The Internet is changing - Here’s what you need to know

You may have heard over the last few months that the internet is changing but do you know what it’s all about? If like many the answer is no then hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading this you will have a better understanding of the changes that have already started rolling out.

For the most part we are used to accessing websites via domains such as .com .net .org and so on, although there’s many other country variants available too. In 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced it was going to be opening up the domain system to new gTLDs (generic top level domains). In practice this means domains such as .food .tech .guru and .pizza will become available for private and business customers to register.

These new gTLDs will be rolled out gradually over the next few years and some have already been rolled out and are available to register now. Initially when a new gTLD is released it’s not initially available to the public as it has to be made available to trademark holders first so they can register their trademark domains. After a period of time the domains and then made available for pre-purchase and then finally available to all for public registration. If you are interested in registering one of these new domains there are already some available such as .photography, .clothing, .bike and .graphics to name just a few.

One of the many benefits to the new gTLDs implemented by ICANN is the amount of new possibilities it opens for new registrations. The domain choices that we previously had were becoming very saturated and it was getting harder and harder to find a domain that wasn’t already taken. Now the possibilities and choices for registering a domain are much broader and should allow you to be able to get the domain you want rather than settling for what was left.

The changes are likely to cause some confusion to begin with particularly with the sheer amount of new domains that are being released which is somewhere in the region of 1000 gTLDs. However as ICANN has chosen to roll these out gradually just a few at a time it should make it a bit easier to familiarise yourself with the new domains as and when they become available.