Should App Developers Be Using The .app Domain Name Extension?

If you’re an app developer, you know you wouldn’t last a week without a website to promote and market your app. Sure, you can sell your app in the app stores but without a website, you can’t really create your brand.

Since most good domain names are already registered, it’s hard to find a simple domain name that matches your app. However, the .app TLD was created specifically for app developers, making it easier to obtain a simple, short domain name. Most people know that .com is king and novelty extensions aren’t the way to go, but that doesn’t apply across the board.

App developers need a website

All domain extension arguments aside, you need a website. Having a website helps you stand out from your competitors and build momentum prior to launching your app. You can build custom pre-launch landing pages to run PPC ads and publish articles so people can discover you while surfing the net. You can write about all kinds of topics related to your app to generate traffic to your site.

There are countless reasons to create a website, but does it matter if you use the .app extension? The answer depends on your domain name, your app, and your future marketing plans.

.app TLD basics

Back in 2015, Google paid a cool $25 million for exclusive rights to the .app top-level domain. In 2018, Google finally made .app domains available to register through their private registrar as well as other registrars.

At first glance, the .app domain extension looks like any other TLD, but there’s one major difference: Google requires HTTPS for all .app websites or they simply won’t load. Google has been pushing for security across the web for years and recently began flagging all unsecure websites so users can verify HTTPS before entering sensitive information. Requiring HTTPS on all .app websites makes sense.

The catch is you have to provide your own SSL certificate. Google requires SSL, but you have to buy and install your own certificate.

The .app domains may not work like other TLDs

Unlike the top three TLDs like .com, .org, and .net, you probably won’t see many .app domains getting purchased in bulk for resale. Although, that doesn’t mean people can’t successfully buy and sell .app domains. If you buy a few and decide not to use them, you could potentially sell them to another developer down the road.

As with all domain names, .app domains have the potential to be worth money to somebody if the name is right. The difference is you won’t be able to gauge the value on your own. Appraising a .app domain is done the same way as any other domain, and is best done manually by a professional who will consider the domain’s history, backlink profile, brand appeal, marketability, and more.

Who’s using the .app TLD?

There are plenty of app developers already using the .app TLD. Apps utilizing this extension include the Cash App, Sitata, Picnic, Bark, Pickle, and more.

You might be surprised to learn that the .app extension isn’t limited to app developers. When Google first launched the extension, it was limited to app developers, but they’ve since lifted that requirement. Although, it seems to make the most sense for app developers.

According to namecheap, there were 150,000 .app domains registered within the first 24 hours of its release.

Still on the fence?

If you’re not sure you want to register a .app name, you don’t need to decide now. If your app is still in development and you’re not thinking about a pre-launch marketing plan, you’ve got time to think about it. However, you should probably do a quick search to find out if your domain name is available in the .app extension. If it is, you may want to grab it now while you can just in case you want it later on.

If you allow someone else to register the domain name you want, you may never be able to get them to sell it to you. The .app domains are cheap enough that you wouldn’t be out much cash even if you kept it registered for the next five years without using it. Register your domain today and consider it an investment in your app’s future.