Do not miss out on customers because your website does not recognise new domain names!

14.03.2017

Many registration systems on websites are unable to handle new domain names. The Universal Acceptance Campaign by ICANN should address this issue.

New domain extensions gain currency

There are more than 28.4 million domains registered with one of the new domain extensions at this time. All in all, there are 1,216 new Top Level Domains, ranging from professions such as. immo and .law, lifestyle such as .fun and .guru or geoTLDs such as .vlaanderen and .brussels. The new domain names are gaining increasing currency, thanks also to the campaigns of the GeoTLD Group of which DNS Belgium is part. Cases in point include pioneers.vlaanderen and pioneers.brussels where websites with these new extensions are showcased.

The general public is thus becoming increasingly familiar with the new extensions. Unfortunately, web developers and website owners are still not sufficiently attentive to the practical consequences of the new domains, and that can lead to financial loss!!

Sufficient attention for the practical consequences

When a new user registers on a website or logs on for a service, s/he must always indicate an e-mail address. Scripts running in the background check whether the user has entered the e-mail address in the correct form, i.e. whether it does not contain any prohibited characters, spaces in the name, an @ sign between the user’s name and the domain, etc. The domain name extension entered is often checked also. And that’s where the snag lies.

Before the new Top Level Domains were introduced, the domain extension consisted either of 2 letters (country codes such as .be or .nl) or 3 letters (.com, .net, .org, …). Many scripts therefore check only whether the extension consists of 2 or 3 letters. As a result, a new user with an e-mail address such as jan@bakker.vlaanderen will not be able to log on or create an account, because the e-mail address is rejected. This is annoying for the user of course, while the website loses a potential customer. The same problem occurs in domain names with non-Western script. Websites where the script does not recognise an e-mail address in Chinese, for instance, run the risk of missing out on customers.

Universal Acceptance Campaign

To tackle this problem, ICANN has launched an acceptance campaign that is being further developed and followed up by the Universal Acceptance Group. The GeoTLD Group is also taking part in this campaign.  A  special  website has been created where users can report problems that they encounter with their new domain name. The group will then contact the website owner to apprise him of the problem and to propose measures to solve it.

For instance, until recently, a user could not log on TomTom.com or Nespresso.be with his .vlaanderen e-mail address. Once the problem was reported, TomTom.com worked out a temporary solution for the user, while waiting for a way to solve the problem once and for all.

You too can help!     

Are you a developer, website builder or owner? Bear the new domain extensions in mind. Do not rely on the number of characters to check the validity of an e-mail address any more, but work with the list of the new TLDs.

Are you a normal user experiencing problems registering on a website because your e-mail address is not accepted? Report the problem using the special  Universal Acceptance web form. You can of course contact the administrator of the website directly and explain that you cannot register. He is bound to react. No website can afford to lose customers (and therefore sales!) because of an administrative glitch!

ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organisation that is responsible worldwide for managing domain names.

TLD

Top level Domain, refers to the highest level of domain names. In www.dnsbelgium.be is .be the TLD or domain extension. There are two types of domain extensions: country extensions and generic extensions.

DNS

Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. The global DNS is the system and protocol used on the internet to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. 
.brussels
.vlaanderen
Internet business