In another example of domain name registrants preferring their own ccTLD than any other TLD, apart from those in the United States who prefer .com, DNS Belgium has released research that shows three-quarters (75%) of entrepreneurial Belgians choose a .be domain name over any other TLD.
In research commissioned by DNS Belgium, they found trust and confidence in .be are particularly high among all Belgians, who associate the .be country code top level domain (ccTLD) particularly with quality and reliability. For Belgian businesses, as with research conducted by other ccTLD registries within their own countries, .be therefore seems to be the best choice for Belgian entrepreneurs who want an online presence.
.be is the undisputed frontrunner in terms of reliability and inspires the most confidence among entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs alike. A domain name extension is cited as the third most important reason for trusting a website, after an encrypted connection (https instead of http) and reference to an official website (e.g. by means of a logo).
The research conducted by Insites Consulting gauged the trust and confidence in the different domain name extensions and questioned very specifically also entrepreneurial Belgians who have never registered a domain name.
The research also found entrepreneurs and the average Belgian alike find a company website to be more reliable than a Facebook page of an organisation. They have more trust and confidence in an e-mail address linked to a domain name than in a general email address (e.g. @hotmail.com).
Entrepreneurial Belgians are more likely to know that both a website and an email address can be linked to a domain name than the average Belgian. 59% of them would register a domain name to have a personal mail address (in combination with a website or otherwise).
The research found Belgians sees a website primarily as a source of information, but the entrepreneurial Belgian has a more commercial approach. They usually have a better idea of what a website can mean for them personally and professionally. They see it as a means of making both they and their activity better known and of keeping in contact with customers, prospects and stakeholders.
The entrepreneurial Belgians questioned opted for .be primarily because it says something about their location and is popular and reliable, but also because it clearly indicates the target group they want to reach. They see a .be domain name and website as something which is logically connected with setting up their own company.
The research also asked about preferences for and associations with various top level domains. .be and .com were found to be the frontrunners in terms of familiarity. The best-known extensions are also seen as being more reliable.
Of the new generic top level domains (new gTLDs), .vlaanderen is known to 31% of entrepreneurial Belgians; .brussels to 21%. Both have a strong political connotation, which .be does not. They are associated more with language and location than .be. There are few differences between the entrepreneurial group and average Belgians in this respect.