WordPress enforces its brand in domain names and doesn’t plan to use any new top level domain names.One of the nice surprises at NamesCon last week was a last-minute appearance by Matt Mullenweg. Mullenweg created WordPress and is CEO of Automattic, which runs the hosted WordPress.com platform.
Unfortunately, since it was last minute, I did not get to hear his entire Q&A with Braden Pollock. I did catch a couple of his comments about domain names, however.
When asked about the company’s feelings about people using “wordpress” in their domain names, Mullenweg said they do sometimes go after domain owners. (In fact, WordPress Foundation and Automattic filed a combined nine UDRP cases for “wordpress” domain names in 2013.)
Mullenweg said this is mostly to protect people from downloading malware. They want everyone to go directly to WordPress.com/.org to sign up for the service or download the software, and they don’t want people to be confused by other sites that use WordPress in their domain name to look like WordPress.
On the topic of new TLDs, Mullenweg said this: we’ll register our name in all of them, but use none of them.
He said the company uses MarkMonitor for brand protection. WordPress will protect itself with defensive registrations, but he doesn’t see the company actually using any of its domains in new TLDs. This gets back to his comment on brand enforcement: he wants everyone to know that WordPress.com is its trusted domain, and using other domains would lead to confusion.