I frequency get asked by website owners which domain extension they should use, so I thought it was worth an article on the subject. There is no question that dot-com is the most common domain extension, however, should Canadian companies use the dot-ca extension?
A dot-com stands for United States commercial whereas the dot-ca is the country level extension for any Canadian identity. Where the dot-com was the first extension available and can be registered by anyone anywhere in the world, the requirements of a Canadian “identity” is required before registration of dot-ca. The identity can be a citizen, corporation, institution, etc. as long as it’s Canadian. A study was done in 2001 found 70% of Canadians prefer to do their online shopping on dot-ca websites than on dot-com. In a more recent 2007 study, found 100% of Canadians preferred dot-ca, followed by dot-com (94%), dot-net (29%), dot-org (29%),and then by dot-info at 24%. Preference to the Canadian extension was given because it increased trustworthiness.
One may conclude that other country level extensions have the same preference among its citizens, however in the same study American’s preferred the dot-com over the dot-us. Ideally if one is selling to both Canada and the US, you would want to have both dot-ca and dot-com domain extensions. Use the dot-com to promote in the US and the dot-ca to Canadians. Visit 9th sphere to purchase your Canadian domain name.