The most surprising new TLDs so far


Which domains have outperformed and underperformed my expectations?

It’s been nearly three years since new top level domain names started rolling off of the DNS printing press. A lot of people made bad predictions about how TLDs would do in general, and a lot of people over or underestimated particularly strings.

Include me in the camp that’s surprised by the relative success and failure of certain strings. Here are some.


These are strings that are doing better than I expected them to.

.XYZ – I’m not looking at raw numbers here. I think all readers understand the pricing mechanisms at play that sent .XYZ to over 6.5 million domains. But here’s what impresses me about .XYZ…going in, I thought this had little chance. XYZ is hard to type on your keyboard, it’s three syllables, it doesn’t really mean anything, and I thought that other generics like .online and .site would be more appealing to users. What I didn’t think about is how it’s nearly impossible to brand something like .site. It’s too generic. XYZ has turned .xyz into a brand and has attracted big names I would have never expected to set up a site on .xyz.

.Cloud – Don’t get me wrong here. The cloud business is huge right now. But I suspected .cloud would be a high price, low volume business. Instead, .Cloud is a low price, high volume domain with over 80,000 registrations.

.Guru – First mover advantage? Absolutely. But people keep renewing their .guru domains. It has about 60,000 in the zone.

.Live – It was hard to predict several years ago that live streaming and video would take off like it has. Rightside has done a good job branding .Live for that market, and has marketed it wisely. It has nearly 75,000 names in the zone.


I remember having a conversation with someone before new TLDs came out. I suggested we’d be counting most TLD registrations in the tens of thousands. He said hundreds of thousands. It turns out thousands was better. Keeping the overall numbers aside, here are some that I’m surprised have done as poorly as they have.

.Republican & .Democrat – These names came out with a thud. Since neither of them mustered even 1,000 total names through a presidential election year, I’d say these don’t have much of a chance.

.Sucks – Brands were worried about having to protect themselves in .sucks. They rightfully argued that the registry was trying to blackmail them into registering their brands by offering lower pricing to people who would set up gripe sites. It turns out it doesn’t really matter; there are about 7,500 names in the zone. This might be a good business if most of the registrations are at $200, but the domain has not really caught on after the initial press.

.CEO – OK, I’m just kidding. If anything, this domain has outperformed my expectations at nearly 3,000 in the zone.

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