An Alternative to the .COM Domain?

An Alternative to the .COM Domain?

Small countries such as Tonga, Turkmenistan and Niue are offering an alternative to customers that have been squeezed out of the Internet as .com domain names have been registered.

It is sometimes the unhappy task of a Domain registrar company, such as Discount Domains to tell clients that their preferred names in the .com domain are already registered or must be purchased from a cyber-squatter for a large amount of money.

With the anticipated opening of new domains, such as .eu, the solution is often a longer, harder to remember name and less search engine friendly domain name.

The above countries allow users to register in their domain space. Web hosting companies can suggest that their clients register their sites in the .to (Tonga), .tm (Turkmenistan) or .nu (Niue) domains, enabling them to get the shorter, catchier name that was taken in the .com domain.

The obvious drawback is many companies prefer the more familiar .com designation.

A possible further consideration is the political stability of smaller countries, only recently part of the Soviet Union. Niue meanwhile has been the most successful of the countries. The tiny island nation is registering Internet Web sites under the .nu address for US $25.

By January 2001, after only 18 months as an active TLD, .nu domain usage has swelled, making .nu the sixteenth most popular domain name in the world. The company that maintains the registry, .NU Domain Ltd [], has registered 30,000 .nu domain names, as of January 2001 on the Internet, with registrations of .nu domain names more than doubling since then.

As .nu gains recognition, domain name registrars will have an effective way to provide clients the personal, distinct domain names they desire.

And what are the benefits for Niue? The island nation is getting 25 per cent of the gross after payment of commissions. The money is being used by the Niue Internet Users' Society to provide residents and the government with free Internet connections.


About the Author

Clare Lawrence is CEO of Discount Domains Ltd - A leading UK provider of Domain name registration and Web Hosting services. Please feel free to re-publish this article provided this reference box remains together with a hyperlink to Clare can also be contacted on