You may have noticed in the news recently that there’s has been a lot of new “TLDs” announced. Your first question could well have been “what’s a TLD?” If that was the case, then we are happy to give you the answer – TLD stands for ‘top level domain’, and refers to the primary location or purpose of a particular website. Easily the most common TLD is .com, with .co.uk being just about as well noticed and recognized.
As for why new versions of these are becoming available, for the most part it is down purely to the internet getting bigger and bigger. More websites means that more domain names are needed, as many of the most popular and sought after domain names ending with .com or .co.uk have been taken in the last 20 or so years. Trying to meet the requirements for domain names has been behind the various new TLD extensions introduced in the last year or so.
One of the biggest TLD extension launches in recent years was the one for .london domains. Many other cities have followed with this approach, with the new TLD domain names proving to be fairly popular. However, city specific website addresses do have the drawback of creating the idea that the site or business is intended for that city alone; this is somewhat at odds with the global village view of the planet created by the internet.
Beyond cities, there is a seemingly ever growing number of TLDs to consider using. The Colombian TLD, .co, has in recent times been taken up by those unable to get their .com name of choice. There’s also a .biz aimed at businesses, and even a .ninja, with this being presented as the TLD to show that you are the best at or expert on whatever your website is about. If there’s a wide choice of TLDs out there, the question is, are they worth getting?
The NCC Group, a widely respected security agency, decided to carry out some research into use of these new TLDs amongst the people that matter – the web users who would be visiting the sites. Of 10,000 people who completed their survey, just under 9 out of every 10 asked said that they would feel uncomfortable visiting any website that had a TLD which was not .com, .co.uk or .uk. A significant percentage of those said that they would just not visit the site all together if the address for it didn’t feature one of those three.
Why is this the case? Many believe it has to do with the comfort zone, and the increased level of distrust about things we are not familiar with. This sense of distrust is particularly true with anything related to the internet, where cases of fraud and cyber-crime are widely reported. In a relatively short space of time people have gotten very used to website addresses ending with a .com, a .co.uk or a .uk. It looks like it will take a little longer for everyone to have a similar amount of confidence in the new TLD names.
This does not mean that the new TLD names available are doomed to fail – although you can’t see many big companies or corporates actively using the ‘.ninja’ one. In terms of making sure that visitors and customers visit your site, it is pretty clear that having a .co.uk or .uk domain name is essential for any British website at the moment.
We of course build great websites no matter what address you have in place to use with it. As Nominet members, however, we can also help make sure you obtain the .co.uk or .uk domain name that you really want. We can help you obtain and own the registration of your domain name, whether you use our other services or make your own arrangements. If you are looking for the perfect domain name that will give your target market and audience the confidence to use it, get in touch and one of our web specialists will be happy to help.