Why we ditched the .COM

For a few years now, really since the truly universal gpTLDs emerged and we began to be able to sell them we have been advising, encouraging, sometimes begging people to buy them. And we really have not had any takers. This is discouraging because it is very very hard and takes an enormous amount of effort to add fundamentally new things to the Internet. Committees are formed staffed mostly by volunteers to examine the potential effect adding something new will have. New things added often have the effect of breaking the old, so the potential damage the new thing might cause has to be examined closely.

So who cares, what does that have to do with you or me? Well mam, it means that when I see something that is truly new in the internet world I embrace it and try my best to help it grow. The new general purpose top level domains are new, they’re exciting. They help make your name say what it does more clearly. Let me explain a little more.

If I see the domain name johnsmith.com the immediate thought I have looking at that domain name is that it points to some independent professional like a doctor, lawyer, CPA, and so on.

So I just went to my AI domain name search engine and typed in johnsmith deliberately leaving off the .com to see what possibilities came up.

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There’s amazing truly marketable domain names in there that with one of the most common names in the United States. It’s crazy that these fantastic names are still available. I find this not only unbelievable, but heartbreaking. Johnsmith.com to me is as unidentifiable and meaningless as the name john smith since I do not have anyone I personally know named John Smith. Please click on the thumbnail to see the the amazing list of possibilities.

Part 2:

What about abstract company names that don’t identify using a personal name? You mean something like abracadabra? Houdini’s magic word? Let’s take a look and see what she says:

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Remember back 10+ years ago if you searched for a domain name like abracadabra.com the kinds of suggestions that came back to you included hyphenating the root part (left of the .com) but these days our AI Domain Name Search focuses on options in the extension, not the root part of the name.

We Have Taken Our Own Advice

Has it cost us? Yes. Lost Backlinks? Yes, and losing more daily. Would we do it again?

LIke so many things where we say to ourselves, “Man, wish I had do this 15 years ago. If only.” I’m not sure I would advise anyone to change a well known working domain name without very good reason. There are easier better ways to modernize your website and make it perform better in search.

Theres a long list of things that came out of some brainstorming done back in July 2023 while recovering from kidney stone surgery. Yesterday, on May 4th, 2024 about 3, things dropped off that list because I call those things complete. But really there is nothing permanant in the internet world. What worked well enough a few years ago is not working as well now. That’s one of the reasons we changed now, at this time.

How long did it take us to make the switch? While we purchased Ultranet.Domains and a few other domains July 2023 the work is staggered. It can be tedious. Switching is a process. And ours goes something like this… I think in December we assigned a web hosting server to ultranet.domains. I’ve been wanted to consolidate some things and break some other things apart. There were some flaws in my plans that made it necessary to take do quite a bit of trial and error testing. Finding the best way to use a Content Delivery Network like CloudFlare presented some challenges. I had never really sat down to think about how many SSL certificates are in the mix at any one time. I’m now intimately aware and still dealing with issues. You may have heard there are issues with Let’s Encrypt and their free SSLs. Well, we had a lot of them, all other the place. They were Origin Server certificates. And I’m going to hit pause there. There is something go on in the area of SSL certificates and if you have looked at the certificate protecting the privacy on your server this would be a very good time to do so.

It’s very late on a Sunday Night and I’m unsettled and need some answers myself and this is going to take some phone calls because the information just isn’t jumping out at me like it usually does. Over the last week I’ve had the creator change on many certificates on our development servers. And I only know this because I’ve been paying attention and have had some trouble getting things to work right over past couple weeks as I was preparing to make the official announcement of our name change on 4/24/24.

So the change is ongoing. I feel good about it. The next time I tell an insurance agent about the .agency domain extension I will do so knowing that I’m using a gpTLD and it works just fine.

OH there was a question from someone, what about domain propagation delays? I frequently have to change nameservers and right now I’m not seeing really any difference. .domains .host .store and several others I’ve played with have no significant speed difference in how fast they become useable that I can discern although sometimes it may appear that way. But there’s always unpredictability in DNS changes in terms of how long before it becomes usable.

A lesson learned for many way to late in life is that saying one thing while doing another is seen as dishonest and hypocritical. That’s why we dropped the .COM

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