There are 276 million domain names already registered, which makes securing an original one a tricky task. For those who have attempted to buy a domain ending in ‘.com’or ‘ ‘ recently, you may well have found that your first choice domain name was unavailable. Demand for new domains isn’t slowing down – in the first quarter of last year, an additional five million domain names were added to the internet.
The increasing need for new domain names, along with a shift in internet browsing styles, has spurred some significant changes in the domain name world. At the close of 2013, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved 617 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) for the internet to go live through to the end of 2015, and it will continue to introduce hundreds more.
A gTLD is simply the suffix on a domain address, with traditional ones including ‘.com’ or ‘.‘. With the introduction of new gTLDs, we are already seeing far more diverse website addresses, including those ending in ‘.ink’, ‘.photography’, ‘.wiki’ and ‘.club’ .
Businesses looking to create their own simple and memorable domain name, the new range of gTLDs offer an attractive opportunity. A printer ink company for instance can’t stake claim to the www.printerink.com domain, as it’s taken. Using the available .ink suffix, however, a business could instead register www.printer.ink, which is more likely to be available, and is an even more captivating name.
Customers react well to branding that is personalised and specific, and the slew of new domain names on the market is great news for businesses wanting to capitalise. During the application window (which closed in 2012), many larger corporations successfully applied for a gTLD which included their brand name – something that is likely to result in a further wave of new sites using these suffixes.