I’m always encouraging farmers to advocate: speak up, reach out, and invite consumers in. Having a website is one option for farmers hoping to be more approachable and transparent. And if you engage in direct-to-consumer sales, it’s an absolute must.
But before you start picking out brand colors and making design choices, there’s one super important thing to iron out: your domain name. Domain names are essentially the digital address where people can find your website. So, for example, thefarmersdaughterusa.com or AGDAILY.com.
And it might seem obvious to choose a .com address. Because if there’s one fundamental and never-changing thing we all know about life, it’s that websites end in .com, .gov, or .org. Right?!
Well, not quite.
The vast majority of websites we browse certainly end with those options. These are known as domain extensions. Commercial websites are .com. Governments are .gov, and organizations are .org. What you may not realize is that there are lots of other options available. Those options include, you guessed it, .farm.
The .farm domains were actually launched in 2014, along with a list of other fun extensions. But, as you may have noticed, they haven’t really taken off. We’re still browsing in an almost exclusively .com world.
Why? I think there’s a couple reasons.
First, most people don’t really know about them yet. Because not many websites utilize these domain extensions, they’re still rather obscure. We’re all conditioned to to think .com, so that’s what we pick when choosing our domain names.
Second, there’s a lot of spam in the world. And odd domain extensions feel like they might not be legitimate. Have you ever received an email from some guy in Egypt who’s rich U.S. uncle just kicked the bucket and now he needs your help to transfer the funds? Yeah, those emails usually come from domain extensions with strange and unusual endings: RichNephew@TotallyNotLegit.haha.
So I’ll admit .farm is a little weird. And maybe that’s why brands and businesses haven’t jumped on the new opportunity. Everyone knows and trusts .com, but not everyone understands that a url can be broader. But I still think there’s a lot of potential for branding, logos, and design. And maybe agriculture will be the industry to make these domain extensions super trendy.
Here’s my take. You can have more than one domain name that points to your website. And they’re fairly inexpensive. So buy both!
For example, if you’re considering buying a domain name, I suggest purchasing the .com version first. So MyFarm.com. But I would scoop up the .farm extension as well. So MyFarm.farm. That way, you’ll have the option of using either domain extension. And no else can get it first.
I would love to see the .farm extension become commonplace. So that people recognize it as a legitimate website. And farmers can dominate their own internet share. It could develop into a cool supportive community of farmers.
Have you decided to buy your .farm name? Share with me in the comments!
Amanda Zaluckyj blogs under the name The Farmer’s Daughter USA. Her goal is to promote farmers and tackle the misinformation swirling around the U.S. food industry.