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Benefits and Drawbacks of Expanded Top Level Domains

The Introduction of New Domain Extensions
Anyone who develops brands knows how critical it is to choose the best domain name possible, and that includes selecting the right domain extension. For the uninitiated, the extension is the part of the domain name that comes after the dot. In a domain, for example, com is the domain extension. For years, there were limited extensions from which to choose. Thanks to recent changes in the domain extension naming policies, though, there are now tremendous numbers of domain extensions available. The possibilities for domain name customization and creativity are nearly endless. After a great deal of speculation and high expectations, however, the new extensions received little attention upon their 2014 debut. Moving forward, successful brand building will entail understanding the benefits and drawbacks of using one of the many new domain extensions.

Benefits of Expanded TLDs to Brand Building
A unique and memorable domain name is priceless to the building of a brand. Domain names are how site visitors come to find the businesses, organizations and other parties they seek on the Internet. The right domain name makes it easier for a website to attract the visitors who want to find them. Because of the enormous array of new domain extensions, which are also called TLDs (top level domains), brands now have a dizzying number of options for devising the perfect domain name. Many extensions are grounded in the purpose a site might serve. Some of these include .app, .design, .health, .wiki, .tech, .dev and .systems. Domain registrations are also available with city specific TLDs. Cities that still lack a TLD are permitted to apply for them. Businesses taking advantage of city specific TLDs for their domain names benefit from a form of instant association with the city, giving those extensions instant value in the branding effort.

Drawbacks of Expanded TLDs to Brand Building
One unfortunate factor with regard to domain names is that some extensions are more recognizable and more trusted than others. Internet users already understand what a .net, .org, .com, .edu or .gov domain extension means when they visit a website. Users tend to be cautious, though, when approaching new extensions. Marketing strategies should consider this potential for wariness when choosing a domain name. Vanity extensions are intriguing, but they are not for everyone. The more generic or unfamiliar a new TLD is, the more likely it is that Internet users will treat its domains with caution.

Making Final Determinations
City-specific domain extensions have generated more enthusiasm than many other TLDs that have been introduced recently. The benefits of community engagement have been a draw for cities and the businesses operating in them. When branding for businesses that are specific to a city, there are also fewer concerns about the unfamiliarity of the TLD. In contrast to the generic nature of technology TLDs, for instance, a city TLD has a built-in familiarity to site visitors. Instant name recognition means Internet users will mostly focus on the attractions and services a city has to offer. As a result, city specific domains are poised to reap the benefits of the expanded domain extensions, but they bear little risk from the major drawbacks.


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