Ready to register your .shop domain name?

Buy your .shop domain today. Or, if you don't fancy a .shop, why not consider a .store domain?

Don’t have a website yet? Our Ecommerce Website Builder makes it super simple to get your retail business online with an intuitive editor that means you don’t need any dev skills to create your online store – you can have a website in just a few clicks.

If you need any help deciding which products are right for you, or you have questions about your existing Fasthosts products, our sales and support teams are always here to lend a hand.

Want more info and top tips about domains and more? Check out the rest of our blog where we have tons of articles about everything from dedicated servers and infrastructure to email hosting and WordPress hosting!