Whether you class yourself as a newbie in the world of top-level domains (TLDs) or a seasoned expert, it’s highly likely that you’ve tried to secure your dream .com, only to find out that somebody has beaten you to it.
The world of domains can be a crowded space, and if you want to use common words and phrases, you have a slim chance of being the first person to have ever come up with a domain name. The original TLDs like .com, .net, and .org were created back in 1984, and understandably, the need for more domain name opportunities increased.
Years later, TLDs like .tech, .site, and .art came on the scene, looking fresh, cool, and modern — the perfect online addresses for business or personal projects.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about New gTLDs, which can assist in your future decisions regarding registering your domain names. We’ve also included plenty of statistics to sink your teeth into. But first, let’s take a look into the background of domain names, learn when and how top-level domains first became available, and the stages of registering a domain name.
If you already know about domain names, feel free to skip ahead. If you don’t, settle in for a quick history lesson.
So, what is a domain name? Whether you’re on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, look at the top of the screen, and you’ll see an address bar that has http:// written in it. Look at this bar, and you'll see namecheap.com. The .com part is what is known as the top-level domain (TLD), namecheap is the second-level domain (SLD), and namecheap.com is the domain name.
Once you type a domain name into the address bar, you'll have access to the files, images, text, and videos — everything that makes a website work. Domain names exist because, behind the scenes, it’s IP addresses (made up of a series of numbers) that tell your computer where to locate the data for your website. Unfortunately, IP addresses are long and difficult to remember, so we use domain names instead.
In 1984 seven TLDs were introduced. They were .com, .org, .net, .int, .edu, .gov, and .mil. Each top-level domain was intended for different purposes, .com for commercial organizations, .org for non-profit organizations, .net for networking companies, and so on.
There are many different types of domain names and top-level domains, including generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Generic TLDs use generic descriptors, whereas ccTLDs are intended for specific countries. However, some have alternative uses like Anguilla’s .ai, which artificial intelligence companies use.
When a new TLD launches, it goes through different registration periods when only certain people are allowed to register them.
If you’re not a trademark owner but have your eye on a particular TLD, it may be worth paying more during the EA period, before the rest of the world battles for first-come-first-served.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) started a New gTLD Program, and applications for new gTLDs were accepted in 2012, January 12-April 20. They received 1,930 applications, and in December of the same year, the applications were processed by ICANN and evaluated by a third-party body. The first New gTLDs were ‘delegated’ in October 2013. This means that they were introduced to the Internet’s authoritative database, known as the Root Zone. In other words, the paths are all set, so the TLD information can now be found!
These included categories like brands, languages, and geographical locations. The domain space then expanded, allowing for more descriptive choices to become available. Unlike the original line-up of top-level domains that include .com, .org, and .net, customers were suddenly able to register more creative and defined TLDs like .camera, .voyage, and .clothing.
According to ICANN’s Application Statistics, as of 31 January 2022, 1930 applications have been submitted. All the New gTLDs can be viewed on ICANN’s Delegated Strings page. Here are a few numbers for you:
You may also notice that there are Brand TLDs — in other words, TLDs that a specific brand owns, for example, .netflix and .walmart. Interestingly, 664 brand applications were submitted to ICANN, 34% of total applications. Some of the benefits of acquiring a Brand TLD are that brand awareness will be easier, marketing opportunities, and the flexibility in creating second-level domains for various products and services.
According to nTLD Stats, as of February 7, 2022, the top 10 most registered New gTLDs are the following:
The resounding leader is .xyz with over 4 million registered domains with .online in second place with over 2 million registered domains.
You can purchase most of the top 10 New gTLDs for as little as $1-$2, which suggests a low price is attractive when purchasing a New gTLD.
The anomaly is .app, with a price point of around $11, which is considerably higher. Currently, the applications development industry is thriving. With over 7 billion smartphone users, it makes sense that a .app is the ideal online address for introducing a new app to the world. Andrew Allemann has some insight on this subject over on our blog, Why the .APP domain name is insanely popular.
According to Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief Q3 2021, of all registered TLDs, New gTLDs registrations represent 6.4%. The chart below shows domain name registrations as of September 30, 2021.
Now, let’s take a look at the New gTLDs launched within the time period of January 1, 2019, to November 10, 2021. We went to nTLD Stats and used their tool to find our data.
During this time period, 26 TLDs launched for General Availability. Just to remind you, this is where TLDs are available to the general public on a first-come-first-served basis. 17 of the 26 are available from Namecheap, and for 8 TLDs, we are the top registrar with the biggest market share.
We looked at the domains launched for General Availability during this time period. The winner of the most popular TLD is .dev, with 279,086 registered domains. It’s followed by .cyou with 169,484, and .monster with 151,688. It’s important to note that the TLDs .dev and .monster were launched in 2019, giving them more time to garner popularity.
In descending order, the next popular TLDs were .quest with 28,625 registrations, .homes (17,084), .gay (14,331), .contact (12,423), and .sbs (11,152).
37% of these popular TLDs are provided by the .XYZ registry. Namecheap has the biggest market share for .quest (72.4%), .sbs (47.49%), and .gay (39.2%) domains, and for 62%, we are the top registrar.
To give you some insight into the numbers, the top 4 TLDs (.dev, .cyou, .monster, and .quest) receive between 2,000-3,000 registrations per month on average at Namecheap. In comparison, .contact, .gay, and .sbs receive between 200-1,000.
The TLD .homes has the smallest number of registrations and a 2.55% market share at Namecheap. Its lack of popularity could be because it was launched with us in June 2021 — it may need more time to gain the popularity votes.
50% of the popular TLDs of 2019-2021 are priced between $1-$2, showing that low-cost domains attract users. In comparison, the most popular TLD is .dev, which is priced in the range of $10-$11.49 — perhaps its popularity is due to the technology industry's growth. Domain Name Wire reports that it looks like first name/last name combinations are popular, that ‘individual developers are buying their name ending in .dev’.
The next group of TLDs is the biggest group with between 1,000 and 10,000 domains registered, consisting of .sport (9,464), .cfd (7,264), .cpa (6,755), .bond (5,100), .inc (3,992), .beauty (3,817), .madrid (3,319), .hair (1,945), .skin (1,810), .new (1,322), and .makeup (1,226).
36% of these TLDs are provided by the .XYZ registry, and 18% by ShortDot. Namecheap has the biggest market share for .makeup (32.71%), .skin (29.83%), and .hair (24.68%), and we are the top registrar for 27% of all the TLDs in this group.
The average registration price for 27% of this group is above $1,000. The .new TLD has 1,322 domains registered, with an average price of $463.68 and .inc (3,992 domains registered) with an average price of $1,717, which suggests if a registrant wants a specific TLD, they will still register it, even when it comes with a high price tag.
There are 7 TLDs where the number of registered domains is below 1,000. They are .basketball (659), .rugby (431), .compare (406), .select (331), .forum (325), .dealer (127), and .trust (53).
Ever since New gTLDs arrived on the scene, it’s apparent that the TLDs with the lowest price tags are in demand. Most of the top TLDs, like .xyz, .top, .site, .club and .shop, are priced between $1-$2.
It’s interesting to see that technology-related TLDs .dev and .app are among the popular TLDs, even though their price tags are above $10. Again, this ties in neatly with the growth of the technology industry.
Now that you know the stats behind New gTLDs, let’s make sure you’re up to speed with how to choose the best domain name (and top-level domain) for your unique purpose.
Let’s look at top-level domains. You can focus on your location with country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) like .uk and .us, and geographic TLDs (GeoTLDs) like .london and .asia. Alternatively, you could choose your chosen field of work, from creative (.photography, .art, .design) to technological (.dev, .app, .tech).
Some top-level domains may have rules about registering, such as living, working, or being able to produce an address in the country that your ccTLD suggests. However, the top 4 most popular TLDs (.xyz, .online, .top, and .site) and most of the popular TLDs mentioned above are open to anyone. They are non-specific and can be used for many different purposes.
The least in-demand TLDs are more suitable for a particular niche, such as .forum and .rugby.
Ultimately the choice is yours, but it’s a good tip to note that choosing a job-specific title like .accountant or .actor will save your website visitor time when working out what your web content is about.
Start brainstorming with an old-fashioned pencil and paper. Choose words that are related to your online project. Bounce ideas off friends and family. You have plenty of TLDs to choose from, so start thinking!
Once you’ve picked your domain name, it’s important to keep it (and you!) safe. Cybercrime is on the rise, with social engineering attacks, phishing pages, and keyloggers among the ways that people can steal your domain.
Typosquatting is where a domain name is registered that is almost identical to yours, resulting in misdirected traffic that was intended for your site. These similar websites are used to steal information.
To combat this, you should use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication for your accounts, and keep vigilant for suspicious emails. Please read our blog post, How to prevent domain hijacking and cyber attacks, for further information on protecting yourself and your brand.
Good news! According to Google Search Central, “New gTLDs are treated like any other gTLDs (like .com and .org)”, which means that you can register without worrying if you will be affected negatively.
We wanted to find out more about what people thought about New gTLDs when picking their domain name, so we surveyed a number of our customers.
We asked our survey responders if they prefer New gTLDs over a more traditional domain extension, what was the reason?
Here are the thirteen statistics we want to share with you:
We asked our survey responders who prefer more traditional domain extensions why they came to this decision.
We asked our survey responders a series of questions on trust, such as a preferred domain name for a particular category. Here’s what we learned:
The evidence shows that New gTLDs have become increasingly more popular with domain users. Traditional TLDs such as .com and .org are harder to find, and New gTLDs give customers new and exciting ways to communicate their online purpose.
If you’re looking for a unique domain name or would prefer to register a domain that fits your budget, a New gTLD will be the perfect match. Good luck with your search!