Top Level Domains or TLD's are best known by their extensions. You likely are already familiar with .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov., .biz, .cc, and maybe even .co. But are you prepared to start typing newhome.build, youremy.boo, or whysoboring.nba?
You may not be aware of this but ICANN is set to release a massive amount of new domain extensions this year. Move over .com – there’s hundreds of new domains on the way. But don't worry if this caught you off guard, you're in good company. According to Sedo, “63% of small to mid-sized business owners are unaware that new gTLDs will be available in 2013 and many do not understand what the value of these new addresses will be.”
I'm not surprised. A lot of small businesses are still trying to find the soul of their online brand, how to win with (despite?) Yelp, and how to approach social media. Each year the horizon of internet services expands, creating time suck and headache. Now with a bevy of new TLD's comes an almost infinite choice of domains, a chance to rebrand, to reshuffle the cards in small business' favor because they probably have a poopy .com with three or four keywords stuffed in it. Web designers, web developers, SEO experts – you know what I'm talking about – and you (or your predecessor) created some of these problematic brands. I would know, I created my fair share as well!
Interested in the full list of imminent top level domains, to wet your branding whistle?
Massive, isn't it? The possibilities are nearly endless. Personally I hope it commoditizes TLD's and cuts their annual price tag half. Say, $5 per domain per year? Yessir – that would be nice!
So if you are a small business owner or work with small businesses, what should you do?
- Assess the need to rebrand – ask family and friends if your domain name is catchy and memorable
- Find an expert – contact several web shops and inquire about registering a new TLD, to retool your brand.
- Consider expanding the scope – a new domain is the perfect time to consider a new logo and website. You should have a budget in mind, but don't be afraid to invest in something that will help snare new business for years to come.
- Work with someone you trust
While I'm sure every Matrix fan might love to register the.one, here's to hoping that small businesses takes advantage of this development and snag a snappy new domain. How would it change your business if you had LaJolla.bar, SanDiego.yoga, or LaMesa.realty as your new domain name? Think about it then leave me a comment.
Adam Grunwerg believes the new gTLD's are no threat to the existing domain extension ecosystem.
Flippa wrote about the new gTLD's in a blog post from this month.