As you may have heard the new gTLD domain extension .app is quickly approaching its General Availability phase and with it is a flurry of excitement over all things App-related. But what some of the brightest minds in the technology world aren’t recognizing is that even with a great App, you still need to anchor it on its own website with a clear, concise web address.
Many negative consequences arise from not having a correlating website to your App. For one, relying solely on your App being available through App stores is risky since it’s at the discretion of these providers whether your App will be accessible. There have been many instances of App providers declining to carry particular Apps for a wide variety reasons. Some are being scrutinized because during development a commercialized template or app generation service was utilized in creating the App. These type of "shortcuts" makes producing an App much simpler especially for those with a great idea for an App but who are without a coding or programing background. But unlike having to fit into the sometimes restrictive confines of an App store, a web address gives you the freedom of generating the App however you see fit. With a dedicated website, that web space is yours and can be used to promote your App to the masses instead of allowing a third party provider to be the gatekeeper for users.
Even if your App is granted access to be featured on an App store, the provider has almost the exclusive right to take the App down at any time. This type of situation is more common than you think and leaves App providers without their primary source of users, not to mention a lack of profitability from new users signing up. This action can be detrimental enough to shut down your hard-earned potentially once successful project with little to no notice. We do recognize some cases of Apps being deleted are fair and within reason to maintain a safe space for users, but it can and is occurring to businesses with legitimate and quality services and products. In order to avoid this situation, Apps should have a website and an integrated domain name strategy to serve as a landing page for both new and current users. This can also be where users seek customer service, give feedback and are able to promote the product themselves – user endorsements are some of the most effective marketing there is!
We’re finding more and more that others agree with not putting all your eggs in one basket by utilizing only an App store for the distribution of your App. Even Tech Industry giant, Google was quoted in this article as saying that developers should not solely rely on their presence in a storefront such as their Google Play in attracting users. It doesn’t benefit you from a search results perspective and you can actually grow your visibility better on your own and then eventually be more prominent within a App platform. The main takeaway is clear, all Apps should be available through their own dedicated websites with matching domain names as well as seeking other avenues for distribution such as App stores and platforms. In the end this counteracts any disruptions to business and customer activity making for a more successful and prosperous venture.
When seeking a domain name for your app, first check to see if your desired domain is available. If it isn’t because someone else has already registered it, you can check to see if it’s for sale through a marketplace like Sedo or have a reputable Broker help you secure it from its current owner. You should also consider using the .App version of the name as a great (and more cost effective) alternative. Be sure to pre-register your .App domain now!