The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), initiated a New gTLD Programme some years ago. In their efforts to improve innovation, competition and choice, the expansion of generic top level domain names was introduced. This means that today, we have more choice when it comes to domain names that aren’t specific to a geographic region.
Why do we need more choice? Well if you haven’t already begun the process of domain name registration with an original .com, .org or .net, you will soon learn that trying to find a name that references your business together with this generic TLD is close to impossible these days. Currently, there are roughly 195 million domain names registered with the .com extension. If you can secure your business name with a .com without being served a ‘domain taken’ page a number of times, you’re one of the lucky ones.
What are the new top-level domains?
With more than a thousand new top-level domains now publicly available, which are available to us? Here are just a few examples to consider:
Why would you choose one of these new TLDs?
So now that we know there are more options available, why would you secure one of these domains as part of your new website or as an addition to your current website? Aside from giving website owners a better chance of securing their dream website name, there are a couple of important benefits to securing a newer TLD:
- Identify with your industry online
By aligning with your niche online, with an industry-specific TLD, you’re not only generating more authority within the space but also helping your audience find you more easily. If you own a clothing store, or you’re a clothing designer, a .clothing domain will help online browsers find your local brand far quicker because ‘clothing’ is in your full website name.
- Online brand protection
With scams like brand impersonation on the rise, covering as many variations of your website address as possible is important. Brand impersonation involves an individual posing as a legitimate business online, to request access to sensitive information or to drive traffic away from the legitimate business’s website.
For example, a local tech business could have a .co.za domain extension, and an individual purchases your website name along with a .tech extension. As the business name is the same, browsers will be likely to follow the .tech link and risk their information being accessed while driving traffic to their website and not yours.
How to register a new TLD:
The registration of a new TLD is almost the same as any domain registration, except for the first step:
- Think about and choose the type of new domain extension relevant to your business or industry. Will a more general one like .xyz be suitable, or a more specific one such as .photography or .store?
- Type your domain name in to the search bar to check whether or not it is available
- Select your dream domain name and checkout
New TLDs are becoming more and more popular. Plus they’re a fun and memorable way to own more space on the web, while protecting your brand name.