Over the course of the year, the internet has seen a shift in the way we look at domain names. More than 1,000 new top-level domain extensions have hit the market in the last 12 months, and with that has come a new wave of consumers wondering, “Is this new website safe?”
The reason consumers feel a lack of trust in new websites isn’t because they’re untrustworthy or out to steal information. It’s because too often website owners neglect security concerns. The most important way that we—the community promoting and selling new gTLDs—can build trust among consumers is to implement better security measures.
Consumers have become hyper aware of when a website is secure and when it isn’t. In a study conducted by NCC Group earlier this year, they found that only 9% of respondents felt comfortable visiting a website utilizing a new gTLD. Much of that mistrust coming by way of low security standards. Realistically, if your website’s domain isn’t led by “https://” consumers feel as though their information is not being protected, regardless if the website is e-commerce or not.
There is a simple solution, though. Purchasing an SSL Certificate for your website is easy to come by. Most hosting services currently offer an SSL plan that you can purchase along with your domain name. Retailers such as 101domain—who is a main seller of .STORAGE domains—as well as places like GoDaddy both have easy to understand and implement solutions available for the public. And, truthfully, it’s in the best interest of both website owners and visitors that a certificate is bought.
We’ll start by saying this about client portals—they aren’t necessary for every site using a new gTLD, but if you intend on selling any products or creating an online community, client portals will be important.
Similar to an SSL certificate, client portals add an additional wall between regular website visitors and those who would try to steal information. For any website using a new gTLD with the intention of selling anything, a client portal allows returning visitors the opportunity to not have to waste any time in adding credit card or billing information anytime they’re looking to make a purchase.
Be Transparent About Information
A final step toward earning consumer trust is by being transparent with the kind of information that is kept. Consumers do not like being tracked, but unfortunately they rarely do anything about it. But that doesn’t mean websites shouldn’t be forthcoming in what they do and do not keep track of, especially when it comes to personal information. Fortunately, you can accomplish this simply with a FAQ page or by listing what is kept within your website’s Terms of Service.
New gTLDs are still new and may not ever overtake the usage of .COM or .NET, but their use is important. Providing consumers with a secure option, no matter what domain they find, will help make the transition of gTLDs into the mainstream much, much smoother.