New Top-level Domain Names

  • by Ilona K.
New Top-level Domain Names

Table of contents

  1. Few words about a TLD?
  2. Original TLDs
  3. New TLDs
  4. New TLDs vs original TLDs

Last time we talked about choosing the best TLD for your site. Today we want to talk about the different types of TLDs available.

Let’s start with a brief recap of what a TLD is.

Few words about a TLD?

What is TLD we described in detail in our previous article. Let’s briefly recall its definition and types.

A top-level domain (TLD) is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet after the root domain.

All TLDs must be registered in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

There are 6 types of TLD:

  • Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs);
  • Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD);
  • Infrastructure Top Level Domains (arpa);
  • Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLDs);
  • Creative Top Level Domains;
  • Internationalised Top Level Domains (IDNs).

At the moment, TLDs can be divided into original ones and new ones. What are they and how do they differ?

Original TLDs

The original TLDs were created early in the development of the Internet, and predate the creation of ICANN in 1998. These are the most popular TLDs among users:

.com (commercial)

Administrator: Verisign

This TLD is good for any type of website. However, the .com zone was originally created for use by commercial organisations. Now TLD is one of the most popular in the world.

.org (organisation)

Administrator: Public Interest Registry

This TLD is also currently used by a variety of companies and individuals. Although it’s best suitable for representing not-for-profit / non-profit organisations, for which it was originally conceived.

.net (network)

Administrator: Verisign

This TLD is one of the main competitors of the .com zone and isn’t inferior to it in its popularity. TLD was created for use by domains pointing to a distributed network of computers, and etc. Now any company or individual can register a domain name in the .net zone.

.int (international)

Administrator: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

This TLD is for organisations, companies, offices, and programmes approved by an agreement between two or more countries. However, several legacy domains do not meet these criteria.

.edu (education)

Administrator: Educause (via Verisign)

The TLD is intended for vocational schools and universities. In the United States, its use was restricted in 2001 to higher education institutions accredited by an agency on a list of nationally recognised accrediting agencies.

.gov (U.S. national and state government agencies)

Administrator: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (via Verisign)

This TLD is used exclusively by U.S. government agencies and agencies, and by relevant state, county, local municipal, and tribal governments.

.mil (U.S. military)

Administrator: United States Department of Defense

The TLD is used exclusively by units, services and agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense.

New TLDs

As the Internet developed, the number of domains began to decline. Companies tried to buy domain names in the most popular zones, often in several at once. The world was faced with the problem of a shortage of domain names, leading to high prices. There was a need to increase the number of domain zones that could be used.

In 2012, ICANN decided to allow businesses to apply for new top-level domains to spur growth. Some of the first TLDs were:

  • .art
  • .app
  • .love
  • .shop
  • .baby

Since then, over a thousand new TLDs have entered the public domain.

New TLDs provide new opportunities for companies and individuals to choose the right domain name for themselves at a profitable price, as well as offering a more niche website or a creative take on their original TLDs.

New TLDs vs original TLDs

Each company or individual has its own criteria for choosing a domain name, and, accordingly, a TLD. However, everyone has the same goal, which is to choose a name for their website so that users can easily find and remember it.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the original TDLs and the new ones, to help you decide which one is best for you.

Benefits of original TLDs:

  • Popularity. The original TLDs have been around for many years and are known to almost everyone.
  • Quality and reliability. The original TLDs have long been a mark of quality. If the site is located in the original domain zone, for example, .com, then users immediately develop a corresponding positive opinion.
  • Confidence. These TLDs are more trustworthy, again due to their long history.

Downsides of original TLDs:

  • Availability. Many beautiful and easy-to-remember domain names have long been taken. To acquire the domain name you need, you might have to spend a lot of time and effort waiting until it is free.
  • High cost. Due to the great popularity of the original TLDs, domain names in these zones can cost a lot of money.
  • Cybersquatting. This is currently most widespread among original top-level domains.

Benefits of new TLDs:

  • Creativity. The new TLDs allow you to choose a creative and more niche feel for your website.
  • Availability. Buying the right domain name for yourself in new TLDs is much easier than in the original ones, as they are only slowly gaining popularity.
  • Price. Often the price of a domain name in new TLDs is much lower than in the original ones.

Downsides of new TLDs:

  • Novelty. Since new TLDs don’t yet have a rich history, they give your company less credibility
  • Price. Yes, we mentioned it in the benefits, but it’s also a downside. The market for new TLDs is unpredictable. Due to their diversity, it’s impossible to predict which new top-level domain will become popular. Accordingly, it’s impossible to predict how high the price will be for it. Sometimes domain names in a new TLD cost much more than the same name would do in an original one.
  • Manifold. Unfortunately, this is also a kind of downside, since you’ll have to spend a lot of time studying the market of new TLDs and choosing the right one for you.

Which TLD to choose is entirely up to you and your needs. You can choose only original ones, only new TLDs, or you can purchase domain names in both. Most importantly, don’t forget the purpose of your website.

Ilona K.
Ilona K.
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