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Why Frank Schilling’s new bus ad uses http://

Otherwise, lots of people might not get to the website.

Yesterday Frank Schilling tweeted this picture of a bus ad for his .sexy top level domain name:


Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry, responded asking about why the ad includes https://, and Frank Schilling explained:


That lots of cell phone users need to type in http:// before a new TLD if they’re typing the address into their address bar, is a key example of the universal acceptance problem with new TLDs.

Even if cell phone browsers universally recognized new TLDs, would advertisers feel inclined to put www. before the domain so people recognized it as a domain name, as Kinderis proposes? That might separate it from ads with dots that aren’t domain names:


The problem with what Frank did here, is that even through people will now recognize this as a web address, they probably won’t type in http:// at the beginning. When’s the last time someone typed http:// in front of a web address, except for new TLD applicants trying to access their domains on different devices?

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  1. Doug Mehus

    Agreed. I think it’s a smart move. With most people not disabling Google’s browser-based forwarding and auto-completion type features, not including the “http://” for a new gTLD often returns a Google search result instead (until Google adds an exemption manually to that domain forwarding/auto-completion rule in Chrome). As for not including the “www,” that’s simple, I think. Businesses are increasingly dropping that historical subdomain in favour of using the domain name’s root (and, presumably, web forwarding “www” there) and this makes sense.


  2. Lisandro F.

    Additionally, its important to note that native android browsers also don’t properly support new TLDs. When trying to go to some of these domains users get redirect to a search engine results page.

  3. todd

    That is ridiculous. The only way I can visit a gtld on my phone is by first typing in http:// ? What a joke!



    You lost me at Backslash! LOL

    The gtld market already had enough issues and now this. If this info goes mainstream say good bye to the gtld market!

    • BPMΩ

      Actually, that’s a forward slash. A backslash goes topleft-bottomright. Typically used for delimiters in Windows directories. Just being technical. 😀

    • BPMΩ

      I can confirm that Firefox and Chrome for Android work just fine without needing to enter http:// before the domain. The AOSP browser, though, doesn’t. Most phones come with Chrome by default now, anyways.

  4. .h2o.

    Technical problems relating to phones will resolve with time so I’m not too worried about it. The problem may be using a dot as the only means of identifying a web address. I believe .web and to some extent .website are very good gTLDS because they inherently let the user know that these strings are internet addresses and they pass the radio test.That way the wwww and http:// can be omitted altogether. Having to use these is very clumsy and a pain. Years ago, I had made this point on NamePros that .web will the the gTLD winner of them all. Too bad, so much is up in the air as to when .web will launch and by whom. Perhaps web.com will be the winner. While .com will always be a star, it doesn’t mean that it will be the only star. .Web may end up being better or equal to .com if not a very close second, much more valuable than a .net. Future new startups may even consider the .web extension the fresh universal extension, while .com may be considered an oversaturated relic of past generations. Of course this is all speculation. As a counterpoint, the hash tag followed by a keyword is used frequently on TV ad campaigns and it is assumed that this is an internet keyword. So if a single preceding hash tag can carry so much weight, so can a dot separator. Good luck to all investors and the developers that will breathe life into these domain extensions!

  5. Joseph Peterson

    Honestly, I don’t see how that ad is going to convert.

    The main sales pitch at AreYou.sexy seems to be personal as opposed to brand / business usage. Now, it’s arguable how many of us really want to buy our personal name in .SEXY or create a .SEXY nick name. But I’m prepared to imagine that some people do.

    The problem is that those people don’t know how. How would they use it? They probably don’t have the first clue how to set up an @Gertrude.sexy email address for themselves. And most of their interpersonal interactions take place mainly on social media websites without any obvious application (to the average person, at least) for any domain, whether .SEXY or .COM.

    So, although this bus may generate awareness, I just don’t see how the landing page is supposed to get conversions. At best, someone buys MyDachshundIs.sexy. Then what?

    I mean this criticism to be constructive, Frank or Uniregistry, in case you’re out there. Why not help consumers connect the dots between (1) knowing .SEXY exists, (2) registering a .SEXY, and (3) putting their .SEXY to use in some instantly gratifying way? Very few people will register unless they see a way to use something.

    Personal use for .SEXY is, I suppose, where the highest volume of registrants lies. Not sure that will catch on, but we’ll see. Personally, my only 2 or 3 .SEXY domains are meant impersonally — i.e. for branding businesses.

    • couponpages

      I agree. There is very little commercial value in .Sexy and some of the other personal TLDs popping up, like .Rocks, .Beer, etc.

      The trouble with domains geared at individuals, rather than people with a commercial interest is that it’s hard to get the masses up to speed on how to put together anything useful unless they bundle the domain with some kind of turnkey killer app that people actually want… and can understand how to use.

      Even bundling something like a free WordPress blog is way too complex, but if they had something as simple as Instagram or Pinterest, where they just snap a photo with their phones and it popped onto their site, they would have a chance. But the bigger problem is even if they made it that easy, it’s pointless.

  6. Max

    I have a cluster of one word .sexy addresses for business branding; though perhaps uncommonly, I have the matching .com addresses.

    I love .Sexy and think it has a ton of fun marketing potential.

    Cheers & Aloha

    • couponpages

      This is one of my pet peeves. The reason why new TLDs often don’t work is because browsers have merged the traditional address box with search boxes.

      Because of this, the browser doesn’t necessarily know if you are typing an address or a search term, so it now needs code to figure it out. Prior to this, anything in the address box was assumed to be an address and it didn’t need any guessing, so it went right to a DNS lookup.

        • couponpages

          I think there are more domains registered for defensive purposes than any other purpose. Registrars have hammered the idea of protecting your identity by registering alternate variations since day one.

          While I have made it a point to get singular and plural pairs and at one point hyphenated and unhyphenated versions, I have drawn the line on getting alternate TLDs of most of my .Coms.

          As far as I’m concerned, I would love to see 1500 sites with the exact same name as my .Com. I wish them well, and hope some of them become the next Facebook. The absolute worst thing that would happen is they would need to buy my .com version with the proceeds from their IPO.

          • couponpages

            Exactly my point.

            I could care less if anyone builds a website with the same name as mine in another TLD. The odds of them having even a fraction my my success are almost zero. That’s why I don’t buy defensive versions of my domains in other TLDs. As far as I’m concerned, they are welcome to them, and I wish them well.

            If anything, they will want mine, but I have no use for their versions.

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