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What If My Domain Name Is Taken

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Demographics: Variability & Fragmentation

What To Do If Your Domain Name Is Already Taken

Different populations manifest marked differences in their fallback hierarchies.

Nationality plays the biggest role, with ccTLDs the most conspicuous sign of its importance. Some countries, like the USA, scarcely recognize their own ccTLD, while many in Europe rely upon theirs. France and Germany have consolidated their domains as direct second-level registrations in .FR and .DE respectively, whereas nations such as Mexico, India, and the UK are confronted with not 1 but 2 viable extensions .COM.MX + .MX, .CO.IN + .IN, .CO.UK + .UK. Such redundancy shapes their options, obstacles, and preferences.

Meanwhile, China expresses an interest in .COM so intense that its spending rivals that of of the rest of the world altogether. Likewise, .CC would figure prominently in Chinese fallback hierarchies, despite having no obvious link to China and being neglected by the rest of the planet.

After nationality, language is the most important factor where fallback hierarchies are concerned. One small sign of this: German speakers are far more likely to look favorably on domains containing hyphens than are Americans, who instinctively recoil from American-Express.com as second rate a phishing scheme, it might be thought.

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.

Offer To Buy The Domain Name From Its Current Owner

If your top choice domain name is already taken, you can offer to buy the website domain.

Pros: You get exactly what you want.

Cons: Your dream domain name might not be for sale, it might cost more than you can afford, and youll have to do some research.

This is the most time-consuming and costly way to solve your domain name problem. That said, if youve already invested heavily in branding that relates to the domain name you wantfor example, if you own an established local business and want to add a websitethe effort and expense might be worth it.

First, youll need to find out who owns the domain name you want. If the website is live, is there contact information listed directly on the website? If theres contact information on the site, thats the easiest way to reach out. If not, you can check the WHOIS registry. However, the domain owner may have privacy enabled, and you wont find their contact information.

Sometimes the domain you want is both privacy-protected on WHOIS and lacks a contact form on the site. In those cases, or if you just want to save time looking up the site owner, you can use a domain name broker service like Sedo to make an offer for the domain name you want. Be prepared to negotiate if the owner is interested in selling.

Once you complete the purchase, youll need to register the domain as your own and transfer it to your web hosting service.

Also Check: How To Find Out Who Owns Domain

Contact The Current Domain Owner

If you discover that the domain name you want is already taken, try to figure out who currently owns it. This can be done using a WHOIS lookup tool.

Once you know who the owner is, you can contact them and ask if they would be willing to sell the domain name. Avoid making an offer in your initial email, and instead wait for their answer. If they reply positively, let them suggest a price and make a counter-offer. Expect to see a high price at first, and be prepared to negotiate. If they respond negatively, its time to move on to tip #2.

Domain Name Taken Try These 7 Clever Solutions Instead

My .com is Taken! How to Choose the Best Domain Name ...

Its been a long time coming, but youre finally ready to launch the business youve been dreaming about for years! Your plans are set, you chose the perfect company name, and youre itching to start promoting your brand.

But, wait. You use a domain name search tool only to find yourcompanyname.com is not available. How could your domain name be taken?

It happens. Short .com domain names can be hard to come by these days. The number of domain registrations worldwide has surpassed 329.3 million. While you might think your name is superbly original, many of the good names are already taken.

It could be that someone is already using it for a website, or they just liked the name and wanted to claim it. Maybe they have a future business idea that they havent yet pursued. There are several reasons why your company name may not be available as a .com domain. Dont panic you have options!

Sure, you can try to purchase your domain from the current owner if theyre willing, but youll be limited by how much youre able to pay. Sometimes that just isnt a practical option.

Note: Before you buy an alternative domain, make sure someone else isnt using your business name.

If your dream business name is already trademarked, you dont want to step into legal issues or cause customer confusion. This may be a sign you need to start fresh with a new name.

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How To Buy A Domain Name That Is Taken

Last updated on March 26th, 2021 by Editorial Staff | Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

We often hear from readers who want to buy a domain name thats already been taken.

If youre in that position, then you might be wondering how to go about getting hold of a domain name that someone already owns.

The easiest solution would be to find another suitable domain name. However, sometimes this may not be the best option.

In this article, were going to share our expert tips on how to buy a taken domain and give you some insider tips on what to watch out for. We will also cover few proven strategies that you can use if your domain isnt available.

Note: Unlike other guides on the internet, this resource is based on our actual collective experience of buying premium domains. We have spent anywhere from few hundred to few million dollars in buying premium domains and established website businesses.

The Basics of Buying a Domain Name Thats Already Taken

All websites need a domain name. It is your websites address on the internet. See our beginners guide on how domain names work if youre not 100% sure what a domain name actually is.

But what if the domain name you want is already taken?

In that case, you have two options: come up with a different name or buy the one you really want from its current owner.

Have Your Domain Good Heres Whats Next

With your domain name registered, the next natural step to take is getting a good hosting setup, so that your future website is off to a great start.

Lastly, if your ultimate goal is to start a blog, read this guide of ours. It covers all the steps to building a successful blog from 0 experience to 150,000+ readers every month.

I hope this guide on how to buy a domain that is taken has been helpful.

If any of the steps described above arent clear, feel free to ask away in the comments.

Recommended Reading: Cost Of Purchasing A Domain Name

Change The Domain Ending

So maybe the .com version of your domain name isnt available. Thats not too surprising. After all, .com is far and away the most saturated domain ending, which is to say, youre far more likely to find any given .com registered versus any other domain ending.

If the domain you want is taken, then one option you have is to register it with a different domain ending. But not all domain endings are created equal. There are three main types you can choose from, and you might choose each for different reasons or to serve different purposes. Lets take a look.

Survival Of The Fittest

What to do when your domain name is already taken.

For any domain name style, online growth depends on 2 things: ranking and volume. High ranking within a groups fallback hierarchy means that the naming convention will be implemented at a high rate, gaining a large percentage share of new websites within that groups niche. But suppose the group itself is small. Think of limo drivers and .LIMO. Other TLDs seek a bigger audience. For instance, take .CLICK, a suffix versatile enough to attach to any English name. If .CLICK can clamber up our collective fallback hierarchy at all, then it should surpass .LIMO even if limousine companies rank .LIMO above .CLICK when they go to buy domains. In other words, what .CLICK may lack in ranking within a groups fallback hierarchy, it could make up for in group volume. Yet .CLICK isnt the only generalist TLD. While it covets a place among your top 10 domain options, thats also true of .LINK, .DOT, .OOO, .XYZ, .PW, .PLUS, .PLACE, .SPACE, .ONLINE, .WEB and many more.

Also Check: Migrate Wix To Shopify

If We Go To Court Over A Domain Name Dispute Which Country’s Laws Apply

A court case might be heard:

  • In the country where the domain name was registered: for example, in the UK for a .uk domain name.
  • In the country where the plaintiff suffered damage. For a libel case, this might conceivably be anywhere in the world where the website can be seen.
  • In the defendant’s home country.

The choice of country can make a significant difference to each party’s costs, the prospects of success, and the likely scale of any damages.

At the start of any international dispute, both claimant and defendant may present arguments to the court as to why it should or should not hear the case. Expert advice is essential.

What Should We Do If Someone Is Using A Similar Domain Name To Profit From Our Brand Or Take Advantage Of Our Customers

If they are using your trademark or deliberately passing themselves off as being related to your business, you have a strong basis for using a dispute resolution procedure or taking court action against them.

If they can claim they are using the domain legitimately, it may be more difficult to take action. Rather than spending time and money on a dispute, you might be better off focusing on promoting your own domain name. An experienced advisor can help you decide whether you have a strong case and what the most appropriate course of action is.

While you are not responsible for this, you may want to warn your customers if you become aware this is occurring. You may also want to establish an appropriate security policy and tell your customers about it: for example, stating that you will not ask for financial or security details by email.

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Understand The Domain Name Trends

During the past few decades, fallback naming styles have mutated incessantly in response to domain selection pressure. Darwin would be proud. In my first article on fallback hierarchies, I identified a 1996 trend for adding 1.com followed by a 2002 trend for pluralizing with z.com . More recently, an LY suffix swept the planet. Registrants who encounter obstacles invariably look for workarounds domains resembling their initial idea but available, cheap, convenient.

If youve ever browsed the web, youve seen dozens of popular workaround formats AmazonUSA.com, Amazon24.de in Germany, AmazonOnline.com, 2Amazon.com, Amazon360.com, GetAmazon.com, and so forth. Some workarounds look cheap and shoddy, as if the websites policy is to cut corners. Others appear professional enough to raise no eyebrows. Yet even with these there is a danger.

What I mean is: Age gracefully

How To Recognize Existing Fallback Hierarchies

How to get a domain name that is taken? Get your Ideal ...

To some extent, common sense and time spent browsing the interwebs will suffice to show fallback hierarchies in action.

It doesnt take a genius to recognize that domains like these were not their owners first choices:

Study-InEurope.org BootlegTunzWorld.org Morrison-Consulting.netAmericasBestGourmetCoffeeAndHotChocolate.club Human-I-T.org

Likewise, it doesnt take a genius to infer which domains those registrants would have preferred. Redirects also provide an important clue. Wikipedia, which forwards its .COM to .ORG, is a prominent example.

We can assume AmericanExpress.com outranks American-Express.com because the hyphen-free version is chosen for display.

Read Also: How Much Do Domains Cost Per Year

What To Do If Your Domain Is Taken

Youve landed on just the perfect domain name. Its short. Its memorable. Its easy to pronounce. It perfectly embodies everything youre all about.

So you type it in to your registrars search bar and Already taken.

What now? Start over?

Well, not so fast. There may still be some options open to you

Do It Yourself With A Content Management System

If youve got some skill, you can build a site using a popular CMS like WordPress.

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Youll also get 24/7 support, core software updates and patches, free daily backups and one-click restore, a free domain with an annual plan and more.

Also Check: Finding Out Who Owns A Domain

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