Question from the email box —
Should I get a ‘.tel’ domain for my home business?
The .tel top level domain (TLD) designation was introduced a few years ago and was only made publicly available on March 6, 2009. The purpose of .tel is to aggregate contact information in one place. For example, if you have a business with many websites, web identities, emails, social network sites, phone numbers, fax numbers, etc., a .tel domain would give you the ability to display them all in one place.
When you register a more common TLD (for example .com), you register the domain name, then you must host it somewhere unless you just want to leave it ‘parked’. With common domains, you have control over the look and feel of the website because you design it yourself (or have someone else design it).
With .tel domains however, you cannot host them and you cannot control the design, look, and feel of the website. This is all controlled by the registrar. The reason for this is that the information is directly connected to the DNS (Domain Name System) and they will control how the information is displayed. The goal here is to provide a global directory for businesses and individuals on the web.
Also worth mentioning is the price of .tel domains. It is considerably higher to buy them. For example, Network Solutions sells them for $375 USD for 3 years. Common TLDs are usually $10 or $15 per year.
So the answer to the question is: it depends! If you need the contact aggregation of a .tel domain and you are willing to pay the price, go ahead. Otherwise stick with the common TLDs for now. I really don’t know if these are going to catch on. What does everyone else think about the .tel domain concept?