Early this week, I received an email from GoDaddy telling me to pre-register for a .co domain.
I thought to myself, "What is a .co domain and why would I want to spend money to reserve it?"
Up to this point, .co was the Internet country code for Colombia (WIKIPEDIA). According to GoDaddy, in the future .co could be the next major domain name extension. Is this going to happen in the next year or two? Probably not, but every business should consider reserving its space before someone else does.
If you are the type of person that has the .org, .net and .com extensions reserved for your company already, then you may want to reserve the .co extension as well. If not, then you probably don't care much about the new extension.
If this is something you're interested in, you have 4 choices (really only 2, but I'll list all 4).
Colombian Trademark Holder: Registration period from April 1 to April 20. You can apply for this if the domain you want to register exactly matches a Columbian Trademark.
Global Trademark Holder: Registration period from April 26 to June 10. You can apply for this if the domain you want to register exactly matches a Global Trademark.
Priority Pre-Registration(Landrush): Registration period from June 21 to July 13. This is open to the general public, but costs roughly 10 times the amount as the next option. If multiple people want the same domain, it will go to an auction.
Standard Pre-Registration: Registration period starts on July 20. This is also open to the general public and on a first-come-first-served basis.
Most small and medium sized businesses will only qualify for the last two options above. So, questions for this audience to consider when deciding whether to purchase a .co domain include:
Do you already have the .net and .com extension? If yes, then you should consider pre-registration.
Will the purchase impact your bottom line? If the success of your company relies to a large extent on your domain name then you will want to consider the Priority Pre-Registration. Example: If you go to Google and type in "Designer Shoes," which company is at the top of the list? This company will want to seriously consider paying extra to participate in the Landrush program because it's domain is critical to the success of the business.
When you first created your site, was there a domain you really wanted, but someone was squatting on it? If so, this is your chance to get it with the .co extension.
If you decided that reserving a .co domain is a good idea, will you remember to pre-register for the domain on July 20th? If not, you should consider paying your domain registrar to sit in line for you.
Additional info can be found at: