A Beginner’s Guide to Not-Coms

Domain namesNew generic top level domains, commonly called gTLDs or not-coms, are the latest sensation in domain name registration. Gone are the days when all websites ended in .com, .org, .net or only a handful of other possibilities. Now, you can register sites with domain extensions such as .play, .go or .live.

In fact, the Internet naming authority, ICAAN, recently approved applications for over 600 gTLDs. This means that certain domain registrars can now offer you the opportunity to buy a domain name with a unique extension.

But before you get too excited about applying for your own gTLD, know that the application process is lengthy and expensive. Big corporations are likely the only ones who can afford the hefty $180,000+ application fee and still turn a profit off of the resulting sales.

So what kind of not-coms are available now? Virtually every industry is covered, including sports, travel, technology, business, entertainment and more. According to ntldstats.com, some of the most popular new domains include:

·         .xyz
·         .win
·         .club
·         .vip
·         .online
·         .loan
·         .tech
·         .science
·         .website
·         .racing
·         .trade
·         .lol
·         .work
·         .review
·         .shop

You can also purchase gTLDs that are location specific, such as .paris, .london or .nyc. These are, of course, just a handful of examples out of the hundreds that have been released since 2014.

Why Should You Get a Not-Com?

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider a not-com address, whether you have an existing dot-come site or are ready to start a brand-new site.

·         It makes your company stand out. Turning your website into a not-com instead of a dot-com is a quick way to gain a bit of attention. gTLDs are still very new, and having one will make people do a double-take when they see your business card or come across your site online. And in marketing, most things that give you a bit of an edge or help you stand out from the crowd are worthwhile.

·         It allows you to get creative with your brand name. It’s hard to tell what industry some companies are in based just off of the name. With a gTLD, you can clear things up. Add .auto or .law to the end of your domain name to immediately portray your expertise.

Some real-word examples of this in practice are the brands Fathom and Driftaway. Based on those names alone, do you know what you can purchase from each business?

Now let’s look at their domain names: fathom.clothing and driftaway.coffee. Now you know exactly what you can expect from each brand! The new gTLDs also allow you to save a little bit of space in the domain name. Whereas fathomclothing.com or driftawaycoffee.com might also be good choices for a domain name, shortening the domain by even three letters can be helpful. Plus, the dot between words helps each word jump off the page, rather than having them run together.

·         It could help with SEO. Although gTLDs are too new to know for sure, it’s possible that keyword-rich gTLDs can help with your SEO efforts. Think about it this way: if the .auto extension tells people what your business does, it will also send that same signal to Google, which improves relevancy in search results.

·         It’s a good alternative if your ideal dot-com name is taken. Did someone already register bobsellscars.com? You can skirt around the problem by registering bobsells.cars.

·         You can reroute your not-com to your dot-com, or vice versa. Not-coms can be a good marketing tactic, since they stand out from the crowd. But you don’t have to transfer your entire site to the not-com domain. Instead, just reroute the not-com to your existing dot-com site. Now you have the best of both worlds. Problem solved!

You can also run some interesting A/B testing to see whether people are more likely to visit your site after seeing the dot-com or not-com URL.

I Want a Not-Com! How Do I Get One?

First, explore your options! Use free domain name generator tools like Nominus.com to help generate ideas for your overall domain name, and to take a look at some relevant gTLDs. There are probably gTLDs related to your industry already, but if not, you can surely find some creative ways to convey your business’s purpose.

Next, just locate the domain name registrar that is authorized the sell your chosen gTLD and register the domain name just like you would if it were a dot-com.

If you think the world is missing out on some great gTLDs, your best option is to suggest the idea to your favorite registrar. Don’t try to apply for the gTLD yourself, since the process is intricate and the cost is surprising. Let the registrars handle it for you, and in a couple of years (yes, the application process can take that long!) you may finally get to be one of the first to register a brand-new gTLD.

Have you registered a not-com lately? Are you proud of the name you came up with? Share with us!

Guest article written by: Cathy Habas is a professional writer specializing in tech, fashion, health and home improvement.  She also an editor and Spanish to English translator. She is passionate about the arts, social causes and global communities. Know more about Cathy and get in touch with her at www.cathyhabas.com.

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