In October 2013, ICANN launched the new generic top-level domains (nTLDs) program. Now, less than three years later, more than a thousand new TLDs have been delegated, 999 of them active.

While it massively increases the online name space and choices for would-be domain name registrants, this preponderance of choices can also be daunting, even threatening. Especially for those concerned with issues of intellectual property and trademark owners, for whom the incredible increase of new TLDs means extra hassle at the least or in the worst case, added budgetary strain, even to the point of unattainably high expense.

At the same time, the standard advice is nonetheless to “defend your territory,” when a new extension has to do with an area of commerce or a type of service that may be associated with your business, and that requires keeping up with new extensions being added and their release schedules.

In that light, we’d like to give you the tools to keep on top of developments, including some facts and figures and best practices to adopt.

 

2016: A Turning Point 

The months of May and June 2016 saw us hit two significant numbers: the 1000th nTLD was released in May and the milestone of 20 million registered nTLD domains was passed at the beginning June (thanks notably to a huge promotion on .xyz). For comparison, this number was only at 11 million in January this year and as of this writing, a little more than 126 million .com domain names have been registered. Of course, .com is by far the most popular gTLD, so here are some additional figures for a few other extensions to help give an idea of the numbers at play:

.net = 16.2 million domains

.cn = 18.6 million domains

.fr = 2.9 million domains

.ru = 5.1 million domains

.pe = 90,000 domains

So, in other words, hitting that 20 million mark means more domains are registered under the entire nTLD program than under .net or .cn alone, both of which figure amongst the most popular TLDs out there. Another indicator of the strength of the new TLDs is the fact that .xyz—the most popular of the nTLDs—now has more registrations (6 million) than either .info (5.6 million), .ru or .fr. That’s the first time either one of the “classic” gTLDs or any of the ccTLDs (country-specific TLDs) have been surpassed by any extension in the nTLD program. That’s a stand-out achievement that ought to be appreciated.

 

Keeping watch

For now, it’s true, most new TLDs even the popular ones like .xyz are not well-known by the general public and talk of new TLDs remains largely within the confines of domain name professionals while occasionally being the subject of in-jokes on Silicon Valley or other tech-savvy media. But given the rapid and continued growth of the nTLD program, it’s likely that these extensions will be of increasing importance in the near future. We expect developments like the Internet of Things, which will likely bring a large number of previously-unconnected objects into the public namespace, the transition to IPv6, or the inevitable expansion of online services and of course the eventual depletion of desirable .com domains that will go along with all of these trends to raise the profile of nTLDs drastically over the coming months and years.

In years past, in order to protect a trademark, a brand name or the name of a particular product or service online, in the namespace, it was enough just to consider the countries where you would intended to do business when going beyond the classic gTLDs of .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz. But now it’s becoming more and more necessary to also take into account the possible existence, at present or in the future, of a TLD specifically intended for your particular area of business. This is a blessing for your marketing team, but a potential headache for anyone protecting their intellectual property.

While ICANN does have mechanisms in place (UDRP, USR) to protect against illegitimate usage of a domain name that might be associated with your company or trademark. But these procedures are time-consuming, somewhat onerous, and generally only after the fact.

At the beginning of 2015, it was reported that the number of UDRP complaints for domains in the nTLD program were fifteen times greater than the number of complaints for domains in the “classic” gTLDs. This tends to support the conclusion that cybersquatting on new gTLDs is rampant and encroachment on intellectual property is a serious concern.

Not to disparage any one group over another, these encroachments tend to originate, geographically-speaking, from China: sedo.com, one of the primary marketplaces for domain name resale, estimates that 54% of new registrations are by Chinese citizens. Of course, China has a large population, many of whom are enthusiastic supporters of new technology, but nonetheless cybersquatting looms large among many of these new registrations.

The best protection is defensive registration, that is, registering a domain relevant to your business before a cybersquatter does.

That’s why we suggest regularly checking our site for updates to keep up to date on new releases that might prove essential to your business.

 

Big brands lead the way

Many of you have probably seen that Canon recently began redirecting their corporate domain name canon.com to the domain name global.canon. This is also a significant turning point for the new TLD program, especially for brand TLDs (also called .brand domains). What’s interesting there is the logic behind Canon’s decision to launch it’s own TLD. On its site in its announcement, Canon explains its decision largely in terms of trust:

"Since “.canon” is a domain name that can only be used by the Canon Group, users of “.canon” sites can be assured that the information they are receiving is reliable. In order to ensure that customers can safely access Canon information beyond the global site, the Company also plans to extend the “.CANON” domain name to other Canon Group sites. (http://global.canon/en/about/dotcanon/)".

Another notable example is the .leclerc TLD, which has been used by the French retailer E.LeClerc when they launched their new car rental service at location.leclerc. This extension is also interesting because the brand name, E.Leclerc itself contains a dot, so now that it has exclusive rights to .leclerc it is free to use e.leclerc as its primary website address.

Other notable organizations to make use of .brand domains include Barclay’s (home.barclays), BNP Paribas (mabanque.bnpparibas) and even the CERN laboratory (home.cern). While getting a whole TLD to oneself is generally not feasible for smaller businesses (an application for a new TLD usually runs about $15,000), as .brand TLDs continue to pop up, other new gTLDs will begin to share in some of the limelight.

And some prominent brands are already opting to register domains in new gTLDs outside of .brands. Here are a few notable examples:

 

  • abc.xyz (Registered by Google’s parent company: Alphabet). Google’s registration of this domain alone may in fact be one of the main drivers of .xyz’s popularity.
  • ebay.car
  • london.film
  • ism.golf
  • elle.men
  • parliament.scot
  • fcbarcelona.soccer
  • audacity.space
  • valenciaopen.tennis

 

Many companies use domains registered under a new extension to redirect traffic to their main site, a bit like a shortcut. For example, carlsberg.beer, web.foundation, oxfam.go or disney.tickets.

E-commerce sites also often use new TLDs as a link to a predefined search. Take, for example, Amazon’s registration of the domain book.horse (possible horse_ebooks reference?) which redirects to the results page of an Amazon search for books about horses. The domain video.support redirects to an Amazon search on home theater systems, deal.tires redirects to the search results for tires, and amazon.video to Amazon’s video streaming service.

 

A second round in the works

The question of a second round of new gTLD applications has been in the air since the first round finished (even a bit before, really). This second round is likely to attract a lot more .brand seekers (though the price is likely to be prohibitive, as mentioned above).

And while rumors have long run rampant (this is the internet after all), ICANN hasn’t indicated any potential date yet, but it’s all but certain that nothing will happen until at least 2018 at the very earliest.

Some large brands have already started to show their interest in a second round, notably Twitter (both for a potential .twitter TLD as well as to get in the registry game as well), often with the security as a primary justification. Stephen Coates, Associate director of Trademarks, Domain names and marketing at twitter, has made clear that he believes in the need for improvements to ensure greater rights protection and that the next round should also make a greater distinction between generic TLDs and brand TLDs.

Meanwhile, over the past few months, ICANN has been studying the first round of nTLDs to help identify some of the shortcomings and improve the mechanism for the second round. The two main points they’re looking at are the effect of new extensions on consumers in terms of choices and competition and the mechanisms of rights management. Some of the points ICANN has been looking into is whether to standardize the Sunrise phase to 60 days, reforming the TMCH (trademark clearinghouse), pricing guidelines and possible restrictions for Premium domains, and the option for registries to arbitrarily reserve domains when the TLD is launched in order to put them on the market at a later point.

Essentially, they’re looking into all the various non-standardized aspects of rolling out a new TLD. Every actor in the market, whether registrars, trademark owners, registries or resellers have a stake in avoiding some of the stickier problems that came up in the first round of releases, especially when it comes to protecting intellectual property and preventing abuse.

Finally, it’s foreseeable that the control mechanisms, such as the DPML put in place by Donuts, will be required across the board. These controls seem to have been highly successful with rights owners and many are lobbying ICANN to enlarge these types of mechanisms and possibly mandate them in the future.

 

Whatever the outcome may be, if you need help navigating your way through registering a domain under a new gTLD—including when it comes to strategizing to protect your intellectual property rights—please do not hesitate to contact Gandi Corporate. We would be more than happy to be your guides.


Popular science articles and cats are a match made in internet heaven.

For example, a study extracting data on 4,435 Americans aged 30-75, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study found that cat owners showed a 30% lower risk of death from heart attack.

Or, if you prefer, cat purrs, which vibrate at a range of 20-140 Hz, are medically therapeutic, lowering stress, strengthening bones, and decreasing symptoms of Dyspnoea.

The science is still out, but owning a .cat domain might just be as healthful as owning a cat. And now’s the perfect time to test that hypothesis because .cat domains from June 27 through August 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM UTC (that’s 5:00 PM PDT) are $5.00 per year.

Remember: .cat is actually for Catalonia, so if you have a .cat domain, your site has to have at least one page in Catalan, but that doesn’t stop your site from being devoted to cats.

Adopt a .cat?

.cat

We live in a time when an ever-growing proportion of the population carries devices around in its collective pockets capable of capturing and transmitting audio and visual information with a stunning degree of clarity with few barriers to access.

This opens the world to the minutiae of our mundane lives, interesting thoughts or information, and even footage that is shocking or documents events of interest that may not make it through the editorial filters of the mainstream media, for better or for worse.

Protests in Tahrir Square were live-streamed, innumerable political rallies this campaign season were too and so was the sit-in by House Democrats for gun control this month. It’s clear, though, that the power of streaming is not yet fully realized.

So given the raw, untapped power of streaming, it’s exciting news that .stream will enter the GoLive phase on June 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM PDT. The normal price per year at A rates for .stream domains will be $38.31 but from now until December 31, 2016 you can register a .stream domain (or pre-register before it enters GoLive) for just $2.00 per year.

What will you .stream?

.stream


If you live in Europe, you have probably not been able to escape this event, which has united tens of thousands of supporters around 22 athletes who fight over a ball in one of the largest stadiums in France: The European Football Cup.

Driven by the enthusiasm of some football fans at Gandi, we have concocted a promo for the extensions of qualifying countries, which will change depending on the results of the matches: from 15% off for the teams that make it to the 8th finals to 35% off for finalists.

Whether or not you are a fervent follower of each and every match, or totally uninterested in this event, you can take advantage of these promos from 23 June to 10 July, the date of the final, for domain creations at A rates.

 

[EDIT] On June 28th, the countries and extensions that have qualified for the quarter finals, and can therefore benefit from this 25% off promo are:

  • Belgium - .BE
  • France - .FR
  • Germany - .DE
  • Iceland - .IS*
  • Italy - .IT
  • Poland - .PL
  • Portugal - .PT
  • Wales - .WALES

The extensions of the countries eliminated in the previous round will remain 15% off until July 10th, the date of the grand finale.

Of course, since these are geographic extensions (ccTLD), some registration conditions may apply. To see what these may be, check the information page associated with each extension (click the link in the list above). Please also note that if you want to register one of the extensions marked by *, you must first subscribe to our Corporate offer.


WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. Free to copy and free from charge, easy to install and to use, it continues to grow in popularity and spread the good word about open source software since 2003. Today, it’s estimated that 30% of all websites use WordPress.

With a PHP/MySQL instance, Gandi users have long been able to quickly install and run WordPress for themselves but we recently asked ourselves how we could make this process even simpler.

It couldn’t be simpler than our answer: one-click installation on the new PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 instances with MySQL 5.6 (Percona), and PHP 5.6 with MySQL 5.5.

Here’s how it works. First, navigate to your instance’s control panel and access the WordPress installation feature. You can install WordPress on any of your vhosts (that is, the web addresses liste on that page). You don’t have to worry about creating a database anymore: it will be automatically created during the installation process. You’ll just have to enter the username, password and email address for your WordPress site’s admin account.

You can install as many WordPress sites on an instance as you want or redirect additional domain names to an already existing WordPress site; you just need to return to the admin page to add a new Website to your instance.

The only limitation is, of course, the resources allotted to your instance based on its size, which you can modify as needed.

One of our favorite things about WordPress is that it’s a great tool for those who may not already be crack coders who nonetheless want a truly customized blog. So we’re happy to help facilitate newcomers who may be intimidated by the manual installation process.

WordPress is also robust enough to be preferred by a large swath of the professional development community as well who find the manual process tedious. This allows such users to save time.

If you want more information on the automatic installation process or if you’re curious to know how the manual process works, check out our WordPress tutorial, available in our wiki.

We try to make sure when we roll out a new feature that everything works correctly and smoothly, but of course, we’re not immune to bugs. So if you see something, say something, and we’ll fix it. Or if you have any additional feedback on how to make things easier or how to improve this feature, feel free to send us an email with your thoughts and impressions to feedback@gandi.net.

And of course if you run into any difficulties you can also contact our Customer care team for help.

We’re excited and proud for this new feature to roll out but by no means is this the last WordPress-related improvement we have in store. Stay tuned for more …


This one goes out to all you companies out there.

We see you, sweating and working over there in that office park. Or downtown business district. We see you making value, paying employees, providing services, pleasing customers.

And now we’ve got something for you. On June 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT two new gTLDs that are for those companies out there, working hard for the stakeholders—.ltd and .gmbh—are entering the GoLive phase.

That means domains in these two TLDs are now open to everyone. For .ltd, which now will be available for $25.24 per year at A rates, that means everyone-everyone. For .gmbh, which will now be available for $38.65 per year at A rates, you have to have your existence as a Gesellschaft mit besechränkter Haftung (if you don’t know what that means, sorry .gmbh is not for you) validated with the respective authorities in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

Either way, companies, we know you never take a break, but now you're getting one with .ltd and .gmbh.

This one goes out to you.

Register a domain under one of these TLDs?:

.tld

You may have noticed that in the past few months we’ve been bringing you a lot of new improvements on Node.js instances. The idea has obviously been to better align the user experience on Simple Hosting Node.js with current practices among developers. After all, the developer ecosystem for Node.js has evolved quite a bit since 2013, the year we first introduced Node.js support on Simple Hosting, culminating with its fusion with the io.js project.

Today, we are launching a new version of our Node.js instance which is designed to be entirely at the service of developers.

  • Each application can use the version of Node.js and of npm that it needs. The platform puts no restriction on the Node.js version.
  • The Node.js process is completely customizable—you can use any Node.js binary flags and even alternative process managers
  • Everything is managed from the package.json file—no Simple Hosting-specific file is required

These features bring together the Node.js application hosting experience on Simple Hosting, which offers benefits such as:

  • Most prepackaged Node.js applications can be installed without modification
  • An application can be deployed in three commands with Gandi CLI: gandi paas attach, git push and gandi deploy
  • Built-in HTTP caching
  • WebSocket with SSL (in beta)

The new Node.js image is recommended for the creation of new instances. By default, it uses Node.js 4 LTS and is available with one of the following three database management systems: PostgreSQL 9.4, MySQL 5.6 (Percona server) and MongoDB 2.4.

You can create a new Node.js instance either from our website or with Gandi CLI:

$ gandi paas create --name nodenode --type nodejspgsql9.4 --size M --datacenter LU-BI1

Please consult our Wiki for more information about the Node.js Simple Hosting instance, including examples for creating and deploying an application.

Of course, feel free to contact our Customer care team with any questions or concerns, or contact our developers directly on IRC at #gandi on Freenode (irc.freenode.net). You can also send any feedback or suggestions to feedback@gandi.net.


When Radix registry celebrates, it does it with style.

Radix registry is turning two years old this month, and so all its domains will be available for just $0.99 for the first year. That includes .HOST, .ONLINE, .PRESS, .SITE, .SPACE, .TECH and .WEBSITE.

The party, which started June 20, goes all night, and the next day, and the next: all the way until June 30 at 11:59 PM UTC.

Don't wait. Find your perfect domain name:


This June, .xyz turns two and so it’s all about twos: two days at two cents, 25 days at twenty-two cents. 

Having a June birthday means .xyz, for what it’s worth, is a Gemini and we’ve probably never met a person who actually matched their astrological sign as much as .xyz matches its sign.

Geminis are supposed to be versatile, and .xyz definitely has that: it’s probably the most versatile of all the new gTLDs.

Gemini is also the twins, so everything comes in twos. So far so good: xyz’s more famous twin, of course, is abc. And this year, because it’s .xyz’s second birthday, the celebration comes down to twos, too. First, it’s in two phases: from June 1-2 (two days), .xyz domains will be just each. That’s a pair of two pretty pennies.

Next, from June 3-30, .xyz domains will be 22¢ each.

Register a creative, versatile .xyz? Or two?

.xyz


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