There was a time when everyone wanted to purchase a dot.com domain because they were the hottest trend on the Internet. If you’re an IT professional, or just an early computer user, you may have been one of the few who did purchase one (or many) domains, some were successful in creating high quality websites while others didn’t survive. TLDs (top level domains), such as .com, .org, and .net, are said to have had quite an impact on the value assigned to domain names. Before new businesses and computer users go to a website broker for a new domain name, it can’t hurt to understand the past, present and future of the workings of domain value.
Past Projections of TLDs
According to a 2011 interview on ElliotsBlog, domain expert, Tim Schumacher explains that the monetary value of secondary domain names will have no affect on the prices of those domains. He stated that after multiple top level domains first came out, it was clear to see that some of them did well, and others were failures. Schumacher also stated that gTLDs (generic top level domains) have been a necessary part of the business world since 2001. He went on to state that the idea of ".xxx" domains, which are meant specifically for adult websites, was spoken about frequently but had not become a popular trend.
New gTLD Program’s Concerns
In June 2011, a new gTLD program was approved by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and was launched 7 months later. According to Tina Dam, of CircleID.com, if this program did not work as intended, there were concerns that the program would have a harmful impact on domain names. Industry experts were worried that if the first release of this program had negative results, the company running the program opened themselves up to lawsuits and the launching of websites that were unstable.
Tina Dam also stated that if select gTLDs were unsuccessful when they were first released, users would be less likely to use generic top level domains in the future. She felt that some users may end up choosing a domain name that would not effectively function for their intended purpose. This is a feasible concern for new small businesses because while there are a myriad of domains to choose from, they have to find a relevant domain name for their site; otherwise, it could potentially ruin their business. Dam also stated that in the event a user claims a domain name someone else abandoned and that person decides they want it back, both financial and legal complications could arise. This will destroy the confidence of Internet users everywhere.
Another concern is that, as of 2012, personalized domain names are now becoming available. These domains used to fall under the category of gTLDs prior to 2012. When a person or company buys a personalized domain, they actually become the owner of a TLD. For example, Apple can buy their own domain name with the extension .apple, and have their own collection of sites.
There has been some controversy surrounding this new system. The FTC feels that there is a potential for users to abuse a personalized domain after they purchase it, due to the influx of users registering their personalized domain. Those who run the ICANN program state that they can keep track of and deal with any abuse that results. For this reason, they have set the price for a personalized TLD to $185,000 in registration fees. This is done to discourage abusive users from purchasing these exclusive domain names. Anyone wanting to buy a top level domain through this program must go through a process to determine if they are qualified to purchase one.
IT professionals who are considering purchasing a top level domain for their startup business it is a good idea to work with a designer, and possibly consult with a website broker before making the purchase. The consultant should be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have before beginning the process of purchasing a personalized domain name for use.