Should You Purchase a “.Agency” Domain?
Top-level domains (TLDs) have been used since the very beginning of the Internet as a way to categorize the different types of websites. You know these as the extensions used by every website address. The original top level domains were: .gov for government; .mil for military; .edu for academic institutions; .net for network operations centers; .org typically for non-profits but not restricted to this use; and .com for commercial entities.
In 2000, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to allow seven more TLDs such as .biz, .info, .name, and .pro.
A historic change in the Internet domain name system is now underway. 2014 will see the start of the gradual release of almost 1,900 new domain extensions. These new extensions will allow companies of all types to be able to create generic extensions for their brand and names such as .shop, .hotel, .eco, .cpa, and so on.
Two of these new domains your organization might want to pay some attention to are .agency and .insurance. While the .com domain has been the standard (the first was assigned in 1985) with currently over 132 million .com websites in the world, it is also significantly harder today to find an appropriate website address using a .com extension.
By registering and using one of the new extensions of your domain name, you will benefit from the following:
- Drive more traffic to your website. Registering your domain name with multiple extensions and pointing them to your main website can help prospects and customers find your website.
- Protect your brand and online identity. It will prevent others from registering your domain with a different extension that attracts customers to their site instead of yours.
Domain name extensions were originally added to help identify the domains by function or country of origin. Many of the new domain name extensions will also become recognized over time as an effective way to categorize organizations by interest or functions.
To view the list of all the new TLDs, you can go to Name.com’s TLD Watchlist.
Here you can see all the new TLDs and also mark the ones you’re interested in so that you can be notified when they become available. Your existing domain registrar (Network Solutions, GoDaddy, etc.) may also offer a similar service. As these new domains become available, you can purchase them for prices similar to those for your existing domains.
I suggest you at least explore the idea of registering your organization’s name or brand with .agency and/or .insurance. It’s not a lot of money and you could look back in a few years and be very glad you claimed this part of the Internet for yourself or your organization.
Have you registered for any new domain name extensions? If so, how are you using them?