What’s in a name? Just about everything when it comes to picking a domain name for your campaign website. One of the first decisions that your organization must make is what domain name they want to use. Mess up this step, and it could throw your entire campaign into a tailspin.

Anyone can register a top-level .com or a .org domain name. While the .com extension is the most familiar to most people, .org is often used for non-profit organizations, including political organizations. (Dot net is another domain extension that is popular, but it’s not used very often and is just not that popular overall.)

Sites with .com and .org extensions tend to carry more built-in reputation and natural “authority” with users. For SEO or potential ranking purposes, it doesn’t really matter which extension you choose.

If your campaign organization wants to register a .org name and use that as your primary domain name, then make sure the you also own the .com extension. A large percentage of visitors will type in the .com extension automatically. If you only own the .org extension and NOT the .com, visitors could end up going to someone else’s website rather than yours.

What happens if you control both extensions is that you can alias or redirect one domain to another. For example, if someone types in yourwebsite.com, they will automatically be directed to yourwebsite.org site. That way you won’t lose visitors who type in the ‘wrong’ domain extension.

If the .com domain name has already been taken, and you really want it, it might be worth the effort to try purchasing of the name. This can get expensive, though. For campaigns on a tight budget, you might want to just come up with an entirely new domain name to avoid this problem.

One final piece of advice – make sure you register your political campaign domain name BEFORE any print material or advertising is put in place. It can be very embarrassing to send people to a website that does not exist or one you do not actually control!

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