ICANN has recently released a new batch of gTLDs under which new domain names can be registered. These are the amongst the first gTLDs to be introduced with a specific subject meaning and are designed to provide web addresses with more meaning in relation to the subject of the website that is hosted under them; examples of these new gTLDs include ‘. support’, which could be used by companies to provide a shorter and more memorable web address for their support department, or ‘.glass’, a gTLD that may be of interest to businesses that are involved in their manufacturing or sale of glass.
Whilst the introduction of these gTLDs does have clear benefits in providing what could be regarded as simpler web addresses, the question has to be asked as to whether it is really feasible to migrate existing infrastructure and websites over to new domains where businesses have registered a new address, or is it just easier to maintain existing setups and configure the new addresses as redirects?
So you’re probably wondering why you should consider a new gTLD?
These new gTLDs are designed to be more product category specific, for example Apple as registered ‘iphone.technology’, ‘mac.technology’ and ‘ipad.technology’, therefore giving addresses that are more relevant to the content of the website. I think that they could lead to web addresses that are a lot easier to remember because telling someone ‘ipad.technology’ rather than ‘apple.com/uk/ipad’, or an even more complicated Apple Store URL, is a lot easier and let’s face it – they’re more likely to remember the first address.
Changing a domain name website-wide
Web hosting control panels make it simple to change the domain name that an entire website is related to because all you need to do is change the domain name for the hosting account and this change is then reflected across all related data, such as email addresses and FTP accounts, so that all you need to do is point your new domain name at the right name servers and you should be all set to go.
SEO implications of using a new address
There could be major SEO implications of switching to a new domain name. Google and other popular search engines will have become accustomed to the structure of your website, what the most popular pages are and will have even given the domain a ranking based on its age. If you migrate your website over to a new domain, the search engines will need to become accustomed with this structure once more and the new domain won’t have any ranking attributed to it because it is young, or new. This will of course have a huge impact on your search engine ranking and may require that you redo a lot of your SEO work from scratch.
Setting up a redirect
The simplest way of purchasing a new gTLD domain and being able to use it with your existing website would be to setup a redirect, and this is a feature included with the purchase of a domain from most major registrars and web hosting companies.
My opinion is that if you have already established your website under an existing domain that has received a good placing in search engines, just setup the new address as a redirect as to not undo the hard work if you’ve already put in. This will circumvent the need to migrate any services because the hassle it would cause isn’t worth it and would only work to create more work for you. If you are going to be creating a completely new website then consider the new gTLDs that are available as this could allow you to use a more relevant address that is easier to remember.