This post was written by our web legend Michael Urquhart. Michael is great at translating web-speak for us mere mortals and builds a mean site, be it simple or complex.
As you may have noticed the domain name space has dramatically changed over the last few years. This change has been in the works for several years but only recently have the changes filtered through to the public. Essentially what happened is ICANN, the people who control domain names, allowed a whole lot more Top Level Domains (TLD). What is a TLD? Well it’s the little bit at the end of a domain name, e.g. .com, .net, .tv. ICANN have allowed companies to administer other TLDs. For example Google now administer .google and they could use domains such as au.google instead of google.com.au or drive.google instead of drive.google.com, you get the idea. In addition to this companies have been able to create and resell new TLDs, like .travel .hotel, .site or .marketing in our case. This has meant domain name registrars (the people who sell domains) have a lot more stock to sell.
The major benefit for people looking for a new domain is choice. There are now a lot more domain options available. If you have ever tried to find a .com you will know how hard it is! The majority of the ‘good ones’ are taken (a lot by squatters). Now if, for example, you own a hotel you will have a chance to get a .hotel domain.
What this means to the end consumer, in my opinion, is not much. With today’s ‘Google it’ culture a lot of people are still going to use a search engine to get to a site. That process is not going to change even if their destination ends up being apple.com.au or au.apple. People are going to have to get used to the fact that domains don’t have to end with a .com but with more ‘alternative’ TLDs being used nowadays that process has already begun. At the end of the day this is not an internet game changer. Sites, and how they are put together, are not going to change, all that is going to change is how some people arrive!