On 15th March, 2015, the .com domain celebrated its thirty years of existence. Coming from a relatively slow start with a handful of companies initially registering domain names, more than 115 million domains have now been registered worldwide. After thirty years of dominating the web space undisputedly and in the face of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), will this reign continue or end very soon?
The first domain name on earth, symbolics.com, was registered by a technology company, Symbolics, on 15th March, 1985. Even though the site was purchased in 2009 by XF.com, it unarguably remains the oldest website in the world. The .com domain was originally launched by the U.S Department of Defense and technology companies were the first to largely come on board, including Siemens and Intel. It was in 1997 that the millionth domain was registered which led to the domain boom of the 21st century.
The .com domain name has come a long way and it is popular to the point that suitors pay heavily to acquire it. However, this dominance may soon be a thing of the past because of the new gTLDs introduced into the market. Before now, the few challengers of .com domain were .net, .biz, .org, .info, .edu, .gov, just to mention a few, yet they were not capable of reducing its overgrown popularity. In fact, if you mention a domain name without putting the .com extension, almost everybody believes that you are definitely referring to a .com domain. But with the roll-out of more gTLDs such as .music, .club, .photography, .actor, .agency, .academy, .church, .boutique and so on, the game may seriously be over for dot-com.
Research shows that many people now prefer these new gTLDs to dot-com because of their uniqueness and more so, it is difficult to get a choice .com domain in today’s world. For example, it may difficult to register a domain like ‘bestphotography.com’, which might have been taken by a user or an investor who bought it with the hope of reselling for a big profit. One of the alternatives available now is to register a name like ‘best.photography’ which is smarter to pronounce and looks good to the eyes.
The World Wide Web is evolving every now and then but only those with vision can benefit from these developments. It is very obvious that the .com domain may lose its dominance of the internet very soon and when it happens, will you be one of the losers or winners. Your knowledge of the internet will largely determine the side that you will belong to, hence, you need to equip yourself with adequate information in order to be on the winning side.