The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided a few short years ago that there was a real need to increase the number of top-level domains available for public use.
For a few months during 2012, anyone was able to apply to register a custom or niche top level domain (TLD). This means that if you want to run an eCommerce business, you could register a TLD with the name .shop, or a TLD that names your profession, industry, or services.
Not sure whether a custom TLD is worth your time and money? Check out the infographic below from Hosting Facts and learn more about top level domains and their importance.