Can a domain extension be good for a company without being good for Domainers too? I say yes.

Here’s a question that’s worth pondering over the weekend. Can a domain extension be good for a company but bad for a Domainer? This is top of mind for me because yesterday I wrote an article about .BANK, and people seemed to get confused about why I thought it was a good domain extension for banks.

With an extension like .BANK, domain investors actually can’t own it, you have to be a bank to buy it, so no – it’s not something for investors. That being said, it has a rigorous verification process that allows you and me as consumers to know that if a company is on a .BANK domain, they’re a real bank and not a scam.

As a domain investor my focus is .COM, period, the end. If you’re investing in domains I think your focus should also be .COM. I don’t think there’s any argument there.

Now, going back to my point above. If I’m a software developer and I want to build a portfolio site, what’s wrong with If I run a subscription service for wine, doesn’t make a lot of sense?

All this being said, yes – I think companies should brand on a .COM in many cases. However let’s be honest, in some cases it’s not possible. So then the question is, do you pick a different name or pick a different extension? There are a TON of startups that have raised tens of millions of dollars on a .CO, .IO, .ME and many other extensions. Will they eventually buy the .COM? Maybe, but it’s clear that you can still build a great company without one.

Zoom bought only after they were a billion dollar company. They build a billion dollar company on a .US domain. While they now own the .COM, having a .US domain didn’t stop them from growing like crazy and becoming the company they are today. Of course, I wouldn’t invest in .US and I don’t think you should too.

Going back to my example from yesterday. With an extension like .BANK does that extra validation build trust over time? Sure, it may not have the brand recognition now but is it so crazy to think that it might over time?

Like I said, as an investor, I’m .COM all day, but when it comes to a business branding on a domain, do we really think that now and forever everyone has to pick .COM and that will never change?

I know this is a hot topic and a bunch of people are going to call me a “new gTLD lover” but I’m not, I’m a .COM lover, I just think that there are some domain extensions out there, like .BANK that aren’t for domain investors but could be a great fit for a bank. Make sense or did I lose my mind?

I want to hear from you, good or bad (and oh yeah, I know some bad is coming!) – comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy July 19, 2019, 5:47 pm

    As was stated yesterday, .bank is a terrible extension almost no usage and it has been shrinking for years, that is the “endusers” who are dropping them.

    You are in the habit of make comments such as this “having a .US domain didn’t stop them from growing like crazy and becoming the company they are today.” This is why some (including myself) say you are slanted towards new tlds and alt tlds. And that is why you try to get in first with a fakish endorsement of .com on almost every post! would have been a problem for them over years. A domain is probably 1% of the equation, but that does not mean a company should use a bad domain because it is only 1%. Should a company also use a known bad logo designer or ship things out slowly, because some companies can do well in spite of it?

    Let’s remember what the founder of ycombinator said,

    “There are of course examples of startups that have succeeded without having the .com of their name. There are startups that have succeeded despite any number of different mistakes. But this mistake is less excusable than most”

    Paul Graham

    • Ethan July 19, 2019, 7:13 pm

      I would say it’s the toxic words like those you’re making that’s being terrible. Only legitimate banks can register .bank domains, and that means .bank websites are 100% safe.

      One should have cited an authoritative source when making a bold claim regarding enduser usages, otherwise it sounds spurious.

      • Snoopy July 19, 2019, 7:22 pm

        Only endusers can register these names as Morgan stated, and the registration numbers have been dropping for years.

        What are you claiming is incorrect?

        • Ethan July 19, 2019, 7:42 pm

          Could you please cite a source regarding the registration numbers?

          • Brad Mugford July 19, 2019, 7:59 pm

            It went from a peak of 3500+ registrations in 2016 to 2,520 in the zone file today.

            Source –


          • Ethan July 19, 2019, 8:26 pm

            Thanks Brad.

            .bank is an indication of safety for sure. I suppose many banks already operated on other TLDs prior to the existence of .bank so maybe that’s reason they didn’t renew the TLD.

    • Matt August 4, 2019, 1:11 pm

      Snoopy, Morgan’s point about “having a .us domain didn’t stop them from growing like crazy and becoming the company they are today” is legitimate and valid.

      It’s not a biased comment at all. Very strange that you would say that and even more strange that you would say he has a habit of making those types of comments.

      Ironically, you have exposed not only your own bias towards .com in the face of a success story, but you’ve also exposed your own problem engaging in thoughtful dialogue and reasoning.

      As for a being “less excusable than most mistakes” – it’s a deceitful tactic to throw quotes out there without context. Do you really think that helps you make your point?

      You really think that you are wiser than the folks who started

      You really think that they made a terrible mistake? Do you know how much money they started with or what their priorities were? Were you involved in their research, or in meetings with them when they constructed their business plan or goals? There when they evaluated their progress towards their short term and long term goals? Or when they were focusing their energy, money or other scarce resources on technology and building a company?

      You really think that they should have, at the start, sacrificed their investment in technology and business development, at all costs, to acquire at the beginning?

      Please share where you studied business or received your MBA. After your postgrad did you work at Accenture or McKinsey? Which companies were you the founder of? How many people did you employ? Which companies did you have a successful exit? What was the value of your exit?

      Is your opinion of “sacrifice everything to get the .com” based on any professional experience above? Or just based on your experience as a part time moderator for DNF and time working on Domain State?

      Or maybe… they did it the right way. Maybe they are smarter than you and all the other .com brokers out there. Maybe they invested their time, money and other resources in the areas necessary to build a solid business. Maybe they evaluated buying the .com at different stages of their business development and made the choice to not buy for important, calculated reasons. Maybe they purchased the .com at the perfect time for their business. Maybe currently forwards to because that is what their current data is telling them to stick with.

  • July 19, 2019, 5:58 pm

    i would not feel safe to login a dot bank website.

    If you are a major bank, you must do business on a dot com which is recognized worldwide.

  • John July 19, 2019, 6:22 pm

    “I know this is a hot topic and a bunch of people are going to call me a “new gTLD lover” but I’m not, I’m a .COM lover, I just think that there are…”

    Morgan, I hate to call you out like this (again), but why should I or anyone believe that, when this is the reality which is all in black and white and can be proven any time:

    1. You were publicly planning to buy a “new gTLD” which is the “@ss backward” reverse of the EMD category owning domain for the field your business venture is in.

    2. I personally showed you that the category owning .com for your business field is not only available, but is a mere $2,000, and you didn’t buy it. It is still available right now for that mere $2,000, and you still haven’t bought it. How long has it been now, at least a few months?

    3. For each of the two or three times I mentioned this here before, you did not respond at all (what a surprise).

    4. For bonus points: should I bet $1,000 you will not reply this time too? Would that be a winning bet? I’ll bet it would.

    So honestly, Morgan, you are usually pretty interesting and such, but isn’t that a bizarre red flag a mile high? Anyone else would have pounced on that EMD .com for only $2k. I considered even buying it myself.

    • John July 19, 2019, 6:25 pm

      All the more ironic that it is also a nice concise two word .com, btw, and we know how much you have written about those before.

    • John July 19, 2019, 6:44 pm

      So Morgan, the bottom line is – you’re busted. You didn’t think it could happen to someone as smart as you, did you? For crying out loud, you even have a TEDx talk on YouTube. But yes, you’re busted.

      I don’t enjoy it, though, and frankly if it weren’t for “Of course, I wouldn’t invest in .US and I don’t think you should too.” I probably wouldn’t have. That wasn’t very nice, and not exactly patriotic either. 🙂 There is progress happening despite the overall status quo, and as I have pointed out recently it could even change on a dime in an instant.

      • Snoopy July 19, 2019, 7:26 pm

        .us is a terrible extension, going nowhere like .bank. Is this a case of my crap new tld is better than your crap new tld?

        • John July 19, 2019, 8:44 pm

          In your particular case, it’s not exactly within a trillion miles of believable that you don’t know .us is as far from a “new tld” as it gets, so why are you commenting as if it is not. And why is this not the first, second, or by now perhaps the “zillonith” time you have commented in a way that shows a lack of integrity and basic honesty to put it nicely.

          • John July 19, 2019, 8:46 pm

            And Morgan, where’s my $1,000? You’ve had enough time to say something. 😉

          • Snoopy July 19, 2019, 9:30 pm

            It’s all the same stuff, an extension that never goes anywhere despite people think one day will change.

            Doesn’t what what it gets called because it isn’t a proper country code either other than in a very technical sense. .us is in no mans land.

  • Mark Thorpe July 19, 2019, 8:08 pm

    I like the .US extension. I think .US is undervalued.
    .US has potential, it will have it’s day in the sun eventually.

    • John July 20, 2019, 8:43 am

      If you want to know the reason why it is undervalued, its potential unrealized, it has never seen sunlight, the American public still scarcely knows it even exists, and how that could change literally almost overnight and could have since Day 1 in 2002 and every single day since, then start here:

      • Snoopy July 20, 2019, 4:29 pm

        Extension is garbage and will never improve, give it up about some overnight miracle.

  • BullS July 19, 2019, 10:15 pm

    Snoopy and I are the only ones that have common sense.
    Dot whatever are useless.
    Go ahead and reg all the dot whatever you want and tell us how many you sold.

    Let your money do the talking.

    • Matt August 4, 2019, 11:57 am

      Not sure if your comment is replying to another comment, or a response to the article.

      Morgan’s article is in no way trying to advise people to register non-.coms. You understand that right? He’s just pondering if any new gTLDs may bring any value to end users or web users.

      With all the security breaches, viruses, trojans, key loggers and phishing attempts – any registry that can bring some additional security (especially banking) is worth a look.

  • Undaunt July 19, 2019, 10:55 pm

    Hi Morgan,
    Yes .Bank may not be good for investors but imho,i wont advise a bank to use it.Conflcts will arise..The average person knows to as that is what comes first when they want to type not bla bla .Bank.

    Bank knows this and the better they stick to the extension of trust.So if you suggest this then lawyers should use only .law,hospitals,agriculture use .agriculture.Common man call it as it is.Dont say you are a .com and then still pitching .Bank.

    Do you know that saying .Bank is good for banks,is pitching .Bank even if you dont see it that way?

  • Bob Parry July 20, 2019, 12:05 am

    I have for sale at Sedo with the minimum offer of only $50 USD. So I just wonder whether is better than this .COM domain for such banks?

    • Snoopy July 20, 2019, 2:59 am

      The .com is 1000x better but the problem is we are multiplying by $0 to start with. Start again, the name must mean or stand for something.

  • Alan Dodd July 20, 2019, 7:05 am

    Admit it @Snoopy, you are secretly buying up a massive gTLD portfolio which you will unleash on an unsuspecting Internet very soon!

    You’re only annoyed with dot-bank because you can’t register them.

    Your posts on gTLDs are just Or is that SmokeAnd.Mirrors?

  • Morgan July 20, 2019, 10:03 am

    Thanks for all the great comments everyone, I love it that you’re all comfortable speaking your mind and that’s also why I don’t censor any of my comments. Whether you agree with me or not, you’re always welcome to share your thoughts on my blog.

    Keep it coming!

    • John July 20, 2019, 11:53 am

      Morgan, you must be tickled half to death that although I busted you with a smoking gun the size of the whole gTLD program itself, people in this thread are as oblivious about it as pigs in a playpen. 😉 That’s exactly how it often works at the big picture level too. Now if only both the mainstream neolibs and neocons could lie us into another Gulf War just as easily as last time…

    • John July 20, 2019, 11:53 am

      But yes, at least you don’t do the censorship thing. Yet. 🙂

  • Richard Morris July 20, 2019, 2:51 pm

    Morgan…i see where many of my critics from NP have been chiming in, and that’s a good thing. In the 20 months I’ve been playing this crazy game they call domaining, i’ve grown ambivalent when it comes to nTLD’s. Even at 70 years old (18 month ago) i thought new extensions like .golf, .gives, .today, .homes, .realty, .club etc. were the greatest things since sliced bread.

    One of the reasons for my ambivalency (if that’s a word) is/was I never was able to obtain the financing or the technical partner I needed to see if I could sell them to “end users” like I had planned. That said, I’m still in this game swinging for the fences, but not the traditional ways domainers might think.

    To give you an example, I just registered about 20 different domains based on the initiative for Play9™. For those of you non golfers, golf worldwide has been on the decline for the last 10 years despite there are still over 25M golfers and 12,000 golf courses in the US alone. Of the 20 different names I registered, 15 of them are .coms like, AfterSchool9 and AfterWork9. However, I’ve decided on a name I wish to brand, 9Time™. The .com wasn’t available, however I was able to buy to use for my domain and my website. No one seems to hold a TM for 9Time® so I applied for a TM yesterday that I hope will be approved in 9-12 months.

    When 9Time® becomes just as popular as the fastest growing sport in the world “pickleball”, just remember where you heard about 9Time☺and

    • Snoopy July 20, 2019, 5:44 pm

      You are on the wrong track and need to start again, domaining isn’t about manufacturing a usage, the usage needs to be already existing. Forget about new tlds to start with, and secondly go for names that other people would want right now, as in today.

      If the name is unregistered it is bad.

  • Matthew Holmes July 21, 2019, 6:43 pm

    Ahhh hahaha Alan “Your posts on gTLDs are just Or is that SmokeAnd.Mirrors?”

    I think that bdsmstore guy said it the best. The problem is public ignorance, that’s how to fix scams, not the domain extension, unfortunately, I would have to clarify.

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  • Matt August 4, 2019, 11:49 am

    Morgan, I cannot believe that I just saw this post now – after recent gTLD drama elsewhere.
    Firstly, I completely agree with everything you said.

    Also if I read your comments correctly – this isn’t just about .bank – that was an example looking many years into the future (potential adoption and potential increased security). Basically a thought experiment into what could happen and what the benefits may be.

    I think an added dimension alongside the “effects to” and “benefits for” investors and end users would be the possible benefits for web users. Again this isn’t specifically about .bank, .law or any other specific limited TLD, but a general consideration of how the TLD could bring broad benefits to web users.
    e.g. .dev/.app with SSL/HSTS preloading, or .bank/.realtor with credential checking…

    Despite carving out a small niche investing in .nyc domains (another TLD with limits (nexus)), I continue to maintain that new gTLDs are not for investors but are an option for endusers, the ability for a registry to make an entire TLD a safer namespace than .com, possibly by only having thousands on names/registrants to verify e.g. .bank, also brings benefits as you’ve mentioned.

    All of this said, it does have the potential to affect .com investors, especially as .com mindshare is diluted with .gTLDs.


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