You’ve registered .sucks – so what’s next?

The .sucks domains emerged from the sunrise period on 21 June, and although some businesses had bought the controversial domains already, a lot more jumped to register this week.

However, those that have snapped them up to protect themselves against any unwelcome run-ins with online trolls, might now be wondering what they should do next.

What is .sucks?

If you have managed to miss the .sucks palaver, the top level domain (TLD) .sucks became available to the general public to register from 21 June. In the beginning, only big brands were fussed about how this might affect the reputation that they have spent a lot of time and money building.

But when it was announced that the prices of the domains were to be dramatically reduced to just 10 per cent of the original cost, it wasn’t just the likes of Taylor Swift and Microsoft that were concerned enough to buy them - smaller businesses were starting to become anxious, too.

You’ve bought .sucks – what’s next?

If you’ve been cautious enough to buy the .sucks domain under your business’ name, you might be wondering what you should do now. Luckily, you’ve got a few options...

Leave it be

Short on time? The good news is that you can buy the domain and do nothing with it; leaving it completely blank is an easy option. Alternatively, it’s also not that difficult to redirect traffic to your business’ main website from the domain by creating a 301 redirect – the most efficient and SEO friendly method for redirecting traffic.

You wouldn’t be alone in dealing with .sucks in this way. Microsoft has said it’s not planning on doing anything with its .sucks domain, something likely to be quite common amongst big brands that have bought the domain for the sole purpose of stopping someone else from getting their hands on it.

Create a fun holding page

If you want to optimise on .sucks to show a bit of your business’ personality without breaking the bank, you can use it as an opportunity to show you’re not taking the whole thing too seriously, or even as a way of getting across some of your core values. If you’re a group campaigning against global warming, for example, you could register globalwarming.sucks, and then host an infographic with some stats about global warming on your holding page.

On the other hand, if you’re a business and you want to register your company name to prevent someone else from doing so you can be creative, too. If you’re a firm, say, and you bought your company name plus .sucks, you could have a flashing gif that says ‘not’ on your holding page. It depends on your business and the personality you want to portray, but don’t be afraid to be creative and have fun.

Maybe something a bit more creative?

For some businesses, the .sucks domain is a chance to create a different kind of marketing campaign. Cancer Research UK, for example, might want to register cancer.sucks and build a campaign around it; the quirky domain could encourage more people to get involved. Or a company that is campaigning against animal cruelty could register animalcruilty.sucks and do something similar.

In a nutshell, businesses that have purchased the .sucks domains will avoid the risks that could come with someone else getting hold of it and using it against them. But why not use it as an opportunity for a bit of a laugh?

Show your customers a bit of personality and you could make something of it, meaning the cash you’ve forked out won’t go to waste.

Daniel Foster is technical director at 34SP.com.