WordPress.com today announced .blog, a new top-level domain extension that will give blog owners a way to better personalize and identify their blogs. The .blog extension also opens up a vast new pool of potential blog names and URLs that may already be in use by .com sites.
Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, quietly acquired the rights to .blog in 2015 for an estimated $20 million, according to a blog post by Matt Mullenweg. Automattic is the sole operator of the new .blog domains, and as such will have the right to sell the new top-level domain.
The .blog domains, which will be available to WordPress and non-WordPress sites alike, is slated for release sometime this year, and will be available in August for “sunrise” (the period during which trademark owners can purchase domain names) and in October for “landrush” (the time in which applications can be received prior to general availability), the announcement said.
Pricing has not yet been finalized, however, according to the announcement, prices will be standard for top-level domains and will also include premium options for higher-value names. The domains will be available for purchase at WordPress.com or through their partner domain name registrars.
Since its launch in 2005, WordPress.com has been a platform from which bloggers can share their stories, which makes the new .blog domains a natural fit with the WordPress.com family. Moreover, opening up the domain to sites outside of the WordPress ecosystem makes this a huge win for all bloggers.
You can sign up on WordPress.com to receive updates on the new .blog domain.
Editor’s note: This post was updated with the acquisition price.