The ever-expanding World Wide Web has gotten even bigger with the Jan. 29 rollout of new domain possibilities beyond the .com spectrum. But if you own a small business, is a new domain your best bet or just a bluff?
A Wall Street Journal poll reported that a majority of Web domains still ended in .com even despite the fact that the possibility of new ones like .biz or .info cracked the Internet world open. As of 2013, the report found that 111.8 million of the 147.3 million domains ended in .com.
The addresses for these new domains were set to go on sale through registrar sites like GoDaddy.com and Name.com and most will cost anywhere between $10 and $40 a year, compared with up to $15 a year on average for most .com addresses currently, the Wall Street Journal reported. Some domains, however, were being reserved at higher prices for premium buyers willing to dish out the cash – like .clothing.
“It’s a marketing opportunity,” Avery Pack of Dania Beach, Fla. Told the Wall Street Journal. Pack’s company, Republic Bike Inc., handles all things bicycle and he said there were endless possibilities for business owners looking to take advantage of new domains.
Some of Pack’s ideas included using a new domain to build additional Republic Bike websites for customers to interact by posting photos, videos and other content. He argued that small business owners undoubtedly use Web addresses as an investment in their brand and should consider all the possibilities to remain relevant.
Don Teague of Coppell, Texas told the Wall Street Journal he was waiting for the coveted .christmas to arrive for his seven-year-old business, Synchronized Christmas, Inc., which specializes in holiday light displays. According to Teague, the new domains provided him with an opportunity to make his brand more memorable to consumers.
Seven new Web domains came out late last month, including .bike, .clothing and .singles, opening the door for countless new sites. But some also argued the shift in Web psyche would confuse consumers.
Jay Sofer is the founder of a small locksmith service in New York with the website Lockbustersnyc.com and told the Wall Street Journal that buying a new domain would mean having to “start from scratch” in getting the word out. His concerns echoed others who have wondered whether or not a new domain would fail to stick with Web surfers.
Thousands of business owners like Sofer have already shelled out enough money working to build and protect a brand in the .com world, and the Wall Street Journal said they might be wearier to make the change.
But in the end, domain registrars said the shift in Web language was just another chapter in the ongoing saga that has become the Internet. And with enough time, it is likely that new domain endings beyond the .com realm may become more socially accepted amongst consumers, registrars said.