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High risk & low risk gTLDs/ccTLDs

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Hi,
I own a mix of gTLDs & ccTLDs for current and future business projects. This question is Not about domain valuations. I want to understand how do I identify high risk/low risk TLDs, so I can avoid using the high risk TLDs for long term projects. By risk I mean that the provider/registrar turn rogue/collapse/drastically change prices/have terrible security or anything that might screw up my business domain usage.

Obviously the original gTLDs are generally considered safe as they've been around forever and are managed by well established registrars. They also provide the backbone of the internet websites. Similar is true for many old ccTLDs.

I've registered domain names in newer gTLDs, and ccTLDs to fairly small or obscure countries (which have probably sold or rented their ccTLD out to a foreign investor registrar.)

How do you/can I make a more informed decision about which TLDs are likely higher or lower risk?
Is there a resource which assesses all TLDs & the registrars associated with them?

I haven't listed the TLDs I've got as they are many and varied, and I expect to register other TLDs, so this is a more general how do you determine risk? I'm looking to avoid sinking considerable time and money into a TLD which then leaves my brand significantly impacted or devistated.

Thank you
 
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The gTLD like .com, .net, and .org are safe because they're heavily regulated, and they're substantial enough to where they make enough money that where making any unwarranted changes to their prices it would be heavily scrutinized.

ccTLD tend to vary a bit more depending on the particular ccTLD. But the locally managed ones (.cn, .de, .uk, .ca, .ru, etc.) are fairly safe as well.

gccTLD like .co and .io are a bit sketchy, because despite the recent influx of users, the prices aren't coming down.

The ngTLD is something I'd stay clear off entirely. There's so much bullshit with premium listings, price jumps, and pushing for retroactive billing for revisions, that there's no point in keeping these. Even if you want to buy something like admin.email, you don't know what the renewal fee will be until you get it, in which case you might not even be able to afford to keep it.
 
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The gTLD like .com, .net, and .org are safe because they're heavily regulated, and they're substantial enough to where they make enough money that where making any unwarranted changes to their prices it would be heavily scrutinized.

ccTLD tend to vary a bit more depending on the particular ccTLD. But the locally managed ones (.cn, .de, .uk, .ca, .ru, etc.) are fairly safe as well.

gccTLD like .co and .io are a bit sketchy, because despite the recent influx of users, the prices aren't coming down.

The ngTLD is something I'd stay clear off entirely. There's so much bullshit with premium listings, price jumps, and pushing for retroactive billing for revisions, that there's no point in keeping these. Even if you want to buy something like admin.email, you don't know what the renewal fee will be until you get it, in which case you might not even be able to afford to keep it.
hi Astner,
This is very helpful, thank you.

ccTLD, I hadn't considered it previously, but I will note your point about 'locally managed'. How would you/can I evaluate the risk profile of a less major ccTLD, as an example, .GD, or .AC?

gccTLD I am interested and concerned to hear some of these are sketchy. Do you mean primarily that their prices could rise unpredictably, or that the registry's are dangerous?

ngTLD This also sounds like a helpful warning. I've generally avoided them, but have some, and have been cautious to use them. At one stage long ago I looked at .WIN, and I've seen the .WIN domains go through a crazy rollercoaster and this is what I'm seeking to avoid. The price is some concern, but it's more that any business which is jumping it's prices around like crazy is unstable, and likely a risk to that domain which my business could be depending on.

Thank you for your help.
 
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ccTLD, I hadn't considered it previously, but I will note your point about 'locally managed'. How would you/can I evaluate the risk profile of a less major ccTLD, as an example, .GD, or .AC?
So for instance, .nu is managed by a Swedish company, rather than a company in the country of Niue. Granted, .nu is rather established at this point in time for Nordic companies, but this does increase the risk profile since Niue could eventually (in a far off future) get it back.

But it could also be high-risk because the company that manages it is from an underdeveloped country and doesn't manage to attract enough users. When the costs exceed the revenue it's not really functional.

.gd is high-risk because it's in an underdeveloped country.

.ac is managed by the same company that manages .io, so it's better off. But it's still fairly risky because it's not that popular.

gccTLD I am interested and concerned to hear some of these are sketchy. Do you mean primarily that their prices could rise unpredictably, or that the registry's are dangerous?
It depends on the particular gccTLD, .co is probably the safest of this kind.

ngTLD This also sounds like a helpful warning. I've generally avoided them, but have some, and have been cautious to use them. At one stage long ago I looked at .WIN, and I've seen the .WIN domains go through a crazy rollercoaster and this is what I'm seeking to avoid. The price is some concern, but it's more that any business which is jumping it's prices around like crazy is unstable, and likely a risk to that domain which my business could be depending on.

Thank you for your help.
Go onto your favorite registrar and look up finance.online and then dhfuowfbn.online (both are unregistered) and see the price difference. That's all the argument you'll ever need.
 
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So for instance, .nu is managed by a Swedish company, rather than a company in the country of Niue. Granted, .nu is rather established at this point in time for Nordic companies, but this does increase the risk profile since Niue could eventually (in a far off future) get it back.

But it could also be high-risk because the company that manages it is from an underdeveloped country and doesn't manage to attract enough users. When the costs exceed the revenue it's not really functional.

.gd is high-risk because it's in an underdeveloped country.

.ac is managed by the same company that manages .io, so it's better off. But it's still fairly risky because it's not that popular.


It depends on the particular gccTLD, .co is probably the safest of this kind.


Go onto your favorite registrar and look up finance.online and then dhfuowfbn.online (both are unregistered) and see the price difference. That's all the argument you'll ever need.
hi Astner,
You've been very helpful, thank you.

$13K to under $1 for .online is ridiculous.

I bought some domains several years ago which are short and awesome which I will now abandon.
I guess some amount stupidity got the better of me at the time of purchase, thinking I would use these for some important sites/brands. I typically wouldn't make such an error, but I did. Thankfully you've prevented more serious trouble, which might've happened if I realised my error later.

Having eliminated some ccTLDs, I'm left wondering about using the .WORLD and .AC domains I'd registered.
At first look, Identity Digital seem like they might be a decent registry (formerly or connected to DONUTS). Would you have confidence in TLDs from Identity Digital?
I have some 3 & 4 letter .ACs which seem a shame to drop. When you describe a risk 'they're not that popular' is your concern that they might implode/collapse?

Thank you
 
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Like all other things in life, we cannot foresee all long-term risks. There can be political instability issues associated with cctlds.
.ly users lost domains lost due to libyan political unrest.
.eu domains operating in UK got affected by Brexit.
There is some similar FUD going around.io names also.
So we need to know a country before venturing all out into it's cctld.
If you use an obscure ccltd for your global business site, my understanding is that, Google might consider you as a local business confining to that particular geography, thus affecting your search ranking outside that area. (SEO experts may comment)
 
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Like all other things in life, we cannot foresee all long-term risks. There can be political instability issues associated with cctlds.
.ly users lost domains lost due to libyan political unrest.
.eu domains operating in UK got affected by Brexit.
There is some similar FUD going around.io names also.
So we need to know a country before venturing all out into it's cctld.
If you use an obscure ccltd for your global business site, my understanding is that, Google might consider you as a local business confining to that particular geography, thus affecting your search ranking outside that area. (SEO experts may comment)
Thanks comRaid, I appreciate the examples.
I mostly got these short ccTLDs to compliment (be used alongside) a longer domain. You raise a good point though. Thanks
 
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Thanks from me to, This is a nice short read and a good summary on what to watch out for in the cctld market. Particularly the subsequently purchased and re-designated country codes
 
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Hi,
I own a mix of gTLDs & ccTLDs for current and future business projects. This question is Not about domain valuations. I want to understand how do I identify high risk/low risk TLDs, so I can avoid using the high risk TLDs for long term projects. By risk I mean that the provider/registrar turn rogue/collapse/drastically change prices/have terrible security or anything that might screw up my business domain usage.

Obviously the original gTLDs are generally considered safe as they've been around forever and are managed by well established registrars. They also provide the backbone of the internet websites. Similar is true for many old ccTLDs.
The legacy gTLDs (.COM/NET/ORG/BIZ/INFO etc) registries are more limited in terms of what they can do with pricing. The new gTLDs have a bit more freedom in terms of pricing. (Uniregistry increasing the renewal fees a few years ago was an example of this.) ICANN deals with the regulations on gTLDs.

The ccTLDs are somewhat more complex in that there are standard ccTLDs run by the registry appointed by the ccTLD's government or governing authority. That makes them somewhat different to the gTLDs in that it is the legislation of the country that has been assigned the ccTLD that decides everything. Some of them require that a business have an address in the country or a registered business before the registration can proceed. Others are more open.

Some small countries outsource the registry operation of their ccTLDs. Others have repurposed their ccTLDs as open TLDs (.TV etc). It can work (as in the cases of .TV, .ME and .CO) and can also have problems especially when a repurposed ccTLD allows free registrations.

How do you/can I make a more informed decision about which TLDs are likely higher or lower risk?
Is there a resource which assesses all TLDs & the registrars associated with them?
With the gTLDs and the larger ccTLDs, the registrars are regulated. If a gTLD fails then there ICANN will move it to EBERO (Emergency Back End Operator) which will maintain the gTLD until it can be sold. If a gTLD registrar loses their accreditation, the domain names will be moved to another registrar. Most of the ccTLDs have similar processes.

https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/ebero-2013-04-02-en

The .WED new gTLD moved to an EBERO after it failed to meet expectations.

I haven't listed the TLDs I've got as they are many and varied, and I expect to register other TLDs, so this is a more general how do you determine risk? I'm looking to avoid sinking considerable time and money into a TLD which then leaves my brand significantly impacted or devistated.
If you are building a brand and targeting the US as the primary market, then the first TLD is typically the first registration along with .NET/ORG and .US. Adding ccTLD registrations is generally done on a market or brand protection basis. If you are targeting a country with a strong ccTLD (more registrations in its local ccTLD than .COM registrations in the country) then it is best to use the ccTLD domain name. It really depends on how you want to protect your brand and how much money you are willing to spend doing it.

There are some specialist registrars that deal with many ccTLDs but they are expensive compared to ordinary ccTLD registrars and gTLD registrars. The advantage, especially when English is not the first language of the target market, is that they will have the experience of dealing with the ccTLDs and will generally be an accredited ccTLD registrar for the ccTLD.

Regards...jmcc
 
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Wow this is great information @jmcc, thank you.

The EBERO system is new to me, and that's useful and good to understand.

You've given me lots to digest and consider.

Much appreciated.
 
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