As domain names become more popular it is inevitable that the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) will be launched to cater for the growing demand.
Two relatively new extensions are .eu, .asia and .me. Each of these TLDs has a purpose, the first two give a presence to a large geographical area covering a few countries while the third is the country code TLD for Montenegro. These TLDs were established after consultation with the relevant governing bodies and are considered to be legitimately established.
Notwithstanding the various sunrise periods, most domain names are registered on a “first come, first served basis” so if you are second, you have lost out.
Well, not really. Savvy entrepreneurs have created new extensions that appear to be affiliated with a legitimate TLD but are in fact sub-domains. The first company to do this on a global scale was Centralnic. Through their service it is possible to register a domain name under extensions such as uk.net or uk.com.
At first glance it would appear uk.com is probably endorsed by Nominet the governing body of the .uk TLD. This is not the case, it is just a two letter domain name registered under the .com TLD. If you visit the .com whois database you will see uk.com is registered to Centralnic Ltd.
This form of domain name has now been expanded upon by EuroDNS, who has begun to offer domain names such as com.org.lv, com.co.ee and com.asia.com. In a few months time co.nl will be launched.
The co.nl domain name is registered in the name of S Scholten.
On its website it states “CO.NL is registered as a domain name but the CO.NL Operator does not have any affiliation with the SIDN Registry.” It is clear that this domain name is not sanctioned by the .nl registry – SIDN.
This domain name will be used as an alternative to the .nl TLD. If you cannot secure your domain name under .nl, there is no reason not to register a co.nl domain name but be aware that it is not an internationally sanctioned extension and that the risk exists that the domain you have registered is totally dependant on another domain name registered by a private company or an individual as is the case with co.nl.
When registering domain names you need to make sure that you are using a reputable provider and the TLD is a legitimately sanctioned extension. The sub-domains should only be considered as a last resort.