Should You Choose .Com, .In Or .Co.In (Differences,Pros,Cons)?
You are going to launch a new website and you live in India but you are not sure if you should buy a .com, .in, or .co.in domain. Your choice really depends on your audience and your long terms goals.
So, should you choose a .com, .in or .co.in domain? If your audience is global or you are planning an international expansion you should go with a .com domain. If your audience is local then you should go for a .in domain and not .co.in. The .in domain is a more valuable extension than .co.in and the standard number 1 choice for new (local) businesses in India.
Keep reading to find out why .in is better than a .co.in domain. I will also explain why .com is the king of the domain extensions if you are going globally.
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.In Vs .Com
|Are your targeting global customers and not only India?||Yes||Not Mandatory||Yes if you can|
|Are you a small store with clients from a local area in India?||Not Mandatory||Yes||Yes if you can|
|Will you ship products outside India too?||Yes||Not Mandatory||Yes if you can|
|Is the site written in Hindi or other Indian languages?||No||Yes||No|
|Is the .com keyword domain you want too expensive for your budget and you don’t find a good alternative?||No||Yes||No|
|Are you willing to spend enough money on your domain because you believe it is important?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Do you want to create a clever domain hack such as areyou.in?||Not Mandatory||Yes||Not Mandatory|
I was checking multiple Indian websites to find out what they chose as their domain names. I noticed that the majority of them are using a .com website. Of course, I checked mostly the ones that their content is written in English.
.com is the king of domain extensions and of course, people will always trust it. .in domain is trusty too but it limits a company within India. Rarely someone outside of India will visit a .in website. If he sees it on google results probably will skip it because he will think that the content of the website is relevant to Indian people only.
So, I am biased towards a .com domain but there are some disadvantages. Over 196 million .com domains (source:domainnamestat.com) are already registered from users all over the world. This fact alone means that there are fewer options available for new domain owners. It is time-consuming to actually find a decent .com available for registration. Domains that contain good keywords are really expensive in .com.
Saying that, If you decide to purchase a good .com domain probably its value will increase over the years. You will have also the option to resell it for a decent price if things go wrong with your business. You can do the same with a good .in domain but the resale value will be much lower.
For example, the biggest known sale for a .in domain (poker.in source:namebio.com) is around 60,000 USD. In contrast, there are at least 100 sales for .com domains more than 1 million dollars! Some examples are voice.com for 30 million dollars (source:namebio.com), fund.com for a bit less than 10 million dollars and healthinsurance.com for 8,133 million dollars!
On the other hand, there are around 2 million registered .in domains only! It is much easier to find a good .in domain. Even premium .in domains are way cheaper than .com equivalent. So, if you are running a local store such as a coffee shop or a restaurant why bother spending a lot of money on a .com domain? You would do great things with a .in domain since your customers come from India (offline and online).
Many people want to create clever hacks with their domain name because they think that works well with brand marketing efforts. Personally I am not a huge fan of this practice but .in works great for clever hacks. Since “in” is an English preposition, it can work well if you use some everyday phrases. Think some phrases such as “are you in?” it turns to “areyou.in”.
Many English words end with -in so you can create clever domains that way too. prote.in is an agency with offices around the world (not in India!) that makes surveys around various topics and creates useful reports for companies.
Let’s see now some real examples of .com and .in websites that are based in India:
Company Name: Reliance Industries Limited Domain: ril.com Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/reliance/. This is a big corporation with over 50000 employees and they are active in different industries such as energy and manufacturing. They own also ril.in but they are not using it for anything. A different company owns ril.co.in.
Company Name: Cyient Limited Domain:cyient.com Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/cyient/. Cyient is an international global engineering and technology solutions business. It has more than 10000 employees and offices around the world. It is not a surprise that it uses a .com domain for its main website. It owns cyient.in but cyient.co.in is still available!
Company Name: CodeChef Domain: codechef.com Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/codechef/. Codechef is a platform that helps programmers to improve their skills and they also run the related contests. It owns both codechef.in and codechef.co.in but the domains are not in use.
Company Name: Kala Ghoda Café Domain: kgcafe.in. This company is a small café, bakery, wine bar & occasional gallery in Mumbai. They don’t own kgcafe.com (some domain investor has it) or kgcafe.co.in (it is available for registration). It makes sense for them to use a local domain since their clients are only Indians.
Company Name: Canine Products Domain: canineproducts.in FB Page: facebook.com/Canineproducts. This company is a pet store that is based in Mumbai. Another company in the USA owns the canineproducts.com , that’s why I say earlier that when you try to register a .com domain you compete against the whole world. canineproducts.co.in is available for registration.
Another conclusion that someone can make after checking multiple websites from India-based companies or individuals is that tech-savvy companies tend to choose a .com domain over .in. This conclusion makes sense since the main language of the web is English. People or businesses that are heavily related to technology, they tend to know well the English language and that affects their decisions.
So, if you are running a business related to software, e-learning or IT try to exhaust every possibility to get a .com before you search for alternatives.
.In Vs .Co.In
If you decide to go for an Indian domain, my advice is to choose .in over .co.in. The main country-code domain for India is .in. In technical terms, we can say that .in is a country-code top-level domain and .co.in is a second-level domain. In simple words, .co.in is just a subcategory of .in and this is their biggest difference. There are other second-level domains in India such as .org.in,.net.in,.firm.in, or gen.in.
Although .co.in stands for company or corporation, .in is by far the number 1 choice even for companies. It used to be that .co.in was the domain that companies were choosing. That’s why you see those big corporations with decades in the Indian market might use .co.in. The biggest example is google.co.in. They also own google.in that redirects to google.co.in.
In contrast, Amazon uses amazon.in and not amazon.co.in although it owns that version too.
It seems that before 2005 .in domains were not available for anyone.
The new era for .IN began with a Sunrise Period. Owners of registered Indian trademarks or service marks who wished to protect their marks were given the opportunity to apply for .IN domain names before the general public. Sunrise applications were taken from January 1 to January 21, 2005. The date for the opening of real-time, open registration for the general public was February 16, 2005.https://www.registry.in/about-in
In general, the rule for a good domain is the shorter the better. So, this is another advantage for a .in domain. I also checked the value of both domains in the market. It seems from the public sales that .in domains worth more than .co.in domains. The biggest known sale for a .in domain was 60,000 USD for poker.in (source:namebio.com).
The most money spent on a co.in domain was 20,000 USD. 3 domains were sold in that price: tire.co.in, tyre.co.in and diapers.co.in. In contrast, there are 10 sales for .in domains over 20,000 USD!
Here is a most detailed list from namebio for .in domain name sales.
Here is a list from namebio for .co.in domain name sales
I hope that the post helped you to decide what domain extension you will choose. If you really like what you read, please share it on social media!