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Test driving .co’s new Pop.co

New TLD hopefuls should take a look at Pop.co.

.Co continues to innovate around how people register domain names and get online. Yesterday it launched a new company, Pop.co, to make the process of getting your domain and a basic web presence insanely easy.

The idea is summed up quite nicely at Pop.co:

pop-1

It’s as easy as they suggest. First, you select a .co domain name to use. For my test, I chose TestingPop.co.

Then you enter your name and mobile phone number. After receiving a pin number on your mobile to confirm your information, Pop.co goes to work creating your account services:

pop-progress

The initial set up includes an email address with Google Apps (in my case it created andrew@testingpop.co) as well as a basic website.

You can quickly point your domain name to one of 8 different services including Wordpress.com and Launchrock.com if you don’t want to use Pop.co’s web editor. You can also manage A records and CNAME if you want to access more services. MX records automatically point to Google services.

The included Pop.co web page editor is rather crude. It basically allows you to create a mobile friendly contact page on the web similar to a .tel page.

I found the editor to be somewhat buggy, too. If you tell it to show your address but not a map, your address won’t show up anywhere. When I opted to show the map it pinned my address at the wrong location until I changed the spacing of the words in my address. Google Maps, on the other hand, is more forgiving on address spacing.

That said, the point of using the website editor is just to get something basic up. You’ll point your address to another service as you develop your business.

If the goal is to reduce friction to reserving a domain name and getting a basic website up, Pop.co hits the mark. It’s easier than any other domain registration service because you don’t have to enter your complete contact information or credit card to start your trial and reserve your domain name. Although your name shows up in whois, the organization name is c/o Pop! Online Trial Service until your trial ends.

If you keep your domain name and related services past the 15 day trial then you pay $5 per month. (Many domainers are probably wondering if this could be used to taste domain names for a couple weeks to see if they get traffic.)

Although new top level domain name operators should check out what .co is doing, this type of service won’t be as easy on new TLDs. As a country code, .co doesn’t have to pay ICANN for registrations nor follow any of its new whois requirements. That said, the mobile phone verification and use of the trial address handles most of them.

But the idea behind the service from a registry perspective–including being able to market to trial users via text messages–may be worth emulating.

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  1. Juan says

    Hey Andrew – Thanks for you review.

    You brought up some really important points. Although we deliberately want to keep the POP Page editor very basic, those bugs need to be resolved ASAP (we’re still in BETA!). In then end, what we really want is for people to use their POP Page as a way to have something up immediately, while they work on a more advanced version of their site through an editor such as Wordpress, SquareSpace, etc.

    More improvements coming soon!

    Juan

  2. Kassey says

    While I’m not a fan of .co, I think the company’s marketing has been excellent. The idea of pop.co is very good. It just makes it easy for the non-technical folks to have their own websites. I believe success of new gTLDs will rest upon their marketing skills.

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