My invite is here! I'm now a member of the special persons club who are privileged enough to get to pay Google Domains to register a new domain name! Despite that sarcastic tone, I was actually pretty excited to get in the door. The problem is, once I got there, the experience was completely anti-climactic.
Speaking of domain names, perhaps you've seen our excited posts about the wave of new top-level domains (TLDs) coming in the near future. With the ".com" domain selection looking more and more like the San Francisco housing market (there's nothing "trendy" left, investors sell domains for way more than they're worth), perhaps a .esq, .lawyer, or .attorney domain name is in your future?
Good luck with that, because finding and registering new TLDs isn't as easy as clicking over to GoDaddy (yet).
Google Domains: Nothing to See Here ... Yet
Why was I so excited to get in the Google Domains door? Charleston Road Registry, a shell company for the Internet titan, registered a number of exciting TLDs, including .esq. Unfortunately, at this time, Google's TLD list contains few, if any, of the new, exciting extensions. I bought "dissolution.solutions" to test out the service, but would I trust any potential clients to actually spell that correctly? (It gets worse when you think of smartphone users typing with their thumbs.)
The good news is, Google does plan on adding the new TLDs -- they're just waiting out the registration process. According to ICANN, .esq is in the final stage before release to Google. Once it gets there, Google gives trademark owners a two-month "sunrise" period to nab their own marks, followed by a two-week "landrush" period for early registration. After about three months, general registration opens up, and you can nab your name instantly.
Protip for those of you targeting a Latino clientele: .soy is in the "sunrise" stage -- early registration begins on September 24, with general availability on October 15.
Registration: A New TLD Nightmare
Let's say you want a .lawyer address. Or you're the DUI.guru. It's not as simple as clicking over to Google Domains or GoDaddy.
Here is a tool that tells you who the registrar is for each TLD.
So, you go on there, find the extension you like, go to the registry website, then try to find a name that isn't claimed, then pay some strange website for the name. Want to buy a .guru to match your .lawyer? You'll probably have to head to multiple vendors, and remember to re-up your name each year.
It's certainly not as simple as the old days, where you'd go to a single place to register all of your names. But the branding opportunities are worth it. Just don't go and waste $20 on a name that nobody can spell, like I did.
- TLDs: Google Enters Domain Game With .esq; The .io Controversy (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Executors to Get Access to Testators' Digital Assets in Del. (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Lawyer Marketing Trends: 'Local-Mobile Searches' On the Rise (FindLaw's Strategist)