PRINTERS ARE BEING OFFERED THE chance of creating .ink suffixed websites as part of the release of thousands of new top level domain extensions by Icann, the organisation that polices the internet.
The growth of websites to 114 million of the .com style with .de leading .co.uk in Europe has prompted the demand for the new extensions. Some are based around location, .london for example, most are based on professional or business activities, .law or .plumbing are covered.
THESE HAVE BEEN SOLD TO A range of companies that have either bought the names unchallenged or through an auction process. One of these is Top Level Design, a Californian company which has acquired .ink among another of others with a creative angle. There is as yet no .print, but not all the 1,930 name extensions have been released as yet in a process that began two years ago.
The .ink extension was only released a month ago and has so far attracted almost 2,000 applications explains TLD CEO Raymond King. “Some of the extensions are brand names, like Nike or Google, others received multiple applications and have provoked either an auction or negotiated agreement to share the rights to register these names,” he says. “When this is finished there will be around 700 new top level name extensions. We think this great because it gives a website URL more and more meaning.”
THUS A WEBSITE THAT IS BASED on a company name which acquires the appropriate extension becomes easier to find and says more about the nature of the business than Smith & Sons might. A business using its founder’s name works in a town or village, but on the internet with its global nature either a strong brand or the help that an extension can give can be necessary. It’s what call says is described as providing semantic meaning. “It can be difficult to navigate when just using a standard address. This is a great way to understand what’s in store before you get there,” he says.
Icann has allowed companies to apply to become new registries, like TLD, who in turn work with registrar companies, like Nominet or GoDaddy, to sell names to the general public. Prices for new domains range, but there are more options available every day, many in the $20-30 range, though specific or niche names may cost more.
THE .INK DOMAIN EXTENSION WILL appeal to writers, design studios and bloggers as well as printers he believes. “Any of those companies or people that are using ink to put their message out in the work. It’s signifying permanence. There is no reason not to get a name that more accurately describes your business” he adds, “including of course ink makers.”