The internet is growing fast, and it's almost impossible to get your choice of domain name let alone one with a .com ending.That's all changing with over 700 new top-level domain names such as .london, .bike and .wedding.
If you want your business to stand out and compete you need not only a great website but also a memorable - and preferably short - domain name.
There are around 110 million .com websites registered, which leaves the option of settling for another so-called top-level domain (TLD) such as .co.uk, .org or .net, or compromising and using a longer name for your site.
Even if you already own a .com or .co.uk domain, you'll do well to pre-register one or more of the new domain names that are appropriate for your site before the prime candidates get snapped up by savvy website owners.
Since 2003, there have been just 22 TLDs and most are geographic, so you're limited to using .co.uk if you want Google to highly rank your site in UK search results. Starting soon, though, there will be a whopping 1,400 new TLDs, with around 700 available to consumers and businesses - the rest are largely brands such as .microsoft, .ferrari and others which only those companies will be able to register and use.
New TLDs: pre-register .LONDON now
As of 29th April 2014, businesses, organisations and individuals can register for a .LONDON domain, to be delivered this summer. For example, Fasthosts is offering the domain for £19.99 ex VAT (plus the .London registry's one-off £5 processing fee).
That's a small price to pay to get a new domain name that helps people to know where your business is located as well as boosting the prominence of your brand, adding to existing .co.uk or. com domains. Many companies have already registered their .london domain, such as Fortnum & Mason:
We asked Simon Yeoman, General Manager of Fasthosts how popular he thinks .London will be. "Across the whole market, whilst we will not know definitively the demand level for .London until the day of general availability, all indications we have show that demand is very strong. We estimate that a total of between 50-100,000 .London domains will be registered in the days following", he said.
When asked how are Londoners given priority and whether they are genuinely from London, he commented "During the London Priority Period the registry for .London applies a tiered system for priority in awarding the domains - and manages this process itself. Priority is given to people and businesses located within London and its 32 boroughs before the extensions become available to those outside."
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