As with any major business decision that affects your brand, your sales or your customers, deciding how to best represent your business online requires a great deal of consideration.
While the most critical areas around new gTLDs may appear to involve the customer trust and experience, in reality, the back-end issues – especially website availability, reliability and security – are equally important.
Return on investment (ROI) is never simple to calculate, especially when comparing an established domain – such as .com or .net – with something that isn’t yet proven. The best way to reduce risk and maximize benefit is to fully understand how to evaluate each aspect of how a gTLD is likely to impact your business.
Price-wise, not all TLDs are created equal. At this stage, the costs of many new gTLDs appear to be inflated and, depending on the specific domain, could cost significantly more than established TLDs. For example, you can find a .com or .net domain name for about $13 and $10 per year, respectively. In comparison, new gTLDs have been priced from approximately $14.99 to $69.99 during pre-registration. For most businesses, combining the cost with uncertainty around the overall viability and long-term competitive success of new gTLDs could make it challenging to justify the investment. But even with these high prices, there’s no guarantee businesses will be able to register their domain name of choice. If two or more entities claim the same domain name during the sunrise period, the name goes up for auction – potentially driving the cost even higher.
In addition, your business and reputation could suffer a detrimental blow if your new gTLD registry operator experiences an outage and your customers can’t reach you online.
If you rely on your website to generate revenue, that loss can be enormous not to mention the damage to your business’s reputation. This is why it is critical for businesses to understand the track record of the companies behind their TLD and have confidence that they are conducting their daily business operations on secure and stable infrastructure at all times.
New gTLDs may present an opportunity for businesses and individuals, but as with any new technology, there will be growing pains.
Because you might never get a second chance, you need to be cautious when making an investment for a primary online presence, and base your decision on all of the most critical criteria: Security, cost, ROI and ultimately the ability to serve customers 24x7.
To learn more about new gTLDs and how to invest wisely, check out SCORE and Verisign’s new guide: "New gTLDs: What They Mean, What Your Options Are and How to Invest Wisely."