What To Do If The Domain Name You Want Is Already Taken
If your desired domain name is unavailable, youll need to decide how much using it is worth to you. Youll likely have to spend a lot of money if youre determined to buy it from the current owner.
Because of the California Consumer Privacy Act and GDPR regulations from the European Union, its not quite as easy as it used to be to look up a domain owners contact information on the WHOIS directory. However, you can still use the directory to see the organization name related to the domain.
Even if the owner has opted for full domain name privacy protection, their domain registrar should be able to help you connect with the domain owner via a third-party company, such as Tiered Access. This helps to ensure privacy for the domain owner. You should expect the process to take several days.
Once youve made contact, the next step is to make an offer, either directly or through a domain name broker. For a fee of 1520% of the transaction cost, a broker can assist in managing the negotiation process and provides protection for your money.
Of course, you have other alternatives as well.
You could use a different TLD, set up a domain lease, or search for a very similar name that is available. Well discuss some tips for doing that next!
First Time Registration Fees
Domain name registration is just the first time expenses you have to incur for having a domain name. The registration fee with a domain registrar can vary from one company to another depending on the deals they running. You may purchase a domain name for as little as $0.99-$35 but this definitely does not include the renewal fee for the same.
$10 Or $10 Million The Choice Is Yours
At the end of the day, your new website will need a domain. There are different types of domains and price points associated with each. As a business owner, you will have to weigh your options and purchase a domain that both fits within your budget and is easy for your customers to remember. When in doubt, start with an unregistered domain name to keep your cost low. You can always upgrade to a premium domain name in a few years when your business is more established and can responsibly afford the cost.
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Premium Domain Name Costs
If you think youre going to secure a perfect domain name easily, think again, as chances are that its already taken. Fortunately, anything is possible if youre prepared to spend more to get what youre looking for.
While its quite hard to estimate the value of a domain, you can find an affordable and catchy domain name if you invest enough time and effort into it. Premium domains are the best domain names as they are both memorable and short.
More importantly, they usually come with the .com extension type that everyone is after. The shorter the name, the higher the price. If you cant register the domain you want, there are other ways to obtain a catchy domain, such as buying it from the current owner.
Premium domains are pretty costly and can reach millions of dollars, but they can also be a worthwhile investment. An easily memorable name provides extra leverage that you can use to your advantage to beat your competitors and improve your ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
If youre looking to buy a premium domain, there are top places to take into consideration:
What Affects Domain Name Price
When you visit some domain name registrars website to see their prices, keep in mind that those are introductory prices for a year of service. After one year, you pay renewal prices that can be significantly higher.
On top of that, there are other costs to consider when choosing and buying a domain. Lets break down the most common additional costs that affect domain name price.
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Check For Trademark Infringement
Both major and minor brands alike take issue with others using their trademarked names. Even if youve just made an innocent mistake, the legal hassle involved in a lawsuit and having to rearrange your web presence could be costly.
You can avoid these situations by using a trademark lookup tool before you finalize your choice.
How To Get A Domain For Free
If you already have hosting services, you wont be able to use this method unless youre ready to upgrade to a better plan or switch to a new host. As such, timing is an important consideration if youre set on getting a domain name for free for the next year.
But if youre starting a website from scratch, you need web hosting services in addition to a domain name.
So, it makes sense to bundle them together. Its an easy and affordable way to get everything you need in one transaction while saving a bit of money.
The biggest consideration is choosing the right host for your website. So, lets talk about how to do that.
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Choosing The Best Web Hosting Company
As businesses move online, the market for web hosting has expanded significantly. Youll need a high quality, reliable hosting service to run a successful website. Our reviews provide analyses of the most important aspects of hosting companies diverse packages to facilitate your decision-making process. We focus on the most critical elements of hosting, like storage, bandwidth, security, uptime, ease of use and general value for services offered.
Through A Domain Registrar
If youre buying more than one domain name or want to manage your domain and hosting services separately, you can use a domain registrar like domain.com or NameCheap.
This route makes sense if youre launching a business website and want to buy all the possible variations of your business name to prevent others from doing so. Many domain registrars offer bulk discounts but you wont be able to get your domain for free.
Check out our top domain registrar recommendations, here.
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Evaluate Long Term Costs
In addition to the upfront costs of getting a domain name, consider costs like taxes and renewal fees. Some registrars charge increased renewal fees when your domain registration expires, and depending on where you live, your domain name may be subject to state and local taxes.
Remember to budget for your domain name alongside other potential startup costs, like website hosting or creating a logo for your business.
Tips When Registering A Domain Name
Obtaining the right domain name from the start is important, especially if youre creating a business or personal brand website. Changing domains is not only expensive but also potentially damages search engine rankings and conversion rates.
With this in mind, here are some things to consider when buying a domain name:
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How Long Does My Domain Name Registration Last How Do I Renew My Domain
How long your domain registration lasts can vary depending on the domain you purchase. Many domain name registrars will allow customers to register domains for 10 years at a time, but typically customers will register domains for one to three years.If you want to extend your registration, its easy to renew your domain with GoDaddy. You can choose to manually renew or set up auto-renewal, so you ensure it stays registered to you.
Search For Social Media Brands
Undoubtedly, checking brand names on social networks is not a must when you calculate the cost to buy a domain name. Yet, social media marketing is as significant for a companys promotion as the hosting and SEO are. Its better to check that the name you have selected as your domain will also be suitable for your companys social media accounts. You may reserve a name for your website or project on various social media projects to avoid difficulties in connecting accounts to the site.
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Is It Cheaper To Get Your Domain Name From Your Web Host
When signing up for a web host, you will have the option of purchasing a domain name as well. In fact, a lot of web hosts, like GoDaddy and HostGator, will provide you with a free domain name for the first year. This can be tempting, but you need to make sure it is actually going to be worth it overall.
In a lot of cases, getting your hosting and domain name from the same place will work out cheaper, but it really does depend on the specific company you select.
My advice: sit down and do the math! And, when I say do the math, make sure you look beyond the first year!
So, lets say I wanted to purchase iwantthisdomainname.com how much would it cost me to buy the domain name and web hosting?
Ill start off by purchasing them separately. This domain would cost me $8.88 per year if I were to buy it on NameCheap.com.
I then purchase Economy web hosting from GoDaddy, which costs $5.99 per month, equating to $71.88 per year.
So the total for one year is $80.76 . For two years, the cost is $161.52. For three years, the cost is $242.28.
Now, what if I were to opt for the domain name and hosting package from GoDaddy?
Well, for the first year, the domain name is free, so its only going to cost me the $71.88 for both. However, in the second year, I need to pay for the domain name, which will be added onto my package.
By searching on GoDaddy.com, I can see that iwantthisdomainname.com would cost me $18.17 for the year.
Your Domain Name And Traffic
Your domain name plays a role in search rankings.
As the SEO expert Brian Dean explains in his article , while putting keywords in the domain name doesnt give you the boost that it used to, it still serves as a relevancy signal.
Also, if the target keyword appears as the first word in the domain name, it will give you an edge over websites that have that same keyword in the middle or at the end of a domain name .
Moreover, theres also the direct traffic aspect to consider, meaning the people who get to your website by typing your address in their browser.
If your domain name is hard to remember you will lose some of these people because they will misspell it and will get taken to God knows where.
Remember, buying traffic is expensive, so you need to do everything you can to maximize your organic traffic.
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Purchase The Domain Name
When you have settled on the domain name and a suffix, you will pay to register the domain name with the domain registrar. This is not a one-time purchase, however. Typically, you will pay to own the domain name for one year, after which you can renew your registration for a fee. You can expect a registration fee of about $10 to $15.
S To Your Dream Domain
Now that you are ready to take the plunge and go for that perfect domain for your project, lets look at a few final steps which will give you the best chance at walking away with that name. There are really only a few steps involved in buying a domain:
Find out who owns your dream domain.
Get contact info for the decision maker.
Pay for and transfer ownership of the domain.
Of course, you can apply variations and tactics to each step, but I am confident someone with little domain buying experience can make a decent go of getting the exact name they want if they follow the steps below.
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Where Can You Purchase Domain Names
You can purchase domain names through registrars accredited by ICANN . These registrars are responsible for both managing your domain and keeping track of periodical renewals.
The price of a domain name may vary across registrars, as they offer different domain plans with different feature lists. In general, you can buy a domain name for between $10 and $20 per annum. However, this depends on many things, like the specific domain extension you want to buy, validity period, running offers and discounts, and more. You can also purchase pre-owned domain names from their rightful owners, though these names usually cost more.
Steady Growth Of Domain Name Registrations
Since the beginning, the number of registered domains has never ceased to increase. According to the latest statistics provided by ICANN, the number of top-level domains reached more than 233 million registrations in 2009.
In ten years, in 2019, there were more than 746.6 million names in the TLD category, which characterizes the growth in more than three times.
We can notice a similar situation with geographic top-level domains that comprise country code TLDs and make Internet addresses connected to specific countries. There were only 259.6 thousand geographic TLDs in 2009.
In 2019, the number of geographic TLDs constituted more than 1.29 million, which means that it increased almost 5 times in ten years.
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Dont Forget The Extra Costs
Its easy to focus so much on purchasing a domain name that you forget about the additional costs associated with it.
Obviously, a domain name is not a one-off purchase, it needs to be renewed every year, which will generally cost you the same amount of money that you paid to get it .
However, then there are also various add-ons that you can buy, the most popular of which is privacy protection that ensures that your personal or business details dont come up when people look up your domain name.
Generally, these extra costs dont add up too much but its still something that you should keep in mind.
Managing Editor Techradar Pro
Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.
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