From ordering dinner, to buying new shoes or catching a ride – you can do just about anything online now. So it's no surprise that the demand in the domain name space is ever-increasing, as more and more of the world claims their part of the internet.
In response to this growing demand, new domain extensions,or TLDs, are regularly introduced to the market. Whilst these are usually gTLDs (generic top level domains) such as .shop or .blog, the NZ market was introduced to a new ccTLD (country code top level domain) a few years ago.
.nz domains became available at the second level in September 2014. Before this time, .nz domains were only available at the third level, such as .co.nz or .org.nz. A second level .nz domain means that you can do away with the .co or .org part of your domain name, leaving you with the shorter, easier yourdomain.nz
Launching a new domain extension is no easy job. Driving demand away from traditional domains, such as .com or even .co.nz can be a big ask, and there are many new extensions that don’t succeed as well as their registries would have hoped.
As such, there was speculation whensecond level .nz domainswere released that the largest market for them would be .co.nz domain owners buying up the corresponding .nz domain to protect their online brand. However, it would seem that this has been proven wrong – only 15% of the currently registered second level .nz domain names have a corresponding third level .nz with the same registrant details. This means that 85% of .nz domains are new registrants making second level their first choice.
In the 3 years that .nz has been available, there are now 128,000 registered domains. This equates to almost 20% of the NZ domain market (which includes all second and third level domains). In fact, in the last 12 months, 26,000 new second and third level .nz domains have been registered, with 58%, or 15,000 of these being second level .nz domain names. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, proving that the shorter .nz domains appeal to a much wider group of New Zealanders than expected, and may well be the future of the online space in New Zealand.
Protect your brand
If you have an existing third level .nz domain name, then you should seriously consider registering the corresponding second level domain. This prevents anyone else from encroaching on your online brand, and snapping up a domain name very similar to your current one. Brand confusion can cost you customers and your reputation – consider a second level domain as insurance for your brand.
Removing the .co, .org or .net from your domain, instantly makes it shorter and easier to remember. A memorable domain name is very important to your business, as it helps drive customers to your site. They are a lot more likely to visit you online when they remember where you are!
Show you are a modern business
With the second level .nz growth hugely overshadowing that of the third level .nz domains, a shorter .nz domain is quickly becoming the mark of a business that is evolving with the times. Using a .nz domain name show your customers that your business is future -facing – something that is particularly important if your target market is younger generations or technology sectors.
Renewing your domain
If you secured a .nz domain when they were released to help protect your online brand, then at that time you may have thought that you could allow it to expire when the ‘hype’ blew over. However, ensuring yourdomain is renewedon time is actually of great value to your business.
Its very clear that that demand for .nz domains is not slowing down, and releasing a domain name into a growing market means that it probably won’t hang around for very long before it’s snapped up. Imagine your brand name being in someone else’s hands – the cost to your business could be huge. Registering and renewing a portfolio of relevant domain names for your brand is a much more cost effective option in the long run. Plus, renewing before October 30thmeans you can lock in your current domain rates for up to 10 years!
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