Hosting · Domain names

Are there issues with using a small international country's top level domain?

Paul Hedrick

January 13th, 2015

I am launching an ecommerce brand/storefront later this spring and am trying to nail down the primary domain, but the most popular ones for my brand name (.COM and .CO) are taken.

I am considering using a .AS TLD (I've already purchased/registered one), but I wanted to see if anyone has had issues in the past with using such a rare TLD -- especiallyif they are related to ecommerce and the hosting issues that go along with having a storefront.

FYI, the .AS top level domain belongs to American Samoa, and it doesn't have any restrictions on the domain users being domiciled in American Samoa (business or residence).


Will Koffel Co-Founder at Outlearn

January 13th, 2015

I've run businesses with a ".it" domain (Italy), and a ".dm" domain (the small island nation of Dominica), and never had any troubles.  I've also never had any VC investors in those businesses question it.

For dominica, the domain registrar was literally a woman in her basement.  I'm quite certain it's not her full-time job.  She called us once to tell us that someone else was trying to register domains that were variations on ours, and just wanted to check with us first, in case they were doing something sketchy (they were....).  And when we asked to register "", she told us that she didn't think that was appropriate, and wouldn't register it.  It was the most personal domain registration experience I've ever had!

I would pick places not necessarily based on their size, but also on political stability, incentives to keep domains alive (financial and otherwise), and how many other people are using them (power in numbers).

But overall, I don't hesitate to use country TLDs, it's worked fine for me.

Trevor Collins Crowdfunding Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of 100 Danish

January 14th, 2015

Hi Paul,

I'd also have to second the notion that having a domain with .as will probably not be as powerful as a .com. is a great play on words, but really it's just that. It's like a landing page with a headline that is super clever but just doesn't convert as well because the message is not crystal clear. If the platform had massive widespread adoption, I'd reevaluate that line of thinking.

I've personally bought domains with .is (Icelandic domain) and .io, but those were for a different audience and purpose. .io was considered because of the tech connatations it carries (.as won't have an attached connotation)

For an ecommerce site, it might be worth considering what Pocket and Harvest did - find a prefix like and Especially for the ecommerce space. You want something that prospective users will remember and find without confusion as you start evangelizing the platform.

Just my vantage point, hope that's helpful. Cheers!

Lalit Sarna Business & Technology Leader

January 14th, 2015

I agree with sticking to .com domain if possible. 

Regarding rules and regulations, I  would check for 
Political stability and tolerance in general.  
The government policy around business and what kind of activities are allowed. 
How stable is the policy environment  and what jurisdiction would have legal control over your website. 

Alberto Alonso President at Global Gate Systems LLC.

January 14th, 2015

I do own a couple of domains in the .as TLD. 

From a registration/hosting aspect no problems. 

From a user/customer perspective it all depends on what you are up to and how receptive your users are to "trust/remember" domains outside of .com 

Jake Carlson Software Development Manager at Oracle

January 14th, 2015

Anything is giving away traffic IMO because there will be people assuming the .com variation. Even if you get the .as because it works with your brand, I'd still get a .com as well.


January 13th, 2015

I use all sorts of different names and have never had any issues.

I know the creator of Banjo, he got a great domain name I thought that was a great use of these new domains.

Lalit Sarna Business & Technology Leader

January 13th, 2015

Hi Paul I would look for following answers before moving ahead.
  • How responsive is the domain registrar? 
  • How stable are the rules and regulations? 
  • How do you hold them accountable? 
  • What jurisdiction do you hold them accountable in ? 

Zvi Epner

January 13th, 2015

There are plenty of .com domains left, many of them quite sensible and attractive, just have to play around some. Unless it purpose-specific, anything but a .com is not as good. my two cents Zvi

Paul Hedrick

January 13th, 2015

Thanks y'all!

Lalit - can you clarify what sort of rules/regulations I might be asking about? To answer the first question, the registrar is a professional domain registry based in New Zealand and is quite responsive.

Also, FYI, the name -- like -- is very purpose-specific. My brand name ends in "as," which means I can just have an eponymous brand name URL (with, of course, a "dot" in the middle).