A long time ago (nearly 20 years), there were just a few top level domains (TLDs), apart from a long list reserved for specific countries. They were .com, .org, .net, .int, .edu, .gov, .mil, and .arpa. As the Internet grew, people demanded more TLDs to make room for all the new web sites. The technical terminology for this was making the namespace bigger.
Expanding the Namespace
Small, but clever countries began promoting their national domains for international business purposes (e.g., Tuvalu’s .tv and the Federated States of Micronesia’s .fm). It worked, television stations adopted .tv web sites and radio stations .fm. To satisfy the demand, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) started approving a lot of new TLDs.
Who Sets the Price of TLDs?
Today, you have many choices in registering domains, choosing a TLD from .academy to .zone. A TLD that fits your activity sounds attractive, but if you’ve tried, you’ve noticed that some have special qualifications, and some are very expensive. For example, a year’s registration of a .bar or .global domain currently costs $102. On this date, a .expert domain costs $70, and .luxury is indeed a luxury at $781. However, the best recognized and most eagerly sought TLD, .com, is available for $14. Why is this?
Every TLD has an operator, an organization that administers allocation of its domains. Each operator has different policies. Verisign Global Registry Services is the operator for the popular .com and .net domains, and they allow any registrar to register domain names for a small fee. The result is heavy price competition and more space for registrars to charge less.
The .luxury domain is under the control of Luxury Partners LLC. You can register a .luxury domain with lots of different registrars, but they have to pay Luxury Partners and still keep something to stay in business. The fee they have to pay is much higher than for a .com domain. You might consider the price part of the value, like living in a high-class neighborhood; no one would register so expensive a domain just for phishing purposes.
Do I Need a More Expensive TLD?
Is a more expensive domain more valuable to you? That depends on your situation. Most specialized domains don’t have much recognition with the public. If a name really fits with your business and brand, though, it could be worth the extra money. Where possible, you should register it as .com as well, since that’s the “default domain” in most people’s minds.
Editor’s Note: Help us welcome Emma Tremblay to the FYNE team. She is our newest Customer Care Specialist. Her most recent career was in journalism, so we look forward to Emma’s FYNE Blog contributions.