Stick With Your First Choice
Stuck on your favourite name? These may be your only options for landing it. It might not be possible, but it’s worth a shot.
Try to buy itYou can always offer to purchase the name you want from the current owner. If theWhoisinformation is public, you can reach out to the domain owner directly and see if they’re interested in selling. If the info is private, you can see if they have contact information listed on their website. Keep in mind: It’s pretty unlikely the owner will want to sell, or they may demand a steep price.
Legal actionIf you own the trademark to the name used in the domain, you may have an option to take legal action to claim the domain name. This generally applies only if someone is offering goods or services similar to yours, and if they began using the name after you. The first thing to do if you believe your trademark is being infringed upon is to discuss the issue with your lawyer or legal team.
Change The Name Slightly
A domain name is reported as not available only if the exact name is already taken. For instance, if an availability search tells you that madprophet.com is already taken, you may find that “mad-prophet.com” or “madprophets.com” is available. If you are not wed to the exact form of your first proposed domain name, you can experiment with minor variations until you find an acceptable name that is available. But read the warning just below for reasons to use caution when taking this approach.
Slight Changes to a Name Can Spell Trouble
The fact that a slightly different name is available, or that a name is not available as .com, but is available as .net, .biz, .info or .org, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can or should use it. Using a domain name very similar to an existing one may result in trademark infringement — the violation of someone’s trademark rights. If you infringe someone’s trademark, a court might order you to stop using the name and pay money damages to the other domain name owner. For more, see Avoid Trademark Infringement When You Choose a Domain Name.
How To Recognize Existing Fallback Hierarchies
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.
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Think About Your Social Presence
If youre naming a new business, it is ideal to make sure you can get some other social media accounts with the same business name.
Before you settle on the domain use KnowEm.com to make sure that the most popular social media handles are available.
It would be so unfortunate to have a great domain name but then to have to append something like TheReal to your name on a social media
Tips For Finding The Owner Of A Registered Website
If the current owner of your desired domain name cannot be found via an existing website, you will have to play detective. In the past, you could easily find the owner of a domain name using Whois. However, since the GDPR came into force, several registrars no longer provide the contact details of domain owners .
For example, Whois does not provide any information about the owners of .be, .vlaanderen or .brussels domain names, but redirects users to the DNSBelgium.be website instead. And for .nl, you have to check with SIDN. There, when searching for a domain name, you will not be able to see the contact details of the owner directly, but you do have the possibility to contact the owner via an online contact form.
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Buy Similar Domain Names
Purchase easy misspells and other popular TLDs if they are available to keep anyone from squatting on your business name.
This could be costly later once you have built up a brand and the domain squatters know that you dont really have any negotiating leverage.
I once worked with a global brand that had to spend a couple of thousand dollars per domain name to successfully reclaim domains that could have been purchased for a few dollars when they first launched.
What To Do If Your Ideal Business Domain Name Is Already Taken
Small business websites are no longer an optional marketing tool. Your customers expect you to have a web presence for your small business so they can quickly and easily find information such as your location, your hours, your products and your phone number.
If you are just starting your business, the perfect time to register a domain name for your website is during the business naming process. The availability of a certain domain may actually play a role in the name of your business. But what happens if your business is already up and running, or the perfect domain name for your business just isn’t available? Here are four things you can do.
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How To Contact A Person Who Currently Has A Domain
If you perform a search for a domain thats already registered, you can click on the domain information” tab which may show you contact information. Note that CIRA protects the personal privacy of individual registrants unless they specifically approve having their contact information displayed in the WHOIS system.
If no contact information is displayed, CIRA has a tool called a Message Delivery Form, which enables people to send an email to the domain registrant without revealing what the registrants email address is. People can use this form to send offers for domains. A word of caution: there are a few scenarios where it may be better to go through a domain name broker.
Godaddy Domain Name Search
GoDaddy is the worlds largest domain name provider that has more than 70 million domains under its management. It offers almost all types of extensions.
GoDaddy has an advanced domain name search tool that will help you to find the availability of a domain name. It will also show you some suggestions and alternatives based on your search.
Just go to GoDaddy Domain Name Search and enter your domain name. And click on Search button.
In this case, it shows that the domain name is taken as Ive entered my own domain name. It also shows the available domains for other extensions.
Now lets try with a different name. Ive added a prefix to the domain name and found it available.
Thats a pretty handy tool for checking domain name availability.
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General Domain Name Registration
Before registering a domain name for your new website, you need to run a check and make sure the domain name is available. Enter the desired website name plus the desired top-level domain, such as .COM or .NET. When choosing a website name, you are limited
only by your imagination. There are over 160 million available domains! If the domain name is available for registration, you can proceed to registration.
To register your future website address, you will need to specify the selected domain name and some information about yourself as the domain owner. Usually, some standard information is needed: your physical address, phone, and email. This information is submitted into the Whois Database, which stores the contacts of domain owners and makes them publicly available. If youre worried about your privacy, many registrars offer personal data protection packages for a small fee. Also, you need to choose the time period for the domain name to be assigned to you. Usually, the registrars offer domain registration packages for 1, 3 or 5 years. Then, you proceed to pay the registration fees.
To complete the domain name registration, you will be asked to sign a contract. It is important to carefully study the contract with the registrar, as it usually contains such provisions as transferring your domain between registrars, limiting the length of time that a domain can remain reserved for you without deletion.
Option : Wait For The Domain To Expire
Time has passed and you havent received any response from the person that registered your domain? You can try to purchase the domain when it expires.
This, however, is far from a bulletproof plan because many registrars remind their clients to renew their domains. Even if it the registration expires, they give their clients a grace period so they can still extend it.
Another thing you can do is set up a domain monitoring and/or backordering services. The first type of service informs you about your desired domain status changes, while the latter offers you the ability to place backorder requests on any domain name, including currently registered domain names. You usually get charged if they manage to procure the domain, but some services request advance payments.
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Get Started With Email Marketing
With the rise of social networks, the term Email is dead has become an age old adage, but it couldnt be further from the truth.
A well-maintained customer mailing list is an absolutely vital asset for any business/website owner. And why wouldnt it be? The people on your mailing list are familiar with your brand, products and services, and in many cases are ready to buy!
Growing and understanding your email list will result in more sales
Launching a new product? Offering a big discount? Got big news to spread? Your ever-so-valuable email list should be the first place you turn to.
Still not convinced? Heres some numbers
And to top it all off its super-easy to do yourself without the need for any techy marketing knowledge or design skills.
However, you cant just do email marketing using your regular email address/setup.
Day-to-day email services are not geared up with mass email marketing in mind. Its not practical and you could end up getting your email address blocked by providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, BT, etc. pretty quickly.
Thankfully there are dedicated email marketing solutions out there which will handle this for you, and for this guide were going to recommend our favourite email marketing provider MailChimp.
If you want to send more, or remove that logo, you can easily move onto one of their flexible paid-plans.
- Creating a list
- Avoiding spam filters
- Understanding MailChimp reports.
Is My Domain Name Still Available
The time has finally come: your business plan is all set, you have come up with a name for your company and you are confident that the Internet will help you find the domain name that best suits your project. Now, 3 scenarios are possible:
- An existing website. The domain name is taken and in use. The owner will most probably not want to relinquish it.
- A page stating that the domain name is for sale. The domain name is taken, but the owner is not doing anything with it. There is room for negotiation and there is still hope to get hold of it.
- A page with an error message . Do not rejoice too soon, because either the domain name is still available or the owner has not yet linked a website to his domain name. So, this message does not tell us enough, and we need to find further details. This can be done by checking the availability of the domain name with the help of a hosting provider. This will also allow you to check the availability of all possible extensions, which means you will not have to type each extension separately.
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Same Name Different Extension
How important is the extension part of your web address?
Unless you choose something spammy like .buzz or. top, no one will be put off if your domain doesnt end in one of the common extensions.
So, if yourdomain.com isnt available, you can simply go for yourdomain.net, for example.
There are that have been around for a while, like .biz and .info, plus newer extensions like .club and .shop. You can view changing the extension as a good thing, selecting one thats memorable and describes what your business does.
How To Buy A Domain Name When Yours Is Already Taken
You sit glaring at the screen, thinking that there must be some mistake. Maybe if you refresh a couple times, it will fix itself.
You came up with a creative business name, have your new logo design, and even snatched the Facebook page and Twitter handle, but after a search for the right domain, its taken.
If someone else owns the domain, what can you do?
This happens, as getting the perfect domain, although such a seemingly small task, can be one of the greatest challenges youll have in building your digital presence.
Find out what it means if your domain is taken, and the next steps you can take to secure one for your brand.
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How Much Does It Matter
JK Rowling may be a billionaire with 8.7 million followers but she still had to add an underscore to her name because someone else uses the original one. You may think that adding real in front of your Twitter handle sounds bad, but it worked for the current US President-elect, . Chipotle uses , and they dont seem to mind:
It really isnt a big deal to us at this point, as weve got well over 600,000 Twitter followers, so people certainly dont seem to have any trouble finding us
Chris Arnold, Communications Director of Chipotle
Before we look at options, its worth asking yourself how much does your perfect name matter? Increasingly your username wont stop you from succeeding, as long as what you use instead isnt really bad. If we look at what people actually do when they search for someone online, is that they dont search for usernames anymore they find users by directly searching for them:
This isnt to say your perfect Twitter handle doesnt have value. Just dont think of it as essential for Twitter success.
Extend Your Brand In The Url
Until 2016, Tesla Motor didnt own Tesla.com because it was already taken.
What did they do? They used TeslaMotor.com instead.
That URL served them well for years because the word motor was such a natural extension of their brand.
This method has the advantage of preserving trustworthiness in your URL.
The catch? You have to make sure you dont throw in just any old word to extend your brand. It has to be relevant and say something about your business.
Gogo, an in-flight Internet provider, uses air along with their brand name:
That makes perfect sense when you think about it.
On the other hand, if they used something like GogoToday, their brand wouldnt have been as obvious, and it wouldnt have sounded as organic.
The trick is to consider related words that you can add to your brand name without sacrificing meaning, memorability, or naturalness.
Some words lend themselves to certain niches. For example, if you sell software, you may be able to use the word app in your URL like Invision does:
This might be your best bet if youre after a .com and want to keep your brand name in the URL.
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