Now anyone can register .boats domains, and the same will be true for Dominion Domains’ other four TLDs.
Dominion Domains–the company behind the .boats, .autos, .homes, .yachts and .motorcycles domains–is removing eligibility restrictions on its top level domains and is reengaging with the traditional domain name registrar channel.
Eligibility restrictions have already been eliminated on .boats and the company plans to remove the restrictions on its other domains during the first half of the year.
The company initially limited second level domain registrations to groups with a bona fide connection to the TLD’s industry. The restrictions and verification process meant that only four domain name registrars were on board at launch. It also meant that registration volume has been stuck in the hundreds per top level domain, if not less.
Dominion had its reasons for initially restricting the domain names (listen to podcast) but has now reversed course in light of experience.
“Right now all of the new TLDs need more awareness and recognition, and we realized that the more .boats names there are out in the market, the better it is for our clients in the boating industry,” said Jim Schrand, General Manager of Dominion Domains.
Registrars shunned the domains thanks to a post-registration verification process that could take weeks to complete. During this time domains were in a server hold status.
Dominion Domain’s Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA) also turned off registrars because of onboarding fees and high insurance requirements. It seemed that Dominion’s initial approach was to sell domains directly to the existing customers of its publishing arm rather than through a vast network of registrars. That is changing.
“Up until this point, our domains haven’t been available most places where people buy names. In order to build awareness and sales, we need to leverage the registrar channel and their access to buyers, which meant that we need to remove restrictions,” said Schrand. “It also expands our serviceable market significantly and opens it up to domain investors who previously expressed interest in purchasing names.”
To court domain name registrars, Dominion Domains is starting to promote registrars that carry its TLDs and is offering significant wholesale discounts. 25 registrars have now signed the .boats RRA, including Key-Systems and Dynadot.
Opening the domains to more people should provide a nice boost. The company reports that it has already seen more adoption of .boats in light of the change.
According to NameStat.org, Dynadot currently has the lowest first-year price for .boats domains at $59.99.