If you hadn't already heard, ICANN is releasing a whole host of new top level domains (think 100s) and I'm trying to sort through how to advise clients on registering them. You can see the full list here at Webames.ca (where you can also pre-register for domains, no cost until you purchase them).
In my honest opinion, I think ICANN has gone totally overboard. Yes, like running out of phone numbers, we are running out of top level domains that make sense, ie/ if another company going by the name of Raised Eyebrow would like to register a domain along the lines of raisedeyebrow.com they're out of luck. We have that one, and most of the expected variants. The addition of extensions like .app and .blog make some sense to me. They speak to format and could be of great use and value. Extensions like .online and .site to me seem ridiculous. Most things on the internet are a website and are, by their nature online, so how do those become differentiators? And then the proliferation of the .baby, .mom, .wine, .car, .carinsurance and on and on, frankly just make the whole thing seem like a money grab. Aferall, if I'm running an insurance business for example, I'm going to try to get both www.mycompanyname.com as well as www.mycompanyname.insurance so I've just added to the number of domains I need to buy, and likely not opened up options for others at all.
That said, what am I recommending to clients at the moment? Well, since the pre-registration is free at this point, grab the domains you think you might want that are on point for your business (if you hold a Trademark, please visit the link in the resources below to see what you should be doing to protect that). So to our performing arts clients, I'm recommending grabbing .theatre (and .theater). Non-profits should be looking at topics to see if there's a fit for them as there are extensions as wide ranging as .kids, .green and .community to .research, .health and .hiv.
There are many places you can pre-register for the domains (there should be no cost until you decide to purchase them). I recommend www.webnames.ca as an ethical and locally (also female) run company as one option (we get no referral fees or kickback from you using them).
Some other resources that may be helpful:
- If you have a trademark that you wish to protect here's some information and a service that can help
- The ICANN site on the new gTLD's (Generic Top Level Domains)