The company behind the world’s most popular publishing platform is trying to make .blog happen.
WordPress.com owner Automattic announced today that it has “secured the rights to oversee and operate the sale and registration of .blog domains” more than a year after the top-level domain went up for auction and was sold to a mysterious buyer.
An Automattic spokesperson said today that the company’s subsidiary (Knock Knock Whois There LLC) won the rights in partnership with Primer Nivel, a company established to acquire top-level domains. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg later wrote that it cost the two companies “about $19 million” to buy the rights to run the domain — a report last year pegged the deal at around $20 million.
Automattic plans to offer the domain to WordPress.com users, but not exclusively — the company writes that “the .blog domain will be available to everyone, regardless of what kind of site you have or who hosts it.”
.Blog domains will be made available to everyone by the end of the year after giving first dibs to trademark owners (in August) and early applicants (in October). Automattic is asking interested buyers to sign up here.
Updated 12:37 p.m. PT with the price of the acquisition and more specific timeframe.