Domain name extensions are becoming more and more diverse as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers continues to approve a range of new options.
New suffix are being added based on key businesses and places, including .melbourne, .paris and .nyc.
Requested and proposed suffix also include options such as .google, .youtube, .hotel, .sport and .lol.
City-based generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) are the first to get the go ahead, with many countries suggesting they could provide huge benefits for the online business community as well as people browsing the web.
London is one of the most recent cities to have a specific suffix approved by ICANN, and Mayor Boris Johnson said using .london would help websites connect more closely with the city’s global brand.
“Adopting the .london suffix will enable organisations to more closely associate themselves with our great city’s powerful global brand,” he said.
“This is also an excellent opportunity to expand London’s digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city.”
The addition of .london is part of ICANN’s New gTLD Program, which is designed to expand the Domain Name System from 22 gTLDs (e.g., .com, .net, .org) to possibly 1400 new names or “strings.”
ICANN says these additional gTLDs will enhance competition, innovation and choice in the Domain Name space, providing a wider variety of organisations, communities and brands new ways to communicate with people online.
Gradual Change for Domain Names
While the addition of these gTLDs is going ahead, it is a slow process. Businesses can apply to have particular extensions approved, but each one has to go through an extensive assessment before it can be approved.
With 1400 possible new names already being considered, that means it could be a while before the suffix you want is available. Even approved options like .london are still months away from official domain name sales.
Another factor to consider is the potential cost of a new suffix. While a domain name with the new .melbourne or .london could be a lot cheaper than the popular .com, the fact that it is so specific could also increase its price in the same way that a .com.au domain name may be more expensive than a .com option.
So the question of whether the wait for these domain names is worth it really comes down to time: if you want a website up and running now, then waiting could end up losing you time and money.
On the other hand, if you have a project that can wait, and feel one of these specific extensions would be ideal, it may be a convenient option.
But either way, there will also be opportunities to buy new domain names in the future and even to redirect traffic from already established sites – meaning you could establish your website now and update it with one of these addresses in the future.
What comes after the dot in a domain name has the potential to help create unique and memorable web address, and the range of new options means many more choices.
But figuring out when you want to establish your website and the value of the address you choose will help you decide what options you can make the most of at any time.