All about Top Level Domains (TLDs)
Settling on a domain for your website can be an uphill struggle. Not only do you need to discover a word or expression that is clear, succinct, and unforgettable, but you also need to select which Top-Level Domain (TLD) you wish to make use of.
For a majority of the internet's existence, TLDs have been fairly straightforward, with the most common options being .com, .net, and .org (along with some regional alternatives). Nevertheless, over the past few years, a great deal of new top-level domains have risen in popularity.
In this post, we'll check out the history of these brand-new TLDs and talk about how they differ from the typical choices we're all accustomed to. We'll also show some potential benefits and disadvantages for a variety of websites and businesses, before showing you how to obtain one for yourself.
An Introduction to Top-Level Domains (TLDs)
When selecting a domain name for your website, you will likely concentrate on the Second-Level Domain (SLD), which is the middle area that comes after the
https:// and before the final period. This is where you'll likely include your company or brand name, along with any kind of appropriate keywords - for instance, https://mycompanywebsite.
The SLD is then followed by a Top-Level Domain (TLD). These come at the end of the domain name and are also referred to as 'domain extensions'.
The most popular TLD is – of course - .com (short for 'commercial'), followed by .org (‘organization’), and .net ('network'). You've possibly also come across industry-specific alternatives, such as .edu ('education') and .gov ('government'). These are frequently referred to as 'generic Top-Level Domains' or gTLD for short.
Along with these alternatives, there are additionally several country code TLDs (ccTLDs) available, which are usually reserved for a particular country or region. However, some of these have become prominent worldwide alternatives too, such as .io. Originally, this was developed for the British Indian Ocean Territory yet is now very popular in the tech community as an abbreviation for Input/Output.
In fact, multiple TLDs were developed with an explicit kind of internet site or geographic area in mind but swiftly expanded to be used across industries and territories. While there were numerous options readily available, people still wanted more freedom in the TLDs they could use. This resulted in a long, drawn-out argument that culminated not too long ago.
The New TLDs (And What Makes Them Different)
While some new top-level domain names were included throughout the years, they meant little in the name of variety. However, this all changed in 2014, when the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) introduced the New gTLD Program.
The purpose of the program was to enhance the variety of generic top-level domain names by making it possible for users to submit applications for new additions. ICANN ended up receiving nearly 2,000 applications before the deadline and was planning on including up to 1,300 of these as brand-new TLDs.
If an application succeeded, that TLD was added to the web, available for anybody to use. Some companies even bought branded extensions, such as .bmw and .barclays. Applications are still being processed at this time, with the latest accepted TLD being .charity on June 7, 2018.
An additional significant change brought on by this program is the introduction of non-latin TLDs. As a matter of fact, several of the earliest additions after the application deadline consisted of 游戏 (Chinese for 'game'), сайт (Russian for 'site'), and شبكة (Arabic for 'network' or 'web').
This landslide of new TLDs has created a lot of debates online. Should you stick to one of the old well-known options like .com, or opt for a newer one like .club or .blog?
To help you choose the right domain name for your site, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of these brand-new TLDs.
The Pros And Cons of New TLDs
One of the concerns after the arrival of the new TLDs was whether they would impact a site's Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Luckily for us, Google made it clear that it will deal with these domain names in the same way as the others, so using a new TLD will neither boost nor wreck your SEO efforts.
Keep in mind that a study by Varn discovered that a majority of the people in the study trusted .com and .co.uk more than brand-new TLDs. However, this set additionally revealed that younger respondents were far more likely to rely on new TLDs equally (or a lot more so) than their heritage counterparts.
Nevertheless, the primary factor to consider when it concerns TLDs is probably their price. One key feature of numerous new TLDs is that they are dramatically cheaper than legacy offerings. For instance, a .club domain name can cost as little as $0.99 for the very first year. This has made many new TLDs highly popular.
It's still too early to accurately determine how new TLDs will transform the internet in the long term. However, the rising popularity of multiple new TLDs reveals that the times are changing. The question is: Should you use a new TLD yourself?
When You Might Want to Use New TLDs
There is no easy solution as to whether or not you should use a brand-new TLD or rely on one of the typical options. In order to make a decision, there are several elements you'll need to consider.
As previously mentioned, the problem of trust is an important factor to consider, at least for now. As a result, if you want your target market to be assured of your credibility, you may want to prevent using a TLD like .xyz. In a study by Survey Monkey, for example, 67 percent of marketers responded that they were less likely to rely on a quote from a website if it used the extension .insurance rather than a conventional TLD.
Your industry and target audience will definitely play an essential role here. If your site's goal is less dependent on an appearance of authority, like a magazine website or a portfolio, you are less likely to suffer from using a new TLD. As a matter of fact, a more unusual TLD can boost your domain's marketability and worth by making it both unforgettable and descriptive.
It's likewise worth remembering that the lower trust in new TLDs might simply be because of a lack of exposure. Internet individuals see .com and .net on a regular basis, which makes them appear more authentic and reliable. Nevertheless, as new TLDs become more popular, they will show up more, leading to customers' misgivings slowly going away.
This might happen faster than you expect. Massive brands like Google have actually begun using .xyz, for example. It might just be a matter of time before new TLDs become highly popular, especially as more visible brand names begin to use them.
With all of this in mind, let's summarize the major elements that should affect your choice about using a brand-new TLD. These include:
- Purpose and objective - The kind of site you're running is possibly the most important consideration. Firms that depend on being trusted (such as banks, universities, and insurance sellers) should most likely avoid using brand-new TLDs, at least for the time being. However, websites relating to entertainment, technology, and online communities are much less likely to be negatively affected.
- Target audience - As we pointed out previously, younger net users are more likely to rely on new TLDs. So, if your website is aimed primarily at a younger audience, you could benefit from using one.
- Brandability - A significant problem with legacy TLDs is discovering one that matches your brand or company name. With new TLDs, this is less of an issue as there are tons of choices to choose from. They also allow you to create vanity URLs.
- Price - In a similar way, obtaining the best domain name can be pricey. By including new TLDs in your search, you're more likely to discover one that includes the name or keywords you want, without requiring you to pay extra for a .com or .net domain.
Naturally, there are various other things you'll need to keep in mind when selecting domain names. As we mentioned, the state of new TLDs is likely to change within the coming years, since the phenomenon is still very recent. Nevertheless, by taking the above aspects into account, you'll have a better idea of whether or not a new TLD fits your site's requirements.
How to Get a New TLD
If you've decided to break free from the limitations of tradition TLDs, you have an enormous number of alternatives to choose from. Thankfully, the process of acquiring a domain with a new TLD is simple.
There are a number of ways you can register a domain name. For instance, a lot of web hosts will provide a complimentary domain name when you sign up for a hosting plan. However, one of the most common ways to obtain a domain name is through a domain registrar, which refers to websites that have the right to sell domains.
As a matter of fact, Nuagerie is one of those registry operators.
Through our domain search tool, you can buy conventional domains like .com and .net. However, we also provide a large list of other TLDs, like .io, .shop, and .cloud (just to name a few). Simply enter the domain name you want, and a series of readily available alternatives will be provided.
You can scroll through the results to see Hot, New, and even Suggested options relating to your query. As soon as you've discovered the one you want, you can click the Add to Cart button beside it.
During the registration process, you will be asked to create a new Nuagerie account. If you already have one, you can simply sign in instead. Either way, you'll then be asked to supply your personal information (which you can make private), along with your payment information.
Once you've completed the process and registered your domain name, you can use it on your site, whether that's hosted by Nuagerie or on another server.
TLC for TLDs
While the traditional domain names like .com and .net continue to be the most popular selections when choosing a TLD, it might not be that way for long. A growing number of sites are relying upon new TLDs instead, each with its upsides and downsides.
For example, while some brand-new TLDs are seen as less trustworthy, they can also be significantly more affordable as well as easier to obtain. Additionally, they can supply more info about a site's purpose and content, and allow website owners to get even more creative with their branding.