A common question from business owners in Canada registering domain names is “should I register both the .com and the .ca for my business?”
Let’s dig a bit deeper so you can understand what is best for your situation. The “.ca” domain is the domain country code extension for Canada. The “.com” is a “commercial” domain name extension that has become the defacto global domain used around the world and is definitely “king” of all extensions. Most countries in the world have their own country domain; for example United Kingdom has “co.uk” and China has “.cn” and India has “.in” etc. In some countries it is more common for businesses to use the country code extension rather than the .com. In Canada it is a combination – you will commonly see both in use. And in many cases, Canadian business owners register both for their business (if available).
That is what I would recommend to you – register both if you can.
There are many reasons you should try to “own” both the .ca and .com:
- Control Your Branding – by owning the local .ca and the global .com you control your brand and prevent someone from edging into your “turf” by owning one of the others.
- Control Your Traffic – by owning both, you prevent “leaking” customers to the other site you don’t own. For example, if your business website is at “MyBizInCanada.com” you wouldn’t want your customers to forget that you were on the .com and accidentally go to the .ca site. If they accidentally typed in the .ca (MyBizInCanada.ca) and that site was owned by a competitor, you could potentially lose business.
- Control Your Options – by owning both, you give yourself options. You can use one as your main site and redirect the other. Or if your business grows, you can make the .com a “global” business site and the .ca specifically targeting the Canadian market.
If possible, it’s best to try and get both the .com and the .ca for your Canadian business – it’s not a “must” but it is a good idea. Also, if someone already owns either the .com or the .ca, you could try buying it directly from them. Contact the domain owner directly and ask if its for sale, or look at some of the domain marketplaces like SEDO or AFTERNIC, because it may already be listed for sale!
To recap, it is a good idea to register/own both the .ca and .com for your business in Canada. It’s not a “must”, as you can build on either one of them, but generally a good idea to own both to help your business grow in the future.