From time to time, I stumble upon churches making good use of domains to promote their church and share their ministry with the world.
This past weekend, I was invited to sit on a panel at my church, MosaicChurchAustin.com. Mosaic hosted Every Nation’s 2018 Conference here in Austin March 2-3.
With over 300 in attendance for the Austin region and traveling from all parts of Texas, a packed room of 70 to 80 college students participated as our panel discussed the learning moments of Mosaic’s “The Gospel And…” ministry, launched nearly three years ago.
However, prior to entering the facility to assume my role as a panelist, I discovered one of many church vans in attendance prominently displaying their domain with a progressive, modern advertisement wrap as the van’s back drop.
But what caught my attention about this particular domain name the most was it being a .TV domain: BethelDallas.TV.
I’m familiar with religious organizations often using legacy extensions such as .com, .net or .org, but here lately I’ve been discovering more and more churches using .TV domains to represent their church’s digital presence.
Seeing BethelDallas.TV reminded me about an article I published a few months back, detailing whether or not new top-level domain extensions should be considered by religious organizations seeking a web presence.
I was most curious to see if legacy extensions were registered by other churches or BethelDallas.TV. A quick search revealed the following (* denotes domain was available for registration at time of writing):
- BethelDallas.com – Owned by and resolves to HugeDomains.com sales lander with a $2395 asking price.
- BethelDallas.org – Owned and resolves to Bethel Lutheran Church also based in Dallas, Texas
Knowing that “Bethel” is a very popular name and term for religion, churches, cities, and other organizations, I was shocked to discover that BethelDallas.net was available for registration.
If I were BethelDallas.TV, I would move fast to register the BethelDallas.net and redirect it to the .TV web presence.
Most importantly, I STRONGLY urge BethelDallas.TV to purchase the matching .com from Huge Domains. I see it as an opportunity and investment to protect what appears to be a growing church and ministry serving the greater Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. One certainly should not allow their brand to be confused with another Bethel Church.
From my experience, having a “branding” talk within the confines of a religious organization such as a church can be quite complicated, especially should your Pastoral Staff or Church Leadership not truly understand the impact of online marketing — folks finding your church’s website online.
As much effort that goes into finding physical real estate (i.e., land) to build a church on, the same if not more effort should be given when considering its name and virtual real estate (i.e. domain(s)).
In the case of BethelDallas.TV, it certainly makes sense to purchase the matching .com, .net and .church domains to protect and promote their ministry.