New domain extensions and what they could mean for the future of websites
Back in 1985 TLD’s, or Top-Level Domains, entered our digital world in the form of .com, .net and .org. They were soon followed by new domain extensions, country specific TLD’s (.uk, .nz,) and most recently the islands of Curacao and Sint Maarten added their TLD’s to the list.
This new, unchartered digital landscape became the new real estate business and the public was quick to assign status and stake its claim. The .com domain emerged as the frontrunner. It was the TLD everyone came to know and expected to see. On the contrary, .biz came to be associated with spam.
For those of us who are just starting out with our online presence, or looking to register new domains, it has become almost impossible to register a .com domain of our choice. All the good stuff is already taken.
Fast forward to 2014 and it seemed that the scramble for .com was finally over. Hundreds of new gTLD’s (generic Top-Level Domains) became available, and new domain extensions like .expert, .dental, .coach started to appear in our web browsers. Even cities have taken notice and have registered their own names: .london & .sydney. Enterprises can virtually register any new TLD and no longer have to worry about coming up with the perfect name. One of the biggest advantages is that domain names can be much shorter and companies can focus on creating additional brand value by creating TLD’s that match their business names.
But does this mean you should opt for your own TLD? Not so fast. New domain extensions will set you back a fair amount, and as of yet, they cannot be registered to individuals. We’ve also seen that many companies have not been so quick to change their online addresses and this is more than likely related to the online trust factor. Internet users typically trust sites they already know and will regard new domain extensions with suspicion.
So, if you are planning on launching a new website for your business, it is important to bare in mind that users may be cautious of domain extensions they do not recognise. Until the use of new TLD’s becomes more widespread, you should still opt for a traditional TLD like .com, or a country TLD, such as co.uk.