The Future Outlook on Domain NamesPosted: October 30, 2011
In uncertain times, everyone is constantly trying to figure out where certain things are headed. No one wants to invest much or get involved in something that may not have a bright future.
There is constant speculation about the future of domains. Some believe that they will become even more important. Others believe they’ll cease to matter or will become obsolete in some way. There’s a few questions to ask when looking at the future of domains.
How stable are domains?
The web moves as fast if not faster than technology. We’ve seen the rise of social media, video, mobile, the cloud and the crowd in the past decade. We’ve also seen the fall of old giants that couldn’t keep up with the trends.
So if the web changes so much and so quickly, have domains been able to remain stable? If we look at the number of registered domains as a barometer, the answer is yes – stable and growing in fact. .com is approaching 100 million registrations, most other extensions are also growing, and some wide releases of extensions like .co and .me have helped to expanded the domain space. In general domains are seeing an annual rise of 6%-8% in registrations.
People throughout the world are getting onto the web, and everyone already on it is spending more time on it. So even after all this time, the internet is still growing and domains have grown with it.
Will having a better domain still be important?
Domain registrations growing would indicate millions of people every year decide to register a domain instead of buy a pre-registered one. Why wouldn’t everyone do that? Why do people still buy better domains?
With an expanding internet, even though there are more people that can find you, it’s becoming harder to be seen. More and more websites come up and compete for the same attention. An edge over the competition is needed in one form or another. As our article on places where you see or hear domains indicates, a better domain can capture attention in many different ways and means.
Sale prices of pre-registered domains have indicated domain values to still be going up. Multi-million dollar domain sales are happening more frequently and the major domain marketplaces report a continual growth of amount of sales as well. Businesses using better domains continue to get far more value out of them than what they cost.
Could domains become obsolete?
The last thing to consider about the future of domains is the potential for today’s domains could become obsolete. After all, look at how technological advances have changed things like storage media over time. Kids today have no idea what a “floppy disk” is and yet they were everywhere not too long ago.
Domains however are a backbone of the internet and so far haven’t changed in over 20 years. For an analogy, look at phone numbers. Despite the major advances in phone technology and society as a whole, phone numbers have not changed in form for a long time and will continue to keep their current form. That’s what people are used to, and important systems like that simply don’t change easily.
Even with new TLDs on the horizon, they are not primed to radically change the domain space as we know it. There won’t be enough new extensions to make .anything an expectation for web visitors. The familiarity and authority of .com, .net and .org will keep those extensions as the go-to global domain extensions.
Domains aren’t going anywhere and they will continue to be a staple of the internet. The importance of having a better one will only grow over time and domain values will continue to reflect that. Nothing in the foreseeable future stands to get in their way.