If you are not aware, ICANN has approved quite a few generic top level domains and they intend to approve more. By generic, they mean regular old words will replace the common .com or .net, so we will have the option for domains names that end in words like:

  • .photography
  • .media
  • .education
  • .finance
  • .vision

ICANN provides an updated list for all of them.

I personally like the idea and I think it's been too long, but I'm not convinced I should switch my site over to an optimized version using one of these new tld's just yet. I think the average user, especially in America, sees something wrong with non .com's. Whenever I see a .net I always wonder why they don't have the .com. Also, I can just see myself getting "Is this a website" questions for a while if I start printing this on my business card and things.

What are the general advantages and disadvantages of using these generic tld's? If they are currently not a good idea, when will they be, if ever? What will it take to convince the populace that .com is not the gold standard in domain names anymore?

2 Answers 2


It's all about branding and how your visitors are going to reach your site.

It seems like the majority of people just Google whatever domain they want to reach. I can only remember so many domains, just have a memorable name. So if Google indexes a gTLD the same way it indexes regular dot coms, I say... have both and market whichever one you want.

If the majority of your clients are clicking directly over from PPC or your company showing up in organic search results, once again, domain name is only there for branding reinforcement and trust.

So, that's the final question. Does the average person trust a gTLD, like .vision or .photography? Probably not, not yet at least.

I'll stick with a longer .com any day than a shorter, odd TLD.

  • 2
    "...the majority of people just Google whatever domain they want to reach." <-- while I don't have studies for that I remember an anecdote from a colleague. She told how her mom is using the internet: When she opens the browser, google main page shows up. Into the search field she types in everything (including "google" to google something). She's not aware of TLDs and so on. I really believe she's not the only one out there. Modern browsers start hiding URLs and merging search and URL bar because no one cares about real URLs. I guess the new TLDs are an ICANN coup to make some money. Aug 11, 2014 at 14:05
  • The trust issue is a very important point that I had not considered yet. Probably the most important issue. @AlexejFroehlich I think there are many just like your colleague's mother. I know my father is one.
    – user51426
    Aug 11, 2014 at 17:01

Disclaimer: I write this from a user's perspective, since I have really no clue about UX from a designer's standpoint.

Don't use them unless you have a very good reason to do so.

"awesomecompany.com" is the single most intuitive URL that "Awesome Company" can have (assuming a US or international company). Actually, it's the only intuitive URL.

If I want to find "Company" without using google, that is the only URL I will ever try, before being slightly frustrated and using google anyway.

The reason for that is simplicity and because that's how most companies do it, thereby setting up intuitive standards and user expectations. If I know that "Super Company" is "supercompany.com" and "Silly Hat Sales" is "sillyhatsales.com", why would anyone think without actually knowing the URL that "Awesome Company" is "awsome.company"?

That being said, "awesome.company" should redirect to the website of Awesome Company and not a similarly named company or even competitors.

  • Your third to last paragraph to the end makes very good sense. The part about trying the url then getting frustrated and trying google is actually not that big of a deal. I think most users go to google first these days. I know I do unless I am sure of the url I want. Never mind bookmarks and history.
    – user51426
    Aug 11, 2014 at 16:58

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