The Evolving Internet of New TLDs

Since by reading this you must be an active user of the Internet, you have probably noticed non-.com TLDs before. For one, country code TLDs, which associate web sites with specific countries using two letters like .us, .jp, or .me, are appearing more often. Companies like Bit.ly, Delicio.us, and Blip.tv are using country specific TLDs to form the name of their company. Furthermore, hundreds of new global top level domains (gTLDs) are currently being released, so besides the familiar extensions .edu, .gov, .net, .org, prepare to see extensions like .guru, .club, and .photos.

So why are they appearing, and why are people using them? For starters, the domain bit.ly sounds friendlier than bitly.com—using new extensions has the potential to make the domains more approachable and likable. Businesses like Delicio.us can seem clever for using a non .com TLD, and because of that attract more customers. But to get down to the root of things, the Internet has become increasingly overcrowded, causing many companies to struggle with finding available .com domains. Or, if they do find a .com domain, the price could be more than ten times the amount for a new gTLD domain. For start-ups and other smaller businesses, new gTLDS are great for saving money.

But there are downsides as well. A new gTLD may sound cute and cuddly, but nothing beats owning a .com domain. Bona fide .com domains are treasures that every business or individual long for. Kind of like owning a storefront on Main Street, if you can afford a .com domain, you seem established and respectable. Non -.com domains like .ly and .sy are trendy and fashionable—but like jorts or bellbottoms, all trends eventually go out of style! So while your non-.com domain name may seem “hot” in the moment, give it five or ten years and that name might go from “hot” to “not”. All in all, stick with .com domain names if you can afford it!

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