Do You Need a .GOV Domain Name?
Recently AccuNet was asked if the client needed a .gov domain. We decided to revisit this question in light of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) taking over the registrar role in March, 2021.
AccuNet Web Services actually does not have an opinion on if you must procure a .gov domain. There are pros and cons to getting a .gov that I highlight below.
- .gov has hoops to go through and basically guarantees that if you are .gov, you are a government entity. This gives you more credibility when viewed in a browser’s search results.
- Since April, 2021 the annual fee for a .gov extension went from $400/year to free. It is implied this is a long term pricing policy; but it is not stated as such.
- The best domain names go first. So if you think that someday you will be required to be .gov, you might want to get it earlier than others and claim a better domain name.
- Procuring the .gov must be done in-house. AccuNet can not get it for you from our registrar, like a .org, .com, or .net domain.
- You have to remember to renew it. AccuNet does not receive any notifications that the domain needs to be renewed.
- It is unknown if/when .gov will decide to increase their price. You know it was once $400/year, so there is a risk to consider as it is really not bound by supply/demand. CISA is the only supplier.
- A new domain means any marketing material of yours with a website address needs to be updated. To give you time to slowly make the marketing changes, you can choose to keep your old domain and have AccuNet forward it to the .gov. Forwarding the domain means that anyone using your old domain is automatically forwarded to the website on .gov and email sent with the old domain lands in your email mailbox. Long term, you’ll want to change your stationery and business cards, but it can be done over time if you keep the old domain at its approximate $20/year cost.
How AccuNet Works with .gov Extensions
We will host your new .gov extension at our DNS at no added fee to your service with Civic Clarity.
CISA has some helpful information at: https://home.dotgov.gov/registration/#step-2-prepare-and-send-the-authorization-letter and