You might soon be able to register .blog domain names from the parent company of WordPress.com – Automattic.
The .blog domain names will be available to register starting 21st November 2016. Trademark owners can apply for the domain names starting August 18 and applications will be open to anyone starting November 2. You can view the general timeline in the article below.
WordPress co-founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg revealed in a blog post that his company Knock Knock Whois There LLC, has won the registry rights for the new .blog top-level domain (TLD). Matt further mentioned that the company’s parent identity, however, was kept secret in the bidding process to minimise attention and maintain the bidding price low.
This announcement comes after more than a year that the .blog domain name was sold for estimated $20m in a bid involving industry giants Google, Afilias, Donuts, and others. Primer Nivel S.A., the company that surprisingly won the bid then assigned its contract with ICANN to its partner Knock Knock Whois There, LLC, a company under Automattic.
An official press release post on WordPress.com further mentions that their parent company Automattic has secured the rights to oversee and operate the sale and registration of .blog domains.
Surprisingly, .blog domains will not be not just be limited to WordPress.com account holders and it will be open for everyone to register. Automattic will definitely promote WordPress.com to the domain buyers but has decided to make it available to register for everyone through their partner domain name registrars.
How to register .blog domain?
Automattic has already put up a landing page with detailed information on the domain and the timeline to register the domains with estimated dates.
Although the timeline might change, it’s estimated that .blog domains will be available to register for general users by November 2016.
Traditional timeframes like other new top-level domains releases will also be applied for .blog domains.
.blog Domain Name Timeline
Here’s what the current timeline looks with additional registration preferences;
August 18, 2016: Sunrise: Trademark owners will be able to register .blog domains associated with their brands during this period. Applications for the trademark names will be accepted starting August 18.
November 2, 2016: Landrush: Before .blog becomes available to the public, domains may be registered during the landrush period on an application basis. Applications will be open to anyone starting November 2.
November 21, 2016: General Availability: Automattic plans to begin offering .blog domains to the general public before the end of the year. The domain goes live on November 21, and will be available to register for anyone after that date.
Cost of .blog Domain
It’s not unusual to see high prices for recent popular-name-TLDs but Automattic has suggested that the pricing will be in the standard range with other top-level domains. Higher-value names, however, might be offered for premium prices.
We will definitely update this post once the prices have been finalised for the domains.
Register your Interest for .blog Domain
The best thing you can do while you wait for .blog domains is to register your interest on the landing page for the .blog domains.
You can enter the domain name you are interested in along with your email address to be on the Automattic list for announcements and further updates on .blog domains. You will shortly receive a confirmation with the subscription details of .blog News and Updates email list.
Few Thoughts on .blog and WordPress.com
WordPress.com backing .blog domains can be mutually beneficial to both the TLD and WordPress.com platform. WordPress.com has a huge potential to make the .blog TLD successful by promoting to its ever-growing user base who are mainly bloggers. And subsequently, it can also gain new users for its WordPress.com platform from new .blog domain buyers.
I am a big fan of TLDs but at the same time sceptic about their performance in search engines. Nonetheless, this will definitely be a good option for blogs when it comes to choosing among several other recent TLDs.
What do you think of .blog domains? Will you be registering any .blog domains??
12th July: Article updated with exact dates of the .blog domain release.