Understanding gTLDs

Understanding gTLDs

When creating the perfect website, the first step typically is choosing a great domain name. However, knowing which gTLD will best represent your brand might take a little digging.

What are gTLDs?

Put simply, Generic Top Level Domains, or gTLDs, are the suffixes at the end of web addresses. The domain points to an IP address and creates the location where your website lives online. In the early days of the internet, there were very few gTLD options which included .COM, .GOV, .ORG, .EDU, .MIL, and .NET. Since 1985, when the very first domain name was registered, internet users have been registering and using these limited gTLD options.

Ideally, domain names are short, relevant, easy to remember, and unique to the website or brand. Like many limited commodities, as the demand for domains grew, so did the price. As the available .COM options dwindled, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) developed additional gTLDs to meet the demand of 3.2 billion internet users. ICANN’s goal was to create affordable options to keep the internet free and open to anyone. Luckily, their plan worked.

New gTLDs  

In 2000, ICANN released seven new domain extensions for registration: .AERO, .BIZ, .INFO, .PRO, .MUSEUM, .NAME, .COOP. However, alternative web address endings wouldn’t become mainstream for another decade.

In 2012, ICANN began to release additional options for domain names. While not everyone was convinced that the domains would hold the same respect and authenticity as the original gTLDs, registrations soon proved that there was a significant interest in the additional domain suffixes. Early domain extensions included .GURU, .TODAY, .LIMO, .DOMAINS, .ENTERPRISES, and dozens more.

Today, new gTLDs are regarded with almost as much esteem as the original six web address endings. Many say that the .COM will always rule, however, geographic domains like .UK, .NYC, and .LONDON have given the .com stiff competition. There are currently 1206 gTLDs available with 26 million currently registered.

Top 10 New gTLDs

The options for web address endings is almost limitless, although a few have pulled ahead of the pack in registration totals. See the top ten new gTLDs in our list below. Note that domain counts are current as of the publication date of this article.

#1. .TOP

The .TOP extension really is the top, of the charts that is, with 3.5 million total registrations.

#2. .XYZ

While not the most reputable domain extension, .XYZ currently holds 2.3 million domain registrations.

#3. .LOAN

As a preferred banking domain, .LOAN holds 1.7 million current domain registrations.

#4. .CLUB

From badminton to chess, the .CLUB domain extension serves its purpose with 1.5 million domain registrations.


.ONLINE appeals to any website, which is why it makes our list with 1,265,079 million domains registered.

#6. .SITE

Similar to .ONLINE, the .SITE extension appeals to a wide audience and is the sixth most popular new gTLD with 1,206,756 million domains registered.

#7. .VIP

This new gTLD provides a first class experience with 849,823 domain registrations.

#8. .ICU

Coming in at number eight, the .ICU domain extension currently holds 749,246 domain registrations.

#9. .WORK

The .WORK domain extension has been putting in long hours with 611,014 domain registrations.

#10. .SHOP

As a retail favorite, the .SHOP domain extension ends our list with 601,345 domain registrations.

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