In a world wide web that’s coming to terms with the overpopulation of .com, .net and .co.uk domain extensions, it’s becoming popular practice to look slightly further afield for alternatives that can give webmasters a short and snappy URL that won’t break the bank.
Step forward .me. This extension is one of the more popular of a new batch of alternative Top Level Domains that users are looking to as a means of getting the web presence that’s right for them.
.me is the TLD for the relatively new nation of Montenegro, of the Balkan Peninsula, and while its initial intended use since .me’s inception in 2006 was to provide a space for websites associated with this particular European nation, wider uses that fit with the semantic meaning of the extension have caused the domain name to experience a boost in popularity.
While it might not look like the most seamless fit for the nation of Montenegro, .me was chosen because the more appropriate names of .mo, .mn, .mt and .mg were already in use.
There are almost 900,000 .me websites active on the world wide web today, which is about 200,000 more than the population of Montenegro itself, with the bolstered number of users opting for the TLD often taking the form of start-up owners, job seekers, graduates and freelancers.
.me has overtaken the country-code TLDs of Mexico, Iran and Greece in popularity, as well as the multi-purpose .tv and .shop. It’s fair to say that this extension is here to stay – so let’s look deeper at how this domain extension has amassed such high volume of websites.
Why use .me?
There’s a pretty clear and simple usage of a .me domain. It’s personable.
There’s no better way than to market your website as something that’s a reflection of your individual thoughts and works than through an online address that uses a .me TLD.
This makes online portfolios and personal websites ideal for a .me domain. You’re telling the world that your content is personally valuable, subjective, or belonging solely to yourself.
While .me was initially offered as a country-code TLD to Montenegro, the country’s government decided that its potential widespread appeal would make it more useful as a generic TLD – this means that users won’t have to worry about having their pages only appear in searches conducted locally.
The individualistic aspect of the .me domain name has made it very popular with social media websites. Whether the name makes for an excellent social media start-up TLD or just works as an effective domain-hack for embedding shorter links, .me’s multifaceted potential is clear.
On the topic of domain-hacks, .me’s a great extension to have for forming words – for example, Time magazine already utilise www.ti.me for the purpose of shorter links, and significantly shorter URLs can be made like www.gno.me or www.mi.me – there’s plenty of choice.
Domain.me, the official registry site of the TLD is also keen to recognise its ability to double up as a call-to-action. Phrases like www.join.me and secure.me can be used to seemingly invite visitors to take actions on your website, and can easily be customised to match your business’ purpose.
.me is also a shorter and less clunky general TLD than many more established choices on the market. It’s shorter than .com, much shorter than .co.uk, and more punchy than .shop or .space.
All of these uses make .me an increasingly common TLD for startups. New business owners are aware that they can make a good, short name for themselves online, developing a much more recognisable brand and with a trustworthy extension.
While the 900,000 users of .me domains tell us a lot about its popularity, the TLD is still significantly less congested than the traditional .com extension – which has over 135 million websites online today. This means that there’s a much higher chance of you finding the name you would like to operate under online through the .me TLD.
Where to buy .me domains
If you’re considering dipping your toes into the sea of potential .me names that can suit your business online, then the good news is that the TLD is a relatively cheap one to set up.
Finding .me domains is easy too, with many big-name registrar websites offering appetising deals for new users hoping to find a bargain with their extension.
1&1 promise an unbeatable price for their .me domains and their rate of £1.99 for the first year followed by a £14.99 renewal cost will certainly take some topping.
Both GoDaddy and 123-Reg offer registration of .me domains at a price starting at £2.99 (+ 20% VAT in the case of the latter) for the first year of usage, with varying renewal fees.
Namecheap lists their .me domains at a competitive $3.88 per year with the renewal price weighing in at $20.98. However, the added bonus to buying the TLD with this company is that WhoisGuard’s security package is rolled into the mix absolutely free.