When creating a website, one of the most important things to consider is purchasing a domain name. That is the web name you settle with and the web address people will use to visit your site. It ends with an identification string such as .com or .org. Ideally, it would be some variation of your church body’s name, possibly including the name of the city you are based in ( ex. fbcsmithfield.org). In order to acquire a domain, you need to purchase it, and no one else can own it already. Think of it like internet real estate.
Randy Hood asked the Facebook group if it’s necessary to buy up a lot of domain strings such as .com and .org in order to protect your church’s brand.
Here are some of the responses he got:
“Outside of .com, .org and .church I wouldn’t really bother. It’s just for brand protection, so it depends on how much you care about that. No one is going in and typing those other URL’s to visit your site.” – Casey Fulgenzi
“It’s a brand protection thing. Husband is a programmer and says that it’s to prevent someone from taking (your church’s name)… and hijacking the site for other purposes. But depending on the size of your church, you really only need .com, .org, & .church.” – Sally Andrew
“It is like an insurance policy. There are much more frequent reports within the church world of identity theft/brand theft and of people posing on behalf of church leaders and churches. By owning multiple domains, you reduce the risk of this problem.” – Amie Baker
“We buy the ones we could see ourselves using in the future, .org .church, (.com was already taken) and a few others with names of our ministries.” – Brian Gingles
“As others have rightly pointed out, it’s brand protection. If you don’t own it, someone else can.” – Craig Carlen
“As long as you have .com, .org, and .church you’re probably fine. Maybe add in .tv and .app too.” – Mackenly Jones
“I’ve been in the domain business for a very long time. I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘standard’ practice for a church. However, depending on what type of domain name you currently own, it may or may not make sense to acquire additional strings based on the strength of the existing domain. .Church is becoming a lot more popular now. Times are changing where you have more flexibility to be creative.” – Ryan Colby
In conclusion, it’s smart to own at least a few domain strings for your church’s website. This is primarily to protect your brand by ensuring that no one else can build a website using the name of your organization. If budget is a problem, at least try to own .com,.org, and .church.