Public still wary of new domain extensions, says survey » Charity Digital News

Public still wary of new domain extensions, says survey


The public is wary of websites that use the new wave of domain extensions, a survey by the NCC Group has revealed.

The survey of 10,000 users in the UK and US found that roughly half of consumers are uncomfortable visiting websites ending in new domains, and only nine per cent of consumers feel comfortable doing so.

Where once just 22 domain extensions existed, now hundreds are in use. In fact, by early 2016, nearly 1,000 domain extensions had been introduced as part of ICANN’s new gTLD programme and were ready to be introduced to the internet. Everything from .ninja to .london has been introduced.

The results of the NCC Group’s Trust in the Internet Study 2016, suggests charities need to think carefully before rolling out an eye-catching new domain.


Power of brand

However, the NCC survey did highlight that that consumers are most comfortable with brand domains such as .hsbc, suggesting there could be mileage in charities applying to ICANN, the organisation responsible for the management of the domain system, for a specific domain extension.

“Trust in the new domain endings is getting worse,” said Rob Cotton, CEO at NCC Group. “This will put organisations off from moving on from legacy domains, which is a problem for registries whose businesses hinge on selling them. If the new endings are to be successful, they need to somehow establish a reputation of trustworthiness.”

“Brand domains are faring the best when it comes to consumer perception, but there aren’t enough currently being used for this trend to continue,” Cotton said. “Doing nothing isn’t really an option as this comfort will erode through lack of use. For the generic domains the message is clear: you need to differentiate on more than just the name, otherwise consumers are very wary.”

Related reading