In November of 2013, new gTLDs (generic top level domain extensions) became available to everyone to register. The first English new extensions were .SINGLES, .HOLDINGS, .GURU, .CLOTHING, .VENTURES, .BIKE and .PLUMBING. These new gTLD domain extensions were released in Sunrise Phase on November 26, 2013 for trademark holders to register before being publicly available on January 27, 2014. Over the past year and two months, about 400 new extensions have been released. By the end of 2016, there are going to be around 1000 new gTLD domain extensions.
This might seem overwhelming to have so many choices for a domain name extension beyond the well established domain name extensions like .CA, .COM, .NET and .ORG. However, this provides a great opportunity to profit from the domain name extension explosion.
Typical Reasons Against Buying New gTLDs
Whenever I tell friends and family that currently have a website or are planning on creating one about all the new extensions available, they usually have an excuse why they are not interested or have not bothered to investigate it further.
Here are a couple excuses I have heard:
- I already have a .CA or .COM domain name for my website, why do I need another one?
- No one has ever heard of these extensions like .CLINIC or .MORTGAGE, so they won't find my website.
- I don't know what domain extensions are available to register?
I understand that historically internet users are used to see established gTLDs (like .COM, .NET and .ORG) and ccTLDs (Country specific extensions like .CA and .CO.UK). The idea of choosing a domain extension from one of the over 1000 gTLDs may be daunting and there may be concerning that customers will not recognize the extension.
Internet User Behavior Is Changing
In the early days of the Internet, you would go to the top of your web browser and type in the URL for the website you want to go to. This URL would contain the domain name with the full extension, like https://www.webnames.ca/.
However, Internet users are no longer entering the URL in their browsers anymore. Like myself, desktop users usually default their browser home page to a search engine like Google's search page. From there, they type in the website I want to go to with or with out spaces and usually without an extension and Google finds it for the user.
There are many benefits to doing it this way, the main benefit to a person like myself is to fix typos. I regularly mistype URLs, so by entering it in Google or Bing search, the search engine will correct my mistake and direct my browser to the correct site.
On mobile devices, browsers are getting even smarter. If you type in the website like "webnames.ca" in the search box of Chrome, Google will not show you search results about Webnames.ca. Instead it will just send you to the correct website. However, if you mistype it, it will show you the correct website in the search results.
Internet users are getting used to search engines providing the safety net to find the correct website and/or content they are looking for. So, the concern about having to "memorize" the domain name is not as important as it once was. I am not suggesting you register a 150 character domain name, but the need to have the shortest one possible with a .CA or .COM on the end is not a top priority anymore.
How You Can Benefit from New gTLDs?
Whether you have web presence already with a domain name or are thinking about it, you can benefit from these new opportunities offered by new gTLDs. Here are a few ideas on how you can take advantage of these new extensions for your benefit
You can get a generic domain you always wanted
I have always wanted to setup a small blog to publish database scripts or commands I often use to help me on a daily basis. However, the domain name databasetips.com was taken since September 2003. However, when .TIPS went live in December 2013, I pre-ordered database.TIPS through Webnames.ca and Webnames.ca successfully registered the domain for me.
Now, I can create blog entries and they rank well because anyone looking for "database tips" and other search criteria matching my blog posts will likely see my content on the first page of Google.
You can get a shorter domain name
Many trades or professional websites tend to have domain names with an adjective followed by the type of business. So for a dental office, they might have a website for serenitydental.ca and a plumber might use trustworthyplumbing.ca. Instead, you could get serenity.dental or trustworthy.plumbing. It might not seem like a big deal to have 2 less characters. However, many companies are forced to use long words because shorter domains are already taken. So instead of getting trustworthy.plumbing, the plumber might be able to register honest.plumbing instead because it is much more likely to be available in new TLDs instead of .COM or .CA.
You can get a popular domain extension
As of today, there have been 182,499 .CLUB and 82,112 .GURU domain extensions registered. This means that the general public will start to see more and more new domain extensions appearing in every day websites. I expect to see many sporting clubs and social clubs to be publishing their website with a .CLUB instead of a .COM as they can get the name they always wanted.
You can get a domain for special purposes
If you already have a well established website, new extensions can allow you to setup small custom websites to generate traffic for a special purpose.
For example, you could setup a website for mycompany.CHRISTMAS, mycompany.BLACKFRIDAY or mycompany.DEALS. These websites could be great for attracting new visitors related to holidays or special sales and directing them to your main website at mycompany.CA.
Also, if you get a domain name that is more general, instead of your company name. Your website content could be different than your main website to attract the new visitors and redirect them to your main site.
So, you could get a domain like inexpensive.CLOTHING and setup a mini website around how to get the best deals and places for these great prices. Then your mini site could redirect those visitors to your main clothing website.
You can be informed well before new domain extensions go live
I always recommend that people learn about the new TLDs being released and sign up to be notified when they can pre-order. I recently wrote a blog post "The New Domain Extensions - 4 tips you need to know" with tips to ensure you can get the domain names you want when they come out. The most important is signing up to be notified when you can pre-order since most respectable registrars submit their requests on a first come-first serve basis.
If you are wondering when a specific extension is going to be available or you just want to know what extensions are already launched. Check out a great "Domain Name Launch Calendar" provided by Webnames.ca. From this page, you can view all the upcoming and past domain extensions and even start a search to see if the domain name you want is available.
You can get some new gTLD domain extensions cheaper than .COM and .CA
Since there are many new gTLDs launching at the same time and sometimes even seven a week, the marketing departments are regularly running promotions to sell these new extensions. Therefore, you can usually get great deals on many new extensions through sales or permanent low pricing on new registrations and renewals.
For example, the current sale price of .CLUB is $9.99 US.
These are much cheaper pricing than .COM or .CA at most registrars. So, maybe you can find a domain name using these new extensions and get it cheaper than you would an established domain name.
I don't expect that the new domain extensions will take over from the popularity of .CA and .COM. However, I do expect that they will be much more common in the very near future. Therefore, it is a great time to get the domain name you wanted and couldn't get under .CA or .COM.