I agree this article won’t please everyone but there are several reasons why buying a domain name ending in .WEB could be – or could not be – a good decision. I will personally not buy one and here is why.

The .WEB new gTLD is a generic domain name extension: is is short, memorable and it is a word that many understand in many languages, it globally means something close to .COM domain names: a generic domain name extension for the web. The problem for end-users is that .WEB is not alone on the market of generic new domain name extensions. Below are the pros and cons of why it makes sense to register a “.web” domain name…or not.

Let’s start with Trademarks

Trademarks might be interested in securing this new domain name extension for the reasons explained above but also because not registering a .WEB domain name might expose them. Is this reason good enough for a Trademark to register a .WEB domain name? I’d say it is because I bet a lot will be sold and the risk of infringement…is present.

Too many generics?

There are many other new generic domain name extensions. We track their registration volumes to see how they develop and you might be surprised to see that the list is long and if .WEB has three letters, it is not the only one, there is the .GDN too.

If making the choice to use a generic domain name can be a good one, what happens if someone else registers the exact same domain (second level domain name) as yours but in another generic extension? What about if the “.com” is already registered? Think about it.

Increasing the value of a .com

A] I have the “.com” equivalent

It can be eye catchy to change to a .WEB domain name if you were previously using the “.com” version. Changing to a new gTLD is trendy but it will be a problem if you worry about Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) because you might have to re-start from scratch. If you don’t mind about SEO (like I do), redirecting your “.com” to your new gTLD (like I did) is an opportunity to create new – and cool – visit cards…but also get that insane question during the next two years: “isn’t there a mistake on your visit card?”.

Changing to a new domain name extension can be a good move but keeping the “.com” equivalent is a security. If you drop it, someone else – or a robot – will probably register it, especially if it had been in your possession for long.

B]I don’t have the “.com” equivalent

What if you do not own the “.com” version of your domain name? Well…this is where it becomes interesting for domainers but not for you.

“.com” domains have been there for long and remain a standard. Choosing to develop a .WEB domain name is a risk to create confusion to your readers but it is also a risk to have many of them to go to the “.com” version of your domain name so when you don’t own it, you just participate in the notoriety of the “.com” version of your “.web” and increase its value for the traffic you send.

When registered by a third party, note that the “.com” version of your “.web” domain name could not be in use but if you reject that domainer’s offer when it comes: its content could change to something less appealing (…).

Buying a “.web” domain name when you don’t own nor use the “.com” can be profitable in the short term but it increases the price value of the “.com” version. By the way, I am the owner of dotvin.com, please feel free to register dotvin.web.

Focus on a domain name with no plural

Did you know that there is a plural version of the .WEB new gTLD? Yes…there is a .WEBS new gTLD. No one can tell if this Registry won’t develop exact same generic second level domains as those registered under the .WEB new gTLD.

And what happens when google starts to show both of the extensions in its results’ pages? Some new gTLDs have their plural version: they are listed here.

It does not really matter what the use of .WEBS domain names is going to be, no matter if they serve a Trademark only: what matters is that a confusion will remain when the exact same version of a “.web” and “.webs” domain will have to coexist on Internet. Can you imagine a plural version of your “.com” website: “the “.coms” ?

Buy a descriptive domain name

New gTLDs offer the advantage of choice and choice is big so why register a domain name that comes with a risk? Similar domain name extensions are a risk, as well as extensions available in their plural version and singular version.

Verisign seems to have won the auction to sell .WEB domain names; and Verisign is also the owner of the .COM extension. With 126,700,000 “.com” domain names on the market, I wouldn’t be surprise that this cash machine tries to find a way to please its “.com” domain name customers with the same “.web” (to reduce the risk of infringement?) so keep an eye on your Registrar’s emails because that might happen.

What about a special period during which a “.com” Registrant (the person to register and own a “.com” domain name) will be first to be granted access to registering the same “.web”?