Best of the new top-level domains

In our crowdsourced world today, indicators of what’s best could be measured by: what’s most popular, the best reviews, the highest ratings, the most likes, the most shares, the highest score. In this new era of the Internet namespace, with nearly a thousand new domain extensions (technically known as generic top-level domains or gTLDs), there are different ways to consider what are the best new domain name extensions, like: most applications (aka highly-contested), most pre-registered interest, most registrations. Here’s what that looks like: visualizes the top 10 registered gTLDs in a pie chart:
ntldstats top gTLDs displays the top 20 registered & fastest growing gTLDs in a table:

To look at the data another way, this list of the Most Highly Contested TLDs (via had the most applicants, meaning these had the most interest from investors, but in the end, only one applicant will win the rights to operate a top-level domain:

  • .app, 13 applicants
  • .inc, 11 applicants
  • .home, 11 applicants
  • .art, 10 applicants
  • .blog, 9 applicants
  • .llc, 9 applicants
  • .shop, 9 applicants
  • .book, 9 applicants
  • .design, 8 applicants
  • .music, 8 applicants
  • .movie, 8 applicants
  • .web, 7 applicants
  • .store, 7 applicants
  • .hotel, 7 applicants
  • .love, 7 applicants
  • .ltd, 7 applicants
  • .cloud, 7 applicants
  • .mail, 7 applicants
  • .news, 7 applicants

Or here’s an earlier projection— Top new extensions based on pre-registrations at
Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 1.17.38 PM

The real question is this: what’s best for you or your company, organization, event, service, product, website?

The best new domain names are memorable, meaningful, shorter and available. While some websites want the most traffic possible, websites are really wanting the right number of visits from the right people doing the right things, depending on the goals or purpose of the website. And the right domain name is the best signpost to get people there.

The 2015 ICANN Global Consumer Research Study found the following:

Since the first new gTLD was delegated in October 2013, more than 630 new gTLDs have been delegated. To gauge perceptions of the new gTLDs, the survey focused on the new gTLDs with the greatest number of registrations at the time the questions were developed in January 2015 – .EMAIL, .PHOTOGRAPHY, .LINK, .GURU, .REALTOR, .CLUB, .XYZ …

Across all survey respondents, 46% reported awareness of at least one new gTLD, with 65% of those who are aware reporting they have also visited a new gTLD. Notably, .EMAIL and .LINK led in awareness and visitation of new gTLDs.


… Among these legacy gTLDs, three extensions (.COM, .NET and .ORG) lead awareness, with nearly 8 in 10 (79%) respondents reporting knowledge of these domains, on average.

At the moment, the “best” domain name extension is perceived to be “.COM” because of its popularity (in number of registrations and traffic usage). But over the inevitable course of time, that may well evolve and change, just like cable television – many channels to serve many kinds of interests and niches.

That’s what the data says. In my humble opinion (IMHO), here’s what I think are the most meaningful domain name extensions:

  • .app
  • .bank
  • .bible
  • .blog
  • .book
  • .church
  • .club
  • .coffee
  • .email
  • .events
  • .guide
  • .link
  • .live
  • .media
  • .menu
  • .movie
  • .music
  • .network
  • .news
  • .photo
  • .store
  • .training
  • .wiki

This post is part of a blog series tagged gTLD. Also see How to get the new gTLD domain names you want + When will more new gTLD websites go live? + 6 ways to choose a meaningful domain name with a new gTLD

[disclosure: DJ Chuang works with the .BIBLE top-level domain registry]