Published 21 January 2014
The beginning of 2014 heralds a number of exciting changes happening in domain names. These changes will vastly improve the choice when selecting the perfect domain name for your website or app.
You've probably heard about the new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that are being released in the next few months. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be offering more than 1000 new gTLDs planned for public release starting February this year. The intention is to give users and consumers more choice, whilst allowing for a more stable and secure future for the internet.
Essentially this means that you have more choice, and you'll be able to put your business name in front of a wider range of TLDs. Many of these new gTLD's are often industry specific such as .builders .coffee .florist or .clothing.
In New Zealand the Domain Name Commission (DNC) made a recommendation in October 2013 to expand the .nz domain name and allow registration directly at the second level. Current second level categories will continue to be available and DNC will still evaluate expansion at the second level.
This infographic from DNC explains how domain names could work.
Registration directly at the second level has some great benefits for registrants. Firstly, better choice gives users greater freedom when selecting domain names. The decision also brings New Zealand into alignment with many other countries who already allow registration at the second level. This will help ensure a strong future for all .nz domains.
DNC does realise however that most New Zealand internet users are used to .co.nz domains, but they will be running a campaign to make users aware of the change.
The Domain Name Commission is aware that many registrants of existing second level domains may wish to secure their domain when .nz is released. If a domain name was registered before 9am, Wednesday 30th May 2012 no one else will be able to register that same name and it will be available to the original registrant in a "sunrise" period. There will also be a procedure in place for contested domains.
In 2014 the final proposal will be made available on the DNC website for public consultation.