Even though the internet and World Wide Web have been around for decades, it’s actually a fairly new technology when you compare it to other similar technologies. The Web is still pretty young and only recently has the growth of it really accelerated.
While it is a fairly new technology, it’s growing faster and faster each day, and it’s starting to outgrow itself. One example of the Web outgrowing itself is the use of IPv4 and IPv6. IPv stands for “internet protocol version” and is the way servers and computers are able to find exact addresses of sites and computers.
In the 1990’s the internet boom took place and it became apparent that the internet would run out of IPv4 addresses at its current rate of growth. Thus in 1998, IPv6 was created as a way to increase the number of addresses available substantially to help keep the internet working and growing, providing 3.4 x 10^38 addresses
This issue was foreseen roughly three decades ago and was addressed to handle the magnitude of devices and websites coming online. Now, the Web is seeing another growing pain in terms of available domain names for websites.
For the most part, if you wanted a domain name, you had to pick from an available .com, .net, .org, or .biz ending, with pretty much any domain name you wanted taken at least in the .com ending, the most common top level domain (TLD) or new domain extensions available. It can become a pain to have to find some sort of combination of words to get an available domain name, leaving you with a less than memorable domain name or changing the name of your product or business just to find an available name.
Since most of the good .com, .net and others are taken, something needed to be done to address the growth of the Web where it came to websites and domain names.
Within the last five years or so, ICANN started accepting applications for new domain extensions from registrars and private organizations. Applications that were accepted included extensions like .shop, .rocks, .museum, .beer, and .website. ICANN also accepted applications for company-specific ones such as .apple and .google, but came at a very hefty $185,000 pricetag a piece.
Fastforward to today, and it is becoming more commonplace for us to see a wide variety of top level domains already in the wild. Many of these new extensions give companies a chance to have unique and memorable domain names and allow for them to be more descriptive of what they offer.
The Web is warming up to these, especially generic ones such as .online, .site, .space and vertical extensions like .tech – just to name a few. The possibilities of getting a domain name that is just right for an organization is a lot greater now.
One common misconception about new domain extensions is that they may not give the same SEO benefits as the .coms and the .nets of the domain world. That simply isn’t true. Search engines are actually being more fair and treating all extensions as if they were the same, meaning they aren’t ranking these any lower than the .com and .net domain names.
In 2016, it’s fair to say that we will start seeing more and more companies and organizations take to these new extensions as they see the possibility of getting exactly the name they want is much higher than that of the traditional .coms and others. They’re the answer for those in search of unique domain names for marketing purposes or memorability.
While most of us who use the Web today still have our minds wrapped around the traditional TLDs, such as .com, .net, .org, .gov, etc, those who are born today will grow up on the Web that is full of these new and endless ones and wondered how we ever got by with the limited extensions we’ve become so accustomed to.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you struggled to find a domain name, had to rename your business or product because there wasn’t an available domain name, or even currently not completely happy with the name you have and want to change, check out the new extensions that you can now register your domain name to.
Image credit: Giphy
This post was brought to you by Radix Registry.