.buy .cool .website .domains .forsale .now

It’s been easy to overlook the fact that over the next year or two, hundreds of new domain extensions will be available to register. Yes, all those words used in the title are real examples of the new domain extensions that will become available. Many are already here – from the obscure to the mainstream, will the new domains ever look as credible as a .com or .co.uk?

Naturally, we have become accustomed to place most of our trust in just two domain extensions, .com and .co.uk (for UK based sites) but that is essentially because there has been a real stagnation of practical alternatives since the internet became ‘mainstream’. Akin to a goldrush, early adopters of the best domain names (which turned out to be single-word .com domains) were staking their claim in a very small land. I don’t feel as though there have been enough new domain names to keep up with the popularity of the internet. How many ideas have I had for an online venture only to discover the name has already been taken and nothing being done with it? Quite a lot, as it happens. Whilst .net and .org have been around for just as long, they just don’t have the weight of a .com and I would normally only acquire these to ‘protect’ a .com or .co.uk address anyway. Sure, there have been other ‘new’ domains released along the way, such as .info, .me, .name, .biz – all of which have never had much credibility in my opinion. Don’t talk to me about .co; simply wrong on so many levels.

So, these new domain names should alleviate the pressure to come up with an original, memorable, on-brand domain name that is actually available. There are literally hundreds of new domain extensions going to be available from .app to .world. The domain name market is about to be flooded with such a large amount of different extensions that it will be difficult for people to make any informed decision whether any one is ‘better’ than the other. Maybe its a level playing field now. Of course, .com is currently king but in time, that may not be the case. A relevant domain extension can really help describe your site without having to put it in the actual domain name. Whether google will give it any search engine relevance remains to be seen, but a domain like wedding.photography seems more to the point than weddingphotography.com. It’s just that we have become accustomed to the short domain name and instantly recognise it to be a web address, then immediately ignore it and just look at the words before it for a clue as to what it’s about. As with all new things, it will take time to become used to seeing sites promoted like this; ‘visit our website at ginos.restaurant’. Currently, it just looks as though something is missing, or what exactly we should do with ginos.restaurant – but within a few years I am sure we will adapt to just seeing a dot in anything and immediately reference it as a web address.

That said, I think there are some things that could help more immediately in choosing one of the new domains for a website. I think having a shorter domain extension than the words preceding it helps enormously with readability, because it fits with the current format. Therefore, something like kingsarms.pub does look to be a web address at first glance which is advantageous (though it does also look like the name of a microsoft publisher file which is unfortunate!). I think it also helps to use a domain name that is already somehow¬†associated with computers or the internet to reinforce it. New extensions such as .app and .blog are good examples. The jury is still out for me about .online – it doesn’t really add anything descriptive about the site (but then neither does .com)

If you already have an online presence or are planning one, these are my favourite new domain names that I think will become more mainstream and I will certainly be very interested in acquiring some of these for my online endeavours.

.app – great for software vendors or for sites that are basically online apps
.blog – great for personal sites
.direct – great for online versions of real shops
.shop – unbeatable for new ecommerce sites
.group – a more friendly alternative to .org?
.email – I would think a lot of online email services will use this, but how about tom@jonesfamily.email?
.web – surely the new .com? Due Q3 2015
.home – I have seen reference to this extension but cannot verify if it will be released. I think this is on a par with .web

Some domain names that I think are just too obscure or specific to be widely used

.cam – probably going to be used by scammers for phishing sites, as it looks closely like .com in the address bar
.sky – unless you want your site to be associated with the Sky company, probably best avoided

The new domain extensions aren’t something that might be happening in a few years. It’s happening right now! Already there a loads of new domain name extensions available. Looking at the useful domain release timeline on Fasthosts, you can see the pace at which they are accepting registrations for the new domains (other ISPs are available).

With prices from between ¬£20 and ¬£60 per year they aren’t cheap but this is the price I actually think domain names should be. It prevents speculators and domain name campers from being able to buy up huge proportions of the internet and effectively hold them to ransom. I think that’s for another blog post though!

Experienced web designer and developer. An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye. Loves a problem to solve.

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