In a presentation on Wednesday afternoon at World Hosting Days, managing director of OpenSRS Europe Thorsten Einig talked about the upcoming TLD deadline, and the impact that the new TLDs will have on web hosts.
The TLD application deadline is in April, and will be approved and included in the root zone in November. As of March 12, there were 254 applications, Einig says, and each applicant can apply for 50 TLDs.
While the new TLDs will provide challenges for web hosts, he believes that there is also a lot of opportunity. With the new TLDs, customers will be able to completely customize their websites based on their brand or geographical location. He says the right of the dot will get a new meaning as domain extensions become internationalized, using the example of .arab in Arabic characters.
Einig says web hosts need to start educating their customers on the new TLDs, and point out the opportunities available to them. It will also be a complementary offering to website builders since both TLDs and website builders focus on customization.
Web hosts need to think about what vendors they are going to work with, as well as consider what TLDs they will offer. For example, he says it may not make sense for a web hosting company based in London to offer .paris.
Geographic TLDs are a way to explore sales opportunities in other markets, but it is important to stay focused.
The other important thing that web hosts need to do to prepare for the new TLDs is begin to adapt order processes. Einig says he is curious to see what web host will be the first to do this.
Einig quashed some of the arguments against the growth of domains, such as the theory that companies will use Facebook domains. He says this is a weak argument because Facebook takes control over content, and it would be a clunky URL. The other limitation to this argument is that complex websites don’t fit on Facebook.
Other arguments Einig touched on include the idea that QR codes would replace domain names, but ultimately he says people will always want domain names for marketing.
In October 2011, Einig spoke at World Hosting Days Local London event about the new TLDs, and also talked about OpenSRS’ plans for offering new TLDs to its resellers.