Posted on March 11, 2014

What are the new domain names? Internet history in the making.

Posted on March 11, 2014 by .BIBLE Registry Categories: Domains, Online Presence

Would you believe the world wide web is 25 years old?, the popular blog about social media, posted A Brief History of the Domain Name, highlighting a number of significant moments in Internet history:

  • 1985: is the first .com domain
  • 1998: Privatization of the DNS and ICANN (Domain Naming System and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, respectively)
  • 2007: Most expensive domain sold for $35 million
  • 2013: Internet runs out of four-letter .com domains
  • 2014: More than 100 new generic top-level domains added

Today in 2014, the most common way that people get around on the Internet is using domain names and web addresses, also known as URLs. As mobile devices like smartphones and tablets keep getting more popular, mobile apps will still need domain names. There are currently over 150 million domain names active.

new-top-level-domains-gTLDsThough’s article above mentioned that more than 100 new domain extensions (technically known as generic Top-Level Domains, or abbreviated as gTLDs) added, many of those domain extensions are not yet available to the general public. (Trademark holders could have special early access.)

At the time of this blog post, there are 31 new domain extensions in English available to the public. That number might remind you of those 31 flavors of ice cream, but that’s purely coincidental.

To understand how these new domain names might be changing how people use the Internet, I had started searching for actual websites using these new domain names as soon as they were publicly available.

Here a summary of 6 lessons learned about new domain names based on a series of my personal blog posts:

(1) The first websites using .BIKE domain names show the beauty of shorter and more memorable domain names: was + was + was—via First websites with new gTLD .BIKE domain names

(2) The first websites using .CLOTHING domain names show how they’re more meaningful than a generic .COM: was, was, is redirecting to—notice how a website ending in .COM only tells you it’s a website, with no clue of what’s there, whereas a .CLOTHING web address tells people right away that it’s a clothing-related website—via Active websites with new gTLD .CLOTHING domain names

(3) .GURU is the most popular new domain extension so far, and websites using these domain names can indicate expertise on a subject. For example: launched by and launched by—via .GURU domains are most popular; early websites go live

(4) There are proportionally few websites launched with these new domain names. Tens of thousands of new domain names have been registered during the first month, but I could only find a hundred or so that are actively using them. It’s going to take more time for these new domain extensions to catch on—via Are there websites with domains like .HOLDINGS .PLUMBING .SINGLES .VENTURES?

(5) .PHOTOGRAPHY is the second most popular new domain extension so far. This domain extension has built-in meaning that’s valuable; early websites show how it can be used to add meaning to a photographer’s personal name, a geographical location, indicate expertise in a genre, indicate innovation, or add meaning to an existing brand—via 6 ways to choose a meaningful domain name with a new gTLD, like .PHOTOGRAPHY

(6) And the question on many Bible readers’ mind is: How can I get a .CHURCH domain name? Short answer at this time = not yet. Stay tuned for news here.

In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be blogging here at the .BIBLE Blog about the good news of this Internet history in the making, explaining in simple language for everyday people to understand how these new domain names will benefit our everyday lives.

[update 3/15/2014] ICANN has posted a good video tutorial explaining what is a domain name (running time of 1:44)

[photo credit: felixart05]