What are new top-level domains?

New top-level domains offer more personalized and industry-specific options for your business.

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what are new top level domains

When you’re building your business website, the domain name you choose is one of the first things you need to do. Top-level domains (TLDs) are a critical part of this process. What are top-level domains? They’re the letters that come after the dot in a web address, which traditionally have been .com, .org, or .net.

As more websites are created and competition for domain names grows, new top level domains have been introduced to give businesses more choice. 

New top-level domains offer more personalized and industry-specific options that can help your business stand out in a crowded online world. For example, a tech company might opt for a .tech domain, while a photographer might choose .photo.

So why should you care about new domain extensions? Moving beyond the trends—they can play a pivotal role in establishing and reinforcing your brand’s identity online. With new TLDs, you have the opportunity to register a domain name that tells customers exactly what you do with just a glance.

Learn more: What is a domain name

The evolution of new top-level domains

The story of top-level domains began in the 1980s, with the aim of creating a structured naming system for the internet. Initially, there were only a handful of TLDs, and each had a specific purpose. For instance, .com was intended for commercial entities, while .org was designated for organizations.

Over time, the landscape of TLDs has expanded significantly. This growth has been driven by needing to accommodate increasing numbers of website creators and their demands for more personalized domain names. As businesses and individuals sought domain names that were both unique and meaningful, the industry responded with a wider variety of TLD options.

How new TLDs are coordinated and regulated is an intricate process involving several key players. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a leading regulatory body that plays a crucial role in this ecosystem. ICANN oversees the introduction and management of TLDs to maintain fairness in domain name registration.

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Types of top-level domains

Generic top-level domains

Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are a category of TLDs that are not tied to any specific country or territory. They include familiar extensions like .com and .info as well as newer additions like .app and .blog

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Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)

In contrast to gTLDs, Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) are specific to individual countries or territories—like .de for Germany, .nl for the Netherlands or .ca for Canada. These domains are particularly significant for local businesses aiming to connect with customers in a specific geo. They signal to users that a website is more relevant to their region, which can be beneficial for companies targeting a local market.

Why new top-level domains matter 

Your website is often the first point of contact between your business and potential customers. It’s where first impressions are formed and where brand identity begins to take shape. This is why new top-level domains (TLDs) are more than just a technical necessity—they’re a strategic asset for your website.

Brand identity and making a website go hand-in-hand. With the right TLD, you can reinforce your brand message and make it easier for customers to remember and find you online. Imagine a coffee shop with a .coffee domain or a forum for developers with a .dev extension. These TLDs instantly communicate what your business is about.

new top level domains and brand identity

Choosing a niche-specific TLD isn’t just about standing out—it’s also about protection. By securing domains that are closely aligned with your brand, you prevent others from registering similar names that could confuse customers or dilute your brand’s strength.

The most popular top-level domains

When it comes to top-level domains, some are more popular than others. And despite the increase in available new top-level domains, the traditional and original ones are still some of the most popular choices. Their popularity also stems from the level of trust they’ve built; when users see these domains, they associate them with established and legitimate entities.

  • .com: The gold standard of TLDs, .com stands as the most recognized and widely used domain extension. Originally intended for commercial entities, it’s now the go-to choice for all types of businesses seeking a global presence.
  • .org: Often associated with non-profits, charities and educational platforms, .org conveys trust and credibility. 
  • .net: Initially designated for network services such as internet providers, .net is now a popular alternative to .com for businesses of all kinds.
  • .info: As the name suggests, .info is typically used for informational sites. It’s an open domain which means it can be registered by anyone, making it a versatile option for various purposes.
  • .biz: Short for business, .biz is another alternative to .com that is specifically intended for business or commercial use.

New top-level domains in 2023

In 2023, Google announced 8 new top-level domains. They were:

  • .dad
  • .phd
  • .prof
  • .esq
  • .foo
  • .zip
  • .mov
  • .nexus

Other new top-level domains introduced in the same year included:

  • .watches
  • .forum
  • .it
  • .case
  • .meme
  • .ing
  • .music

New top-level domains in 2024

So far, in 2024 5 new top-level domains have been added to the domain name system

  • .vana
  • .living
  • .lifestyle
  • .food
  • .DIY

Other new top-level domain extensions to choose from

How to choose a new top level domain name

Selecting the right top-level domain (TLD) for your website is a decision that can have lasting implications on your brand’s online identity and success.

how to choose a new top level domain

With a range of new options available, it’s important to choose one that aligns with your business objectives. You’ll need to consider the following:

  • Relevance: Choose a TLD, new or traditional, that reflects your business type or industry. This can help customers understand what you offer at a glance.
  • Memorability: A unique and easy-to-remember TLD can make it easier for customers to return to your site and recommend it to others. Running a media site? Opting for something like .media, makes it very clear what you offer. 
  • Branding: Consider how the TLD will fit into your overall brand strategy and whether it adds value to your brand name. 
  • Remember your goals: Are you aiming for local recognition or global presence? Choose a ccTLD or gTLD accordingly.
  • Consider future growth: Pick a domain that allows room for expansion and won’t limit you as your business evolves. Some new top-level domains can be very specific and choosing the wrong one when you start your business could restrict later scaling needs. 
  • Check availability: Ensure that the domain name you want is available with the desired TLD and consider registering multiple variations to protect your brand. You’ll need to use a domain name search tool to do this. Registering a new top-level domain is similar to existing ones; however, it’s crucial to stay updated on release dates and any special requirements. Some new TLDs may have restrictions or be reserved for certain groups, so thorough research is important. Explore domain registrars to get started.  With Wix, for example you can easily find and register a domain name for your site and business. 
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