Thirty years ago the domain name space gave birth to a new little TLD. Mitre.org became the 13th registered domain name, allocated to the not-for-profit Mitre Corporation based in Massachusetts. Since that summer’s day the dotOrg name space has grown to over 10.5 million names, making it the 7th most popular Top Level Domain today, with over half of those registrations being made in the United States, then Germany and the United Kingdom making up the top three countries based on registrations.
The TLD was one of the original gang of six launched back in 1985, along with dotCom, dotMil, dotEdu, dotGov and dotUS. Its initial purpose was to reflect organizations that were non-for profit or charitable in nature – the polar opposite to the dotCom which was resigned to represent commercial interests. The Top Level Domain has also moved into different territories, with second level registrations now possible in countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and Russia.
Despite the launch of over 300 new gTLDs in the past eighteen months, the dotOrg domain space continues to grow, albeit at a slower rate than a few years ago. In the past year that growth has been around 1.25%. Part of that growth has been down to the strong renewal rate of the dotOrg domain, currently running at 74%.
The TLD can boast two of the most popular websites in the world. Wikipedia has always used a dotOrg domain name and is the 7th most visited website in the world today (random Wikipedia fact for you – the most edited page is that of George W. Bush). There’s not many of us that don’t use the world’s great repository of knowledge at least once a week for something. It has 285 different language versions and continues to grow at a rate of over 6,000 new pages added per month. Wordpress.org has grown to be the world’s largest free hosting software provider, with over 50 downloads of its software every minute. Their platform is used by millions of websites today. Other notable dotOrg domain names include www.unicef.org, www.creativecommons.org and www.mozilla.org.
Whilst the new gTLD programme may be grabbing all the headlines at the moment, we should never forget the heritage of the domain name world and for that we should all raise a glass and say Happy Birthday to dotOrg.