What do you do when the demand surpasses the supply, apart from raising the price, of course? You create new products or channels to satisfy that demand. That’s exactly what happened with domain names.
With the number of domain registrations, it became clear that we’d soon run out of available names. As a result, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) started adding new TLDs to the list. In this article, we’ll explain what they are and when you should choose them.
What Are New TLDs?
New top-level domains (TLDs) represent additional domain types created to expand the domain name system (DNS) and allow the registration of new domain names. In other words, original TLDs were becoming increasingly crowded, and we needed new TLDs to make sure we didn’t run out of space.
On top of that, you couldn’t use all of them. For example, .gov and .mil are reserved for U.S. government and military agencies, meaning that you can’t register them for a business or personal blog.
Note: the list above doesn’t include country-code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .us, .uk, and .de, but you get the idea – we needed more TLDs.
In 2013, the ICANN initiated the New gTLD Program and delegated the first new TLDs. Some examples of the initial new TLDs are:
- Arabic, Chinese, and Cyrillic scripts for online, games, and web,
New TLDs vs Original TLDs
From a technical standpoint, there’s no difference between new and original TLDs. Theoretically, you can register both just as easily (those available to the general public) and build your SEO ranking from scratch without any penalties for choosing a specific TLD.
The difference between the two lies in its history, perception, and market share. According to Statista, almost 48% of all registered domain names have a .com extension, making it by far the most popular and reputable domain type.
Most users who want to visit your company’s website but don’t know the domain name will assume it ends in .com.
However, it’s increasingly more difficult to choose a domain name that’s a .com type and brandable. That’s why many companies opt for alternative ways to establish their online presence.
A new TLD can help you send a message and let potential customers know exactly what your company is about. If you take professional photos, a .photography domain won’t leave anyone second guessing.
Although ccTLDs represent countries and territories, some of them have evolved into generic uses. For example, .co represents Colombia, but businesses worldwide register it as internet users perceive it to be short for company. Similar examples are as follows:
|ccTLD||Country of Origin||New Meaning|
|.ai||Anguilla||Artificial intelligence companies|
|.io||The British Indian Ocean Territory||Tech and SaaS startups (short for input/output)|
|.gg||Guernsey||Gaming platforms (short for good game)|
|.fm||The Federated States of Micronesia||Radio channels|
|.hr||Croatia||HR and staffing agencies|
|.la||Laos||Los Angeles-based companies|
|.ws||Samoa (previously Western Samoa)||Website|
As we’ve mentioned earlier, some original TLDs, such as .gov and .mil, are so-called sponsored TLDs, meaning that only a specific organization can register them. Something similar is available with new TLDs called brand domains.
As a company, you can request the ICANN to delegate a TLD that matches your brand. That is, if you have the means to do so.
NOTE:You can make a request for a new TLD only when the application window is open, and the last one closed in 2012. They haven’t determined the timing for the new window yet, but it’s expected to be in Q2 2026. In 2012, the price for creating a new TLD was $185,000, and it’s most likely the price will go up during the next application window.
When you get it, only you will be able to register it as it’s not available for general registration. Popular brand TLDs include:
Having a dedicated TLD helps you register multiple generic domain names. For example, if your brand name is Dlope, you can get domain names with keywords such as shop.dlope, finance.dlope, contact.dlope, and discounts.dlope. As you might have guessed, all .com domains with these words are taken.
MORE: Who owns a domain name
How to Register New TLDs
The registration process using a new TLD is the same as with any other domain type, although there might be restrictions in terms of choosing your domain name registrar. Since there are over 1,500 TLDs in use, no registrar facilitates the registration of all of them, so depending on how niche you want to go, it might limit your registrar options.
Still, the process is straightforward and consists of the following steps:
- Choose a domain name,
- Check if the domain name is available,
- Choose your preferred registrar and/or hosting provider,
- Complete the purchasing process.
Check out the video below to learn how to register a domain name with ease:
Choosing New Domains: What to Consider
Domain types, such as .com, .net, .co, and .us, will most likely always remain the most popular and trustworthy, and it’s hard to imagine something like .xyz taking a majority market share. However, getting a brandable .com domain name will become impossible sooner or later, and we’ll become familiar with reputable companies using new TLDs.
New TLDs offer you the chance to be specific and hone down on your niche. Take a look at the list below:
All these make it clear what your company is about and what kind of products or services you offer. However, it does limit your future scalability. If you want to go beyond selling pizzas, such a TLD can limit you, so make sure to pick one that’s broader (.restaurant comes to mind).
Do New TLDs Pose Security Issues?
You should also consider the security of the TLD. Some new TLDs don’t come with content regulation and user protection, making them ripe for cyber attacks. If your registrar doesn’t offer advanced security features, the potential for breaches and successful hacks will rise, especially once you start to gain traffic and attract bad actors.
MORE: What is domain hijacking
Additionally, some domains are often used for scams and phishing sites, which causes the reputation of a TLD to plummet. If you choose the wrong TLD, many users will avoid clicking on your website regardless of how safe it is.
According to Spamhaus, the following TLDs are most abused:
How Much Do the New Top-Level Domains Cost?
The subscription fee depends on several factors, such as:
- The popularity of a TLD,
- Domain name length,
- Domain name registrar chosen,
- Registration period,
- TLD phase (preregistration or general availability).
TLD-List compares prices of various registrars and lets you know which registrars are cheapest for registration, renewal, domain name transfer, and multi-year plans. Check out the table below for some pricing examples:
|New TLD||Cheapest Registration Fee||Cheapest Renewal Fee|
Bear in mind that the future of these TLDs is unpredictable. Some of them can become popular quickly, which will affect the pricing of your subscription renewal fee. Registering a .ai domain in 2023 costs way more than it used to back in 2015.
New TLDs became a thing almost ten years ago, and it’s almost incorrect to label them as new. Technically, they don’t differ from original TLDs, but internet users are still not completely used to them, and many new TLDs are hardly used and seen as a novelty.
As a business, you need to choose a domain name that’s brandable, trustworthy, and easy to remember. That’s become virtually impossible with original TLDs, and using a new TLD can become a successful marketing trick. If you’re having trouble coming up with a catchy name, use our AI-powered domain name generator and get 1,000+ name ideas instantly.