Should you register a .ECO domain? Here’s what you should know before you decide.

Another new gTLD is set to launch in April. Yup, we get it. You have heard this all before …

With the introduction of so many new domain extensions in recent years, businesses and orgs, as well as marketing teams, IP managers and technical administrators of domain portfolios are becoming immune to the messages new gTLDs are putting forth.

To be honest, we kind of are too. After a while, it can all feel the same. And that’s precisely why we are pretty excited to see .ECO  go live.

Unlike many other domains, .ECO has a clearly articulated use case – it’s a dedicated extension for organizations, businesses and products, and individuals who are committed to positive change for the planet. We know that a lot of our customers are engaged in important sustainability related work, making .ECO  a relevant extension to both their mandate and work.

Who Should Consider Registering a .ECO Domain  

We see .ECO as having very meaningful application for the following groups:

1. Organizations and not-for-profits engaged in work that is beneficial to our planet

Key Benefit: Instantly identifies your org as involved in sustainability/environmental work

2. Businesses with products, services, initiatives or campaigns that are environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly or encourage positive environmental change

Key Benefit: Clearly communicates sustainable products and initiatives , helping consumers make better choices and showcasing your environmental commitments

3. Governmental agencies and universities that oversee sustainability focused programs, initiatives or infrastructure

Key Benefit: Recognizable, descriptive and memorable address for environmental related information

4. Individuals who are advocates, activists and supporters of environmental change

Key Benefit: Aligns your identity with the work that you do, and the work you are passionate about

As brand expert Maria Cypher, principal and creative director at Catchword Branding, who has created names for Starbucks and Fitbit, among others, explained to CBC recently: “[.ECO] stands a really good shot of being one of the real successes … because it’s short, pronounceable and meaningful. It’s a term that is widely understood to mean environment, sustainability, green … things that are important to a huge number of people.”

.ECO Requirements, Stewardship and Supporting Organizations

To help safeguard the integrity .ECO extension Big Room, the Vancouver BC based registry behind .ECO, is requiring every registrant, irrespective of the registration period, to meet two minimum requirements in order to activate their domain:

  1. Take a simple pledge to show their commitment to the purpose and principles of .ECO
  2. Affirm their eligibility by sharing their eco actions and commitments in a publicly accessible Eco Profile

The requirements aren’t onerous. Setting up an Eco Profile takes about the same amount of time as setting up a social media account.

While confirming legitimacy can get tricky in some instances, the above requirements will help the extension stay relevant to its mandate.

Another major differentiator for .ECO is the expansive support and backing it has received from a global coalition of environmental and intergovernmental organizations including World Wildlife Foundation, David Suzuki Foundation, Ocean Conservatory Foundation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, among many others. These organizations believe that a specialized TLD that requires its registrants to show their commitment to the environment has value to their work and the movement more broadly.

.ECO Registration Process, Pricing and Timelines

Sunrise Phase for Trademark Holders

Sunrise registration runs until April 2nd, 2017, so trademark holders have approximately 3 more weeks to secure their domain and ensure the security of their brands.

Examples: yourtrademark.eco

Sunrise Registration Cost – $710 USD

Premium Early Access Phase

Like all registries, .ECO has set aside several thousand dictionary-word and one and two character premium domain names that will be available at premium prices from April 18 – 25th. Prices range from $250-$12,585 USD.

Examples: news.eco, support.eco, coffee.eco, vancouver.eco

General Registration Phase

.ECO opens to the general public for registration on April 25 for $85 USD/domain.

Examples: yourname.eco, yourbusinessname.eco, yourproduct.eco

Securing Your .ECO

You can search for .ECO domains now and pre-order the ones you wish to register, specifying whether you want to try to secure them in the Premium Early Access Phase or General Registration.

As always, you’re not alone in this process. If you have questions or require advice about how to proceed with registering your .ECO, we are here to provide you the answers you need to make an informed decision.

We believe .ECO has real value to brands and organizations that have legitimate environmental initiatives, programs and product.  Yes, it’s more expensive than many other gTLDs – but also potentially more relevant.  With .ECO being one of the top 10 sought-after extensions in recent years, we are recommending that trademark holders protect their core brands and are advising businesses to pre-order the domains that they don’t want to miss out on.

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