Over the last few months, several new top-level domains have been released, including .social, .live, .news, and most recently, .family. The idea behind these top-level domains is that they will make it easier for people to understand what a website is about. Is it worth looking at these new domains, or are they simply a waste of time?
New Domains, Stronger Calls to Action?
The dot-com bubble in the run-up to the year 2000 saw most of the more desirable domain names being taken. Today, there are 120 million registered .com domains. This means that if someone wants to register a short and memorable domain, they don’t have a lot to choose from, except for perhaps a country top-level domain or one of the alternatives.
Someone who wants to run a news website could register a .news domain related to the area or subject they are covering, and a celebrity could register the .rocks domain. In theory, this will make more sense and will be easier to remember.
Whether this is true or not is something that remains to be seen. Right now, if someone wants to find a Somerset web design company, they are just as likely to type in http://www.somersetwebservices.co.uk/ as they are some strange .design address because for years, people have been typing either .com, .co.uk, or maybe .net and .org. These other extensions might roll off the tongue when they are read out loud, but they aren’t memorable.
An Alternative to QR Codes
Of course, when .com domains were released, most people didn’t even know what the web was, and the http:// was confusing enough. We got used to the first batch of TLDs, so we will eventually get used to these new ones. It’s certainly more convenient to remember that your email address is Pete at Smith, with the extension .family than whatever obscure domain name you were able to find that was still available to register.
Will the new extensions take off? They will probably never enjoy the popularity that the core top-level domains did. However, as an online marketer, it is probably worth registering the domains that sound like a good fit for your business. The cost is a small one to pay for protecting your brand image from squatters.