New Domain Extensions

Street signs pointing this way, that wayMany of you have probably seen the 1and1 advert on TV advertising new domain extensions: .property, .london, .blog. What is the benefit (if any?) of having a new domain extension? Could there be anything detrimental about it?

New domain extensions will help at least one type of business – domain registrars. Big businesses with recognisable names are usually forced to protect their name and will probably purchase new domains to do so.

If you’ve started a new business and someone has already taken your .com or .co.uk address, you may want to use one of these new domain extensions (but it would be a risky strategy because if your domain name isn’t unique enough, you may get confused with another company). It’s better to think of a unique domain name in the first place.  If you can opt for the well-known, established domain extensions, it’s also easier for your potential customers to remember and type into the browser’s address bar. A domain extension that is longer than a .co.uk, .com or .org just means a few unnecessary strokes of a keyboard.

There are some marketing possibilities. An estate agent in London could use EstateAgent.property and/or EstateAgent.london, but that took a few more seconds to write – EstateAgent.com just looks a bit better and because it’s more established, people are likely to trust it more.

There are about 1400 new domain extensions coming soon (a full list can be seen here). There are some pretty colourful ones on the list. They are appearing sporadically over the next month or so, and many domain registrars are getting you to ‘register an interest’ or ‘pre-order’ your new domain now.

The domains all depend on the ICANN application and approval process. At the time of writing this, I believe there are currently 23 new top level domains (nTLDs) available to register. The most popular of which is the .web extension (for obvious reasons – 1and1.co.uk lists ~160,000 domains registered) and .online (~113,00 registered).

It will be interesting to see what happens to search over-spill. For example, I can only assume that shop.online will be in quite high demand. If someone happens to have shoponline.com, there could be a case that people mistakenly type that into the browser’s address bar, rather than the actual new domain, therefore giving a competing business a few extra hits for doing not very much!

If your are going to purchase one of these new domains, I would suggest you get the corresponding generic top-level domain (TLD) to go with it.

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Photo credit: Lori Greig

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