When can .CHURCH domain names be registered?
Churches and Bibles are both very important to people of the Christian faith; and domain names with these new domain extensions are important ways to connect people with relevant resources on the Internet. With over 330,000 churches (inclusive of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox) in the United States and numerously more around the world, there’s anticipation for the popularity of domain names with a .CHURCH extension.
One of frequently asked questions is: “when can I get a .CHURCH domain name?” Now there’s an answer for that! For the .CHURCH TLD (top-level domain), ICANN has recently made known these registration dates:
- Sunrise Period: 08 July 2014 to 06 September 2014
The sunrise period dates indicate when .CHURCH domain names can be first registered, but only by those organizations that have a trademark name that is registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) prior to the sunrise period. For more information, go to trademark-clearinghouse.com
For the majority of churches that do not have trademarks, there are 2 other important dates regarding when .CHURCH domain names can be first registered:
- Early Access Program (10-Sep-2014 to 16-Sep-2014)
- General Availability (with standard pricing) opens on 17-Sep-2014
Why all these dates are important is because domain registrations are first-come first-served. The annual registration fees are not yet known and those fees will vary from registrar to registrar. The Early Access Program provides an “express-lane” or “fast-pass” opportunity to register an available domain name at a premium price. (cf. “Pricing during EAP is fixed on day 1 at over ~$10,000 (varying by Registrar). The fixed EAP pricing then drops gradually over the EAP week.”)
Here’s the official description of the Early Access Program that’s exclusive to Donuts, the Registry Operator for .CHURCH TLD:
The Early Access Program (EAP) is available for all Donuts-operated generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”) and… takes place during the first seven days of a gTLD’s general availability (“GA”). Interested individuals, organizations, businesses and others can register names on a first-come, first-served, non-restricted basis. Early access registrations will be made available for the first seven days of a gTLD’s general availability. Each day of the EAP will begin at 16:00 UTC and end at 16:00 UTC the following calendar day.
Also refer to this blog post by DJ Chuang, How can I get a .CHURCH domain name, for more background on how to get ready.
Add a comment with any questions. This .BIBLE blog will keep you informed as more details become available about .CHURCH domain names, and .BIBLE domain names too, of course.
[update July 2022]
Since 2014, tens of thousands of churches have registered and are using .CHURCH domain names. 37% of the Outreach 100 (the largest and fastest growing churches in the U.S.) use .CHURCH domain URLs as well as many thousands of other churches, ranging in all kinds of sizes, ages, and denominations.
Something noteworthy is the extra security that .CHURCH domain names have (and the many other TLDs operated by Identity Digital, formerly Donuts). Malicious scammers and bad hackers may use confusingly similar Unicode letters and characters to spoof your domain name, and then use this lookalike for fraudulent phishing schemes to get your credit card number, capture your password, or steal your identity. When register a .CHURCH domain, all potential malicious variations are automatically blocked, preventing hackers from registering false, lookalike names and using them against you.