It’s time for .club domain, whois and gTLD

We continue populating our list of ccTLDs and gTLDs. As you know, our Domain Availability API and Whois API allow programmatically domain availability and Whois checks. It’s time to learn about club domain! The .club generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) emerges as a beacon for communities, interests, and collaboration. This article explores the .club gTLD, its potential use cases, the concept of gTLDs, the WHOIS protocol, the origins of .club, and its current management.

What is a .Club Domain?

The .club domain is a gTLD that serves as a universal online address for clubs, organizations, and communities to gather. Unlike traditional domains, .club specifically targets groups, hobbies, sports teams, social gatherings, and any assembly of people with shared interests. It offers a memorable and meaningful platform for online presence, enabling entities to easily promote their mission, activities, and values.

Club domains

Launched in May 2014 by .Club Domains, LLC it quickly rose to popularity. The 1 million+ domains registered hadn’t gone unnoticed, and just like GoDaddy acquired .Tattoo, GoDaddy also acquired .club. GoDaddy acquired .Club in April 2021 together with .Design for around $80 million.

Potential Use Cases for a .Club Domain

  • Community Groups and Clubs: From book clubs to local sports teams, the .club domain provides a dedicated space for any group to share updates, events, and information.
  • Membership Organizations: It’s ideal for membership-based organizations to create a central hub for members to access resources, news, and forums.
  • Subscription Services: Companies offering subscription-based products or services can utilize a .club domain to build community among subscribers.
  • Online Forums and Social Platforms: A .club domain is perfect for creating online communities where users can discuss shared interests, hobbies, or topics.
  • Loyalty and Rewards Programs: Businesses can use the .club domain to enhance their loyalty programs, offering exclusive content and deals to club members.
Night club Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash

Understanding gTLDs

Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) are global domain extensions used by the Domain Name System (read about DNS here) to categorize websites according to their nature, purpose, or affiliation. They contrast with country-specific top-level domains (ccTLDs) and are part of ICANN’s initiative to diversify and expand the internet’s domain space. gTLDs include familiar extensions like .com, .org, and .net, as well as newer, more descriptive options like .club.

Other examples of new gTLDs include .VIP, .XYZ, .NINJA and hundreds of others. Among these new gTLDs, .Club is still one of the most popular (most registered). However, in the first few years, we saw a positive trend (according to some sources, up to 1 million registered .club domains), and in the last few years, we saw a negative trend. According to some sources, now there are around 600,000 registered domains.

The Role of WHOIS

WHOIS is a protocol used to query databases that store information about domain registrations. By performing a WHOIS search, one can discover the registered domain owner, their contact information, registrar details, and the domain’s registration and domain expiration dates. This tool is crucial for maintaining transparency and accountability in the domain name registration process.

Every TLD, including .club has a whois. With a whois you can also check nameservers, which tell the DNS where the domain name is pointing (to which IP Address and which server). Here’s an example of the WHOIS data that was obtained by batch WHOIS lookup:

Example of .Club Whois

50inda.club whois example for .club
50inda.club whois example for .club

During the writing of article about Club domains, I’ve noticed that the website for 50inda.club is no longer working. Back in 2014 there was a big announcement that 50 Cent was “in da club”. Well, it seems that 10 years later 50 Cent is no longer in the club. I wonder if this domain will expire and wind up on our list of popular domain expirations.

The Genesis and Governance of .Club

As we’ve already covered, the .club gTLD was officially launched in 2014, spearheaded by .CLUB Domains, LLC, a company founded specifically to manage the .club extension. The initiative was part of ICANN’s program to introduce new gTLDs, aiming to provide more descriptive and accessible domain options for the internet community.

Since GoDaddy acquired .Club TLD, they are now overseeing its registration and administration to ensure a stable and secure online environment for clubs and communities worldwide. The company’s commitment to promoting a sense of belonging and identity through the .club domain has made it a popular choice for various organizations and groups seeking to establish a cohesive online presence.

The .club gTLD represents a pivotal development in the digital domain landscape, offering a specialized platform for communities, groups, and organizations to connect and share. With its broad applicability and the backing of .CLUB Domains, LLC, the .club domain stands as a testament to the evolving nature of online identity and community building. As the internet continues to grow, domains like .club play a crucial role in unlocking digital spaces where shared interests and passions can thrive.

GoranDuskic

Goran Duskic has been the Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. since 2011, a company that specializes in developing APIs, including the well-known Whois API. He started his career in internet entrepreneurship in 2006 and has co-founded several online businesses, including a web hosting company that he later sold. Goran's work primarily involves creating practical API solutions to meet technological needs.