Online Dating

Afilias: Top-Level Domain Registry Can Make Your Dating Site Stand Out & Give You More Control Over Your Brand

Amber Brooks • 5/12/17

The Short Version: Afilias is a domain registry operator in control of key top-level domains including .info, .pro, and .lgbt. These new addresses offer lifestyle brands a way to control and market their website(s) by customizing their domain on both sides of the dot. Rather than submitting to the restrictive .com format, Afilias encourages businesses to think outside the box when registering a domain. You can more clearly define your services by putting your dating brand in front of a brand-specific domain, like .sex or .adult. Since 2000, the company has seen over 20 million domain registrations by businesses looking to expand their marketing options online. You can register a unique domain with domain retailers like GoDaddy or 101Domain to create a memorable dating site with wording targeted to your audience.

Registering a username on a popular email provider or social media platform can be incredibly frustrating. The best names are always unavailable, so you’re left scrambling to find the next best thing. Say you want the handle SexyBeast. Well, that’s taken. SexyBeast69? Tough luck, pal. That’s also taken. ImmaSexyBeast. Yeah, someone’s thought of that, too.

It takes a massive amount of creative energy just to end up with Im1SexyBeast69 — an altogether disappointing username, but, when options are limited, sometimes that’s the best you can do.

Big brands encounter the same struggle when trying to launch a website with an original and striking domain name. Your domain is one of the most important aspects of your online presence, but all too often businesses end up scrounging at the bottom of the barrel for a suitable domain. Inevitably, the simplest domains are already in use (or unreasonably expensive), and you’re stuck settling for a longer and less memorable .com.

The web is a big place, so why can’t we all have the name we want? Well, you can if you’re willing to ditch .com and .net as your top-level domains.

Afilias opens up a world of possibilities by providing more creative, notable domains — like .info, .pro, .black, .pet, and .lgbt — to house your brand.

Afilias offers expert registry services and DNS solutions for brands looking to expand online.

Afilias makes it easy to market niche services to your audience with unique and striking language in your domain. This well-reputed registry operator runs master directories of dozens of generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Some of its available domains are perfect for dating brands. You can set up your site using dating-specific gTLDs like .lgbt, .adult, and .sex.

Afilias’ expert registrars set businesses free to choose whatever key terms best fit their brands.

“Afilias is a longstanding, active, and constructive member of the [Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers] community,” wrote Jonathan Robinson, the Executive Chairman of Afilias. “We are strongly supportive of competition and choice in the domain name market.”

Founded in 2000 by a Group of Major Domain Name Registrars

In October 2000, 18 founding members came together to form Afilias and revolutionize domain name registry. These accredited domain-name registrars were spread across 10 countries but shared a common vision for how the internet should be organized. They imagined a web where anyone could have a precise and custom domain through an advanced and reliable domain registry.

The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers is slowly introducing more top-level domains to widen the options for web designers.

In 2001, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) awarded Afilias the domain .info as part of an initiative to register seven new top-level domains. ICANN received more than 800 proposed gTLDs and approved seven (.biz, .info, .name, .pro, .aero, .coop, and .museum). Afilias registered millions of domain names to .info, which is the most successful “new” TLD ever introduced. The company registers more than 6 million domain names every year.

As the internet has grown, web designers and businesses found themselves increasingly restricted by the typical .com and .net structure. That old model limits the accessibility of clear online branding. “With .com and .net, if you wanted a nice name, it’s all taken,” said Akram Atallah, President of ICANN’s Division of Generic Domains. “The idea is to provide real estate availability in the market.”

By 2013, ICANN approved an unlimited expansion of high-profile domains, and 600 leading brands (including Amazon, Google, L’Oréal)  immediately applied for ownership of brand-related names like .app, .book, .search, .beauty, and .skin. A company called Donuts spent $57 million applying for 307 new gTLDs, including .delivery and .tickets.

Afilias has accumulated dozens of generic top-level domains for the use of partnering businesses. The company led the charge in growing the gTLD market and became the largest diversified domain registry operator in the world. In the coming years, Afilias expects brands to continue to trend toward unique TLDs and revolutionize the structure of websites.

Over 20 Million Registrations for Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)

From its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, Afilias provides registry and DNS services for millions of domains in operation around the world. It’s an influential name in domain registry. “Afilias has long been a leader in launching new TLDs and now supports nearly 25% of the entire universe of registrations in TLDs launched since 2001,” said Afilias Chief Executive Officer Hal Lubsen.

Over the years, Afilias has acquired leaders in the TLD (Top Level Domain) space, including .Pro and .Mobi, to expand its services. Since 2000, it has seen more than 20 million domain registrations across 160 noteworthy domains.

The registry of .info was a game changer in top-level domains because it was the first time businesses saw anyone successfully move beyond dotcoms. In 2001, Roland LaPlante, Chief Marketing Officer for Afilias, noted they were “developing a brand that will change the culture of consumer internet use.” He added, “I see .info as a tremendous opportunity for companies to improve their brand strategy on the internet by creating a better way to obtain information without a complicated search.”

Afilias has registered over 20 million domain names, making it the world’s second largest internet domain name registry.

Afilias made a splash in 2001 with .info and has been expanding the scope of domain registry ever since. The company has found great success in offering businesses alternative ways to brand themselves on the web. In 2011, .info was the fourth largest gTLD on the internet with more than 8 million registrations to its name.

“We are pioneering a new channel in cyberspace to foster international communication and commerce,” said John L. Kane, who headed up the Afilias Marketing Task Force back in 2000. “There is no reason to limit access to what is truly the world’s most unifying vehicle.”

Changing the Way Dating Brands Do Business on the Web

According to Afilias, new domains that have more intrinsic meaning than “com” are the future. Instead of having a meaningless term at the end of their web addresses, companies will find it more valuable to make their site stand out by ending with something more memorable and tailored — like .sex.

An enormous benefit to the millions of gTLDs offered by Afilias is the freedom to choose top names already taken in the .com landscape. Now dating websites can make themselves known by occupying dating.lgbt or singledoglovers.pet. You can go online to request further information about how to get these and other gTLDs from retailers linked to Afilias’ registries.

Beyond tailored generic terms in the extension, companies may now get their own brand name as an extension. Companies like Audi already own .audi, and L’Oreal owns .loreal. Afilias’ CMO goes into detail about why new “dotBrand” domains are so valuable to up-and-coming brands across the web:

By owning a top-level domain, dating brands can exercise complete control over their content in their own catered space. Your business will enjoy an unlimited number of possible addresses in your own dedicated top-level domain. Owning a top-level domain empowers you to handle what goes on in your own custom dotBrand. That means greater sovereignty for you and greater security for your customers.

In a blog post, Roland LaPlante declared 2017 to be the year of the dotBrand, saying, “dotBrands offer tangible and important benefits unavailable in generic addresses.”

Afilias Connects You to a Unique Dating-Specific Domain

Thanks to Afilias, businesses no longer need to shackle themselves to the limited options of .com or .net. Instead, you can choose a top-level domain that’s more specific and relevant to your brand.

Afilias invites businesses to explore a wealth of alternative domain options to draw in clicks. If the name you want is taken by a .com, you can register your domain with .sex, .adult, or dozens of other TLDs through this advanced service. Good news: Sexybeast.sex is available as of writing this!

Lifestyle brands can manage an original domain name using Afilias’ registry services.

By innovating the way you structure your online brand, Afilias offers businesses a variety of notable domains. Marketers can go to their regular domain retailer to access the top level address offered by this trusted registry: terms like .promo, .info, .lgbt, and many others.

Dating websites can capture the attention of singles by choosing targeted domain terms that will appeal to their niche audiences.

About The Author

Amber Brooks is a Contributing Editor at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating expert. As an English major in college, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about topics that interest her. Now with a background in writing, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com.