Starting in 2014, ICANN–the organization that coordinates the entire domain name system–has been facilitating the launch of new “top level domains” (TLDs) ranging from .app to .xyz. So far, for our part, Gandi has implemented no less than 664 of these new TLDs and today we offer more than 750 TLD options.
As a reminder, the launch of a new TLD follows the same general formula:
- The “Sunrise” phase, during which trademark owners registered with ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) can register the domain corresponding to their trademark before the TLD is made available to the general public.
- Then, a “Landrush” phase–sometimes called EAP for “Early Access Period”, which often follows different rules depending on the registry (immediate, first come first served registration; deferred following examination of all candidates; or in an “inverted auction” where prices lower each day during the phase), during which you can pay extra to get priority registration
- Finally, on the GoLive date, domains in the given TLD are fully released and available generally. At this point, anyone can register a domain in the TLD according to the standard registration conditions for it.
Since the first TLD releases in 2014, our research and development team has been analyzing data from the release phases of each new TLD. One conclusion we were able to draw was that registrations of Premium domain names start at the very beginning of the Landrush phase.
Premium domain names are highly desirable domains, determined by the registry to be highly sought after. These domains are often ones like “shoes.shop”, that consist of common, generic terms that are likely to also enjoy better search engine rankings.
As a result, you have the best chance of getting your Premium domain right at the beginning of the Landrush period, with a 96% chance, if you wait until the GoLive date, there’s only a 15% chance of getting the domain.
Hence, it’s important to maximize your chances of getting your domain name by adopting the appropriate strategy:
- For any registered trademark you own, do not hesitate to register it with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) as well in order to be able to register your domain in the Sunrise phase if possible.
- For highly sought-after and strategic domains, it’s important to consider a cost/benefit analysis and register your domain in the Landrush phase.
Certain registries choose to do an Early Access Period (EAP), with tariffs descending in five phases, and you’ll still have between a 25% and 45% chance of getting your domain if you wait until the fourth or fifth phase of the EAP. A $1000 domain at the Premium standard price could be only $1100 at the end of the EAP. That’s double your chances of getting the domain for only $100 more.
- For standard domain names that aren’t strategic for your business or that you aren’t at great risk of losing (a domain name for your company for which you already own the domain in another TLD, for example), you’ll still have a 76% chance of attaining it following the GoLive date.
You should also be aware that even before a TLD enters a given phase, you can still submit your registration to Gandi for the release phase of your choice. We’ll hold onto that registration and send it to the registry once the TLD enters the selected phase.
If the domain is still available, we will register it. If the domain is no longer available, we will credit your Gandi prepaid account the amount paid and send you an alert, so as to allow you to quickly use these funds to purchase a different domain of your choice.