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Published November 28, 2023

About .pro domains

Learn more about .pro domains. Register a .pro domain.

About .pro domains

The .pro domain stands as a quintessential digital avenue for professionals across the globe. In the digital landscape, it carves a niche for verified professionals to mark their presence. This domain traces its lineage back to the early 2000s and has evolved, adapting to the changing dynamics of the domain registration ecosystem.

Origin and Evolution

Initiating the Professional Domain

The inception of the .pro domain can be traced back to October 2000 when Jason Drummond envisioned a new top-level domain (TLD) tailored for professionals. This led to the establishment of RegistryPro to spearhead the bid for the .pro TLD along with Register.com. The ambition materialized in May 2002 when RegistryPro signed a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global domain name administrator.

The .pro domain was officially launched in June 2004, initially restricting registrations to four professions: accountants, engineers, lawyers, and medical professionals from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This phase also saw controversies like the ProForwarding service by registrar EnCirca, which briefly allowed unverified registrations.

The domain was relaunched in September 2008 post consultations with ICANN. The relaunch expanded the eligibility criteria to include government-certified professionals from all countries, marking a significant milestone in its journey.

Registry Management Transition

A pivotal shift occurred in January 2012 when Afilias acquired RegistryPro, the initial registry manager. This transition marked a new era of growth and outreach for the .pro domain, as Afilias embarked on strategies to enhance the domain’s appeal and registration base.

Rapid Growth Under Afilias

Under Afilias’ stewardship, the .pro domain experienced a surge in registrations. In October 2012, registrar ResellerClub alone accounted for 11,000 .pro domain sales within the first month of supporting the TLD. By January 2013, the total registrations skyrocketed to 160,000, a testament to Afilias’ concerted efforts in reducing prices, onboarding more registrars, and enforcing registration policies.

.pro Domain Registration

Eligibility and Verification

Initially, the .pro domain had a stringent eligibility criterion requiring registrants to be verified professionals with credentials from recognized governmental certification bodies. The domain was exclusive to certain professions like law, medicine, engineering, and accountancy.

Third-Level Domains

The .pro domain also facilitated the registration of third-level domains catering to specific professional categories. These included domains like law.pro, med.pro, eng.pro, and cpa.pro among others, allowing professionals to choose domains that resonated with their practice.

Ongoing Growth

The trajectory of the .pro domain points towards ongoing growth, especially with the relaxation of registration restrictions. As new professional segments emerge, the .pro domain is poised to accommodate them, reflecting the dynamic nature of the professional landscape.

FAQ

What does it cost to register a .pro domain?

It costs $3.69 to register and renew a domain on 3DNS.

Is .pro Good for SEO?

Like other domain extensions, the SEO impact of a .pro domain primarily depends on the quality, relevance, and user-friendliness of content on the website. Picking one TLD over another doesn’t have an effect on SEO.

Who Can Register a .pro domain?

The .pro domain extension is intended for professionals and entities recognized as such in their field. Initially, the .pro domain had stricter registration requirements, where registrants needed to provide evidence of their professional credentials during the registration process. However, as of November 16, 2015, the eligibility criteria were relaxed, and the .pro domain extension became available to all professionals and professional entities worldwide, without the need for verifying professional credentials.

Will People Know and Trust the .pro Domain Extension?

The .pro domain extension, as the name suggests, is designed to signal professionalism. It is a top-level domain (TLD) that is open to all professionals and professional entities worldwide. But how well is it recognized, and does it evoke trust among internet users? Here’s a closer look at the perception and trustworthiness associated with the .pro domain extension.

Fun Facts about .pro domains

  1. Swift Growth: Under Afilias’ management, the .pro domain witnessed a rapid growth, doubling its registration base within a year despite overcoming the loss of 40,000 domains from the Zip.pro program.

  2. Diverse Professional Representation: The .pro domain offers a wide range of third-level domains catering to various professions, embodying the diverse professional community it serves.

  3. Global Reach: The expansion of the .pro domain eligibility to government-certified professionals worldwide transformed it into a global professional community, transcending geographical boundaries.

.pro Registry Agreement

The .pro Registry Agreementoutlines the administrative framework and operational guidelines governing the .pro domain. Initially managed by RegistryPro, the registry agreement specified the registration criteria, policy enforcement, and other operational aspects essential for maintaining the integrity and professional ethos of the .pro domain. The transition of registry management to Afilias in 2012 marked a new phase in the registry agreement, adapting to the evolving dynamics of domain registration while upholding the professional mandate of the .pro domain.

Conclusion

The journey of the .pro domain encapsulates the essence of digital evolution, adapting to the changing contours of the professional and digital landscape. From a restricted domain for a handful of professions to a broad-based domain for a global professional community, the .pro domain symbolizes the digital empowerment of professionals. Amidst challenges and controversies, the .pro domain has carved a distinct niche in the digital realm, underlining the significance of a professional digital identity in the contemporary world.