Spotlight on Websites
Put Dubs on Your Domain
There's a new business model out there and many of us wouldn't have guessed it could be a thing. A group of digital entrepreneurs are buying up the rights to URLs they deem as marketable and then they sell them at outrageous prices. What's more, they are thriving.
If that sounds Greek to you, a domain is the name of your website, that "whatever.com" people put in a search bar to find you. It is also called a URL, which stands for uniform resource locator. What makes them a hot commodity is that, much like a telephone number, they must be absolutely unique.
The Challenges of Finding Your Identity
Let's say Joe's Bar & Grill in Podunk decides he could get more business if he had a website. So Joe goes online to set it up. The first hurdle he needs to overcome is his ampersand. Does he use it or does he spell out "and"? Generally, the experts recommend words over symbols, (numerals and punctuation are also symbols), but that's just the beginning, because chances are joesbar&grill.com and joesbarandgrill.com are both taken.
The .com designation is what is known as a TLD, top level domain - a domain which registers URLs. New TLD's are being added all the time, but for business, at least for now .com is the gold standard. You can register for domains under TLDs like .menu and .restaurant. So, Joe could sign up for joesbar&grill.restaurant right now, but the public, in general, is still resistant to this new trend. They expect legitimate business to have a .com web address. Over time I believe this will change, because there are only so many marketable .com url's to be had. Website owners will be forced to consider alternatives, but that could be a decade from now and in the meantime, why buck the system when there is no advantage to it.