This was the year that Kim Kardashian broke the internet, Scotland said no to independence and selfies took off. The world once again became a little bit smaller and the internet started playing a bigger part in our daily lives. The uptake in smartphones means that more people than ever have access to the internet whilst on the go and in terms of domain names it has been a non-stop year of launches.
Most of the year was taken up by almost weekly domain launches with an influx of new gTLDs being released. The way in which we use domain names was changed and TLDs became associated with more than just a country with cities and regions getting a boost in their visibility
Geo TLDs took off
Perhaps the most surprising outcome of 2014 was the popularity of the geo TLDs that were launched. Berlin, New York, Paris, London and many more cities launched their own TLDs to general acclaim. In context of the hundreds that have been launched, they only make up a small percent overall however it has already set a precedent that should only be picked up on moving forward with smaller cities and regions getting involved. One of the things to consider with new gTLDs is the legacy that they will leave over the years and these certainly look to be one of the categories that should stand the test of time.
In terms of what’s happened at Domainmonster, some of the most anticipated launches have been the UK based TLDs such as .scot and .london with .wales and .cymru scheduled for General Availability in 2015.
New gTLDs as a whole
In the bigger picture 2014 was really only about one thing, new TLDs. Inevitably it was one of the most interesting years for domains as the main providers jostled for market position. Of course the year consisted of some hits and some misses in terms of launches, in terms of the pricing and also the types of domains launched. Again the industry is still yet to see the long term impact of these launches and it may be some years before the uptake is to the level that the registries are expecting.
The overall winner for the new gTLDs for 2014 was .xyz which came out on top with a whopping 769,178 registrations partly due to the competitive pricing offered for registrations.
ICANN came to the UK
2014 also saw ICANN make its way to the UK with ICANN 50 taking place in London. It meant that stakeholders from all around the world were invited to take part in an event that shapes ICANN policy which affects all aspects of the domain name world and beyond. It also was a record setting attendance for ICANN with the most participants involved, highlighting the interest currently being shown in the Internet.
Direct UK launched
For us our busiest period came when the launch of .uk domains went ahead. With a large number of our customers already managing their .co.uk domains with us it meant that large numbers of the direct UK equivalent was available through ourselves. However there are still plenty of .uk domains still update for grabs alongside the fact that we are currently running a promotion which includes free hosting with each .uk domain registration!