2014 – The Year of New Domains?

2014 is set to be a big year for domain names! Hopefully not all will have too much of an impact on the wallet for domain lovers like me…

New gTLDs

In 2014 we will begin to see more than the regular .coms appearing online!

.app, .blog, .shop and .web are just a few of the more popular extensions we can hope to be seeing over the next year and beyond.

Pre-registration has already begun for some (.photography, .guru, .technology) but they’re looking rather pricey – many around the $30 mark. When you can get a .com for $10 and a .co.uk for £3, how successful these domains will be is unknown right now. We will just have to wait and see!

Brands will no doubt want to protect their identities by snapping up their name in as many new TLDs as they can afford but the demand for smaller brands and individuals are up for question.

.UK

In 2013, Nominet announced that they would be allowing registrations under .uk for the first time! This means that you’ll be able to ditch the .co, .org or .me when registering a domain – can’t wait for .indv.uk!

After 07:59 on 10 June 2019, anyone can register [domain].uk. Before then, the .uk domains are reserved with the following priorities:

  1. [domain].co.uk registered before 23:59 on 28 October 2013
  2. [domain].org.uk, [domain].me.uk, etc. registered before 23:59 on 28 October 2013
  3. [domain].co.uk registered after 23:59 on 28 October 2013
  4. [domain].org.uk, [domain].me.uk, etc. registered after 23:59 on 28 October 2013
  5. [domain].co.uk, [domain].org.uk, [domain].me.uk, etc not registered by anyone and thus [domain].uk is unreserved.

Check your rights to [domain].uk here.

With .uk domains being so cheap, I imagine the snapping up of .uk domains will be speedy! With another small .uk rush in 2019 when the automatic reservations expire.

Freenom – Where next?

Freenom is a provider of free domain names. They currently offer .cf, .ga, .ml, .tk domains right now, but on 21st January 2014 they sent out a press release.

The press release detailed a colaboration with the Chinese TLD .cn to make resolving it faster in Europe and speed up resolving Freenom’s domains in China. They mention that there is a “growing demand of free domains, especially from China”. They also state that Freenom “will add many more domain
extensions to its portfolio this year”.

What could this mean!?

With colaboration with China already underway might we see a subdomain of .cn join Freenom’s ranks? Maybe something like .free.cn?

Are we likely to see more African domains? .cf, .ga and .ml are Freenom’s more recent acquisitions and are all from Africa.

Country Codes of Africa
Image by Jon Gosier on Flickr

The larger text in the graphic above represents countries with a high proportion of Internet users, so in my opinion, would be less likely to give their domain away for free.

South Africa, .za, already give away domains for individuals, .nom.za, for free. I doubt we will see any change there.

.ly, already has a presence online thanks to domain hacks and sites like bit.ly.

.dj isn’t as popular as you might think according to Wikipedia.

Who knows what Freenom might bring us this year, but keep your eyes peeled!

.gq will be Freenom’s next ccTLD, and registration starts in November!

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