What’s the deal with the new Generic Top-Level Domains (GTLDs)?
Since their live introduction in January this year, several thousands of businesses have already registered Generic Top-Level Domain Names (GTLDs) for their online presences. But the verdict is still on out on whether the GTLDs will be an epic fail or very successful.
Are you still sitting on the fence? Here are 6 surprising things about GTLDs that might help you decide whether or not to register one.
(For a quick summary of what GTLDs are and how the registration process works, check out this simple introduction.)
#1. More than 1.6 million GTLDS have already been registered
The first 7 GTLDs went on sale in January 2014 and over 26,000 were registered in their first week. More followed and now there are over 400 GTLDs available for public registration, and over 1.6 million GTLDs already registered. A total of over 1500 GTLDs will be available for live registration by the end of 2015.
#2 This is only 0.4% of all domains in existence.
Top-level domain names such as .com or .net have more than a twenty-year headstart on GTLDs and there are more than 250 million of them in existence. The sum total of all GTLDS registered right now represents only 0.4% off the total number of domain names floating around the Internet at this very minute.
This is good news because it actually means that there are still a lot of “good” GTLDs available for registration.
(For a guide on how to choose a good GTLD, read Confused about GTLDs? Start here)
#3. A 1-year-old startup already manages over 50% of all registered new GTLDs
In 2012, startup Donuts Inc completed a $100 million Series A round to become a GTLD registry. The funding was allocated for securing and operating 307 different non-geographic (e.g. .london) or non-trademarked generic top-level domains (e.g. .microsoft).
Donuts’ strategy is to target the“billion-some” market of users who are”businesses, families, individuals, product and service providers, causes and others” in order to service “anyone looking to find a better, more specific way to build an identity on the Internet.” (Source: WSJ)
The plan seems to be working: Donuts already has over 105 GTLDs in live registration, and more than 700,000 new GTLDs registered. This is slightly less than 50% of all GTLDs registered currently, arguably making Donuts one of the most successful GTLD registries to date (Source: NTLDStats). Some of Donuts’ most popular GTLDs are .guru, .photography and .email
#4 .XYZ is the most popular new GTLD right now
Although .XYZ only went live in June 2014, it is already reported to have over 300,000 registrations, the highest number of registrations per GTLD to date. .berlin is the second most popular with over 136K registrations.
.XYZ purports to be “short and memorable without the limitations of a label or language barrier.” XYZ.COM LLC, the domain registry, feels the extension stands out because it combines Generations X, Y and Z to create “a global community inspired by the Internet and its limitless potential.” (Source: GENXYZ web site)
The least popular GTLD appears to be .rich and .gop, which have fewer than 100 registrations combined.
#5. Almost 600 of the new GTLDs will actually never be available to the public
A large proportion of the new GTLDs are “brand TLDs,” TLDs of corporate names or marks of branded corporations. For example, Microsoft Corporation might apply to provide .microsoft domains.
These brand TLDs will typically only be allocated for the brands, subsidies, affiliates and related groups of the corporation. Many corporations consider brand TLDS as opportunities to control distribution management, build brand trust, strengthen phishing controls, and guarantee the authenticity of their partner web site (Source: Neustar).
A great example is .AXA, from AXA Group, which is issued to select group partners to signal that “when you visit a website with an Internet address ending with .AXA, you can be certain that it’s authorized by AXA.” (Source: AXA Registry Operations)
#6. GTLDs may cost up to 5000 times more than TLDs, but work the same as way any other domain.
All live GTLDs technically work just like any domain name. They can be parked or pointed to web sites, and used on any host for web, email, database and any purpose domain names are used for.
However, the new GTLDs are not price-regulated and can run into the thousands per domain name. The most expensive GTLD currently is .rich, which costs $2500/year. The second most expensive is .luxury, which will cost $800/year. The lowest that we now of is .club or .tel, which are around $11-14/year.
Other than brand TLDs or locale-based GTLDs, most new GTLDs will have no registration criteria, so anyone may register one as long as it is available and the fees are paid.
If you want to register a GTLD, your favourite domain name provider should work out fine. If not, go ahead and use us.
Do you have a GTLD question or an opinion on how GTLDs will do? Share them with us in the comments section.