What To Do If The Domain Name You Want To Buy Is Taken
If your chosen domain is not available for purchases , there are a couple of things to do to try and buy a registered domain.
Tips On Safely Purchasing Domain Names
While buying a domain from someone is generally safe, be aware of a few basic safety and security issues.Dont buy a domain penalized by Google. It can be a nightmare trying to shake a bad history, no matter how great that name might be. Conduct a basic check. Search for the domain name in Google. If you cant easily find the exact match URL in the search results, the domain may be penalized.Dont send money via wire or bank transfer. Escrow services are safer. Youll pay for a third party to oversee the sale, but its the only way to obtain true peace of mind, particularly for high-value domain purchases.Value the name before making an offer. See how much similar domains have sold for at NameBio.com. Just because you like the name, that doesnt mean you have to offer a silly price to acquire it.Hopefully these tips will help you get your hands on that perfect domain without spending too much through auction or via a direct purchase. If not, you should be able to find a close alternative. And if all else fails, you can put yourself in the best possible position to nab the domain the next time it becomes available. Need hosting for your new site? Check out all our hosting plans here. Need assistance with getting your web project off the ground? Check out our Service Directory here.
How To Choose A Domain Name
Since your domain name can have a major impact on your online presence, what you choose is a vital first step in building your brand. Finding the perfect domain name, however, can be challenging.
While its true that there are millions of domain names available, many of the popular domain names that are easy to remember are taken. Fortunately, you can still get what you need if you go through a simple process and use a bit of imagination.
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Search On Namecheap To See If Its Listed For Sale
Many domain owners list domain names for sale with services linked to Namecheap. If the owner of the domain you want has done this, youll see that the domain is available for purchase at a premium:
You only pay the premium price once for .com domains. The domain renews for regular prices after that.
Buying a premium domain on Namecheap is secure and the domain name is transferred to your account almost instantaneously.
Checking The Availability For The Address With A Domain Finder
Once you have one or ideally several options for your website name in mind, its time to check its availability. Almost all major domain providers offer access to special tools for this purpose, also known as domain finders. Typically, what you do is you enter your desired domain in the tools search bar and then start the search. With the domain finder from IONOS, for example, you do this by clicking on ‘Check’.
After a short waiting time, youll receive the result of the search: If the address is still available, the tool confirms the availability. Otherwise, you will receive a notification that the desired domain is already taken or registered. With many providers, you will automatically receive suggestions for alternative top-level domains or revised second-level domains in this case. This is also the case with the IONOS domain finder.
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What To Do If Your Domain Name Isnt Available: 13 Strategies
Its part of the struggle of running a business in the digital age.
You come up with the perfect business name.
You design business cards, start all of the official paperwork, and tell everyone about it.
But when you go online to register the domain name, you discover something horrible.
Your perfect domain name is taken.
What do you do?
Do you give up your perfect name? Do you modify it somehow? Add a couple random dashes or underscores? Choose a weird domain name ending ?
Its one of the toughest situations to face as a business owner. It can bring your progress to a screeching halt.
This situation makes you rethink your entire brand.
The question remains: What do you do when this happens?
Ive gotten this question hundreds of times before, and Ive also heard some solutions to this problem.
Quite frankly, not all of those solutions are good.
Your domain name is a big part of any SEO campaigns you run, and it will affect your performance.
If you make a misstep with your domain name, it can negatively impact your SEO in the long term.
A large amount of your traffic will come from users who search your brand name. Its called navigational search. Thats why its good to use your brand name as your URL.
But if you cant, dont worry. There are alternatives that will still work for you.
Over the years, Ive seen what works and what doesnt. I want to share what Ive learned so you dont have to make any mistakes.
Can You Get A Domain Name For Free
So far, weve covered two ways to buy a domain name. But can you get one for free? The answer is yes. There are three ways to get a free domain:
While you can get a good domain name for free, you should consider how professional your domain makes your website look. Your TLD conveys legitimacy, authority, and trustworthiness to visitors.
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Scene : When The Domain Is For Sale
The third possibility is that the domain is actually for sale. Thats good news, but only if you have the money to buy it and your due diligence suggests its safe.
Taken domain names would sell for at least hundreds of dollars. Most of them run into the thousands, even millions, of dollars.
Oftentimes, domain names you find for sale are available on a domain marketplace like BuyDomains, Flippa, GoDaddy, Sedo, and other premium domain sellers.
If youre new to making a blog, it might be hard to justify buying this type of taken domain name. Mostly because of the cost, but also the technicalities of getting it without making mistakes.
The Patient Way: Wait For It To Expire
If youre not comfortable contacting the domain owner directly, or you tried and didnt get a response, you can attempt to procure the domain when it expires.
This is anything but a guaranteed strategy, however. Most registrars remind their customers early and often prior to domains expiring. Many registrars also auto-renew domains by default as long as the customers payment details are accurate and up to date.
Even if a domains ownership does expire, many registrars give their customers a grace period after expiration so they can still renew it, sometimes at a considerably increased cost.
You could also try a domain monitoring service, which alerts you to status changes and expirations for your domains, or others that are of interest to you. Be aware though that this offering can be an upsell attempt by some registrars.
Backordering services are also popular, and if you want a maximum chance of getting the domain if/when it expires, we recommend using all of them. Most of these services will only charge you if they manage to procure the domain, but some charge in advance. Here are a few popular options:
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Couldnt I Just Get A Username On A Big Web Platform
Having your own domain name, even if its not perfect, is a far better option than building your online presence on top of another services URL, e.g. yourshop.shopify.com or facebook.com/yourcompany. This practice of building your brand, service, or web presence on another organizations platform is an example of sharecropping, and can be problematic for a number of reasons.
With this sharecropping setup, the platform youre hosted on:
- controls how your presence can look or function .
- can change services or raise rates, leaving you little recourse, since not accepting/paying could mean losing your site.
- can control how much exposure you get. Thereve been lots of articles about issues with brands on Facebook getting ever-lessening exposure of their content to their fans if they dont pay for advertising.
- can limit your access to analytics, making it hard to know how large your audience is, what theyre doing on your site, or where theyre engaging when theyre there.
- can simply take your site offline without much notice, explanation or recourse if you are deemed to have violated terms of service or other issues. It can take a lot of time and frustration to get these issues sorted out, and all the while your site is unavailable to anyone.
You can always switch domains later, but its a good idea to start with a web address you control while you build up your search engine visibility.
Set Up Website Hosting
Finally, if youd like someone to do it for you, its time to find a website host. We recommend Kinsta.
Kinsta websites are fast, easy to build, and protected with hardware firewalls, SSL support, uptime monitoring, and Distributed Denial of Service detection. Kinsta also offers expert help and allows you to choose which of the 28 Google Cloud Platform data centers hosts your site.
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Look At Alternative Tlds
In most cases, if your domain name is taken, it means the .com is taken. Often, the other TLDs arent taken, so you could technically opt for one of those.
But wait! Dont rush off and buy whatever TLD you can find.
This is a complicated decision.
Here are some of the factors to keep in mind.
First,people trust .com URLs more than any other TLD.
The .com extension has a lot on its side. Its familiar, its been around for a while, and its been the gold standard of TLDs for years.
Obviously, thats not always the case, but some people will think that no matter what. They cant get their heads around the idea of a trustworthy site that doesnt end in .com.
Third, alternative TLDs have no SEO advantage. No TLD is inherently better than any other.
That information :
So what does this mean for you?
If you want to use a TLD thats not .com, you can do so without losing any SEO power.
However, your audience might not trust it.
It helps if the TLD is directly related to your business or niche. Twitch, a site that broadcasts users playing video games in real time, smartly uses the .tv TLD:
In the end, you have to consider how easy its going to be for your users to remember your URL and whether or not theyll trust a domain thats not a .com.
Use A Catchphrase Slogan Or Keyword
If there isnt an abbreviated option available, you can register a domain name that encompasses a slogan or catchphrase such as PlumbingDoneRight.com. You can even use an SEO keyword phrase that integrates your location with something like PortlandPlumbing.com. Take some time to brainstorm options and check to see what is available.
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Web Hosts And Domain Names
You needn’t go to a dedicated registration service to buy a domain name, though. The best web hosting services, such as DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds routinely offer a registration mechanism as part of the sign-up process. Hosting services typically offer a free domain name when you sign up for a web hosting package.
Keep in mind, however, that free domain names are usually free only for one or two years, after which the registrar will bill you for the annual or biennial fee. In other words, the provider of the free domain name pays only for the first billing from the registrar. Also take note of whether or not the provider charges a fee for setting up a domain name. Most services offer to transfer an existing domain name to their servers at no cost, but sometimes you’ll find a setup fee over and above the registrar’s fee.
Please note that not all web hosts give you the option to register a domain name. Cloudways, for example, is a solid web host that requires you to purchase a domain name from elsewhere.
Registrars offer a wide variety of registration durationsone year, three, five, and even ten. Be careful about registering for more than a year, though. First, there might be restrictions on your ability to transfer the domain name should the registrar give poor service. Second, the registrar could go out of business, leaving your domain name without a host. Check the policies closely.
Consider Experimenting With Non
As mentioned in No. 1, these days you can get yourself a multitude of different TLDs that werent available just a couple of years ago.
For example, you can get domain extensions such as: .shop, .club, .store, .blog, .design, .xyz, and so on. Also, you can experiment with some of the TLDs that were originally intended to be local TLDs, but, because of their unique appearance, can be used for various other purposes as well. These are domain extensions such as .is, .io, .fm, .it, .ly, .cc and others.
Just to give you an example of the latter, if it makes sense for your brand and intended name, you can try making it seem as though the whole domain, including the TLD, is one complete expression. You can achieve that by choosing your TLD creatively. For example, Microsoft Translator is available under translate.it thats the whole domain name and quite a creative use of the Italian TLD, .it.
However, the thing with these TLDs is that not every domain registrar offers them. Currently, GoDaddy gives you access to the largest catalogue.
Nevertheless, if youre after some specific TLD, its still smart to shop around with other registrars, too. Heres our other resource, where we talk about the top registrars in the market, plus some of the TLDs they offer.
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