Tuesday, June 11, 2024

What To Do If Your Domain Name Is Taken

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Short Is Better Than Long

What To Do If Your Domain Name Is Already Taken

In general, when it comes to the length of your domain, shorter is better.

According to research from Domain Registration.com, the most common name length is approximately 12 characters.

All of this data shows that you should keep your domain name concise.

Aim for 6-14 characters and remember the shorter, the better. Most likely the shorter domain names are taken a LONG time ago and sold for thousands of dollars. If you cant find something short, make it brandable.

Our own site websitesetup.org is exactly 12 characters.

How To Handle The Purchase Of A Second

If theyre willing to sell great, you only have to navigate buying a domain name from a person or company youve only ever met online. Usually, this means using services that will help you make the exchange.

A service like Escrow can help. You and the seller agree on the terms and then you put your money in escrow at Escrow. The seller then transfers the domain name to you something every registrar has a procedure for, you check and approve the domain name, and they get the money.

Getting In Touch With The Owner Of A Registered Domain Name

If you want to purchase the domain name from its current owner, you first have to find out his identity. Only then will you be able to know if the owner is interested in selling his domain name, and, if so, at what price.

How can you find out the identity of the current owner? We will look at the possibilities depending on what you see when you enter the domain name in your browser:

  • You end up on an existing website, which is linked to the domain name. That makes it easy. On the website, you will probably find contact details or a contact form you can use. The first obstacle has been overcome!
  • You end up on a page stating that the domain name is for sale. This is what happened when we entered biofood.be: the website mentioned that the domain name was for sale, and the asking price was included. So, in this case too, contact details are easy to find.
  • You end up on a page with an error message . If our domain name checker found out that this domain name is not available, but that no website has been linked to the domain name yet, then some research will be necessary!

Also Check: Transferring Domain From Wix To Shopify

What To Do If The Domain Name You Want Is Taken

If youre doing a domain search and the domain name you want comes up as unavailable, it most likely means that someone already owns it and:

  • is using it for a website
  • is planning to use it on a site thats not launched yet
  • is only using the domain for email addresses
  • is keeping it because the name is similar to a domain he/she is actively using and the domain is being redirected to their site
  • has an idea for the future and registered the domain in advance
  • is just fond of the name
  • wants to prevent other entities from using his/her name or brand

Ugh, right? Trying to get the perfect domain can be really frustrating, or, at the very least, really expensive. There are currently 137,510,404 domains registered with .com alone, and as of 2016, were looking at 326.4 million domain names in total. Maybe youll find a diamond in the rough, but its getting harder and harder every day.

Whats a person to do? Well, here are your options.

  • The way that involves lawyers
  • When Your Domain Name Is Taken What’s The Alternative

    What To Do If Your Domain Name Is Taken

    This is a guest post from Joseph Peterson to explain how to rank the best domain name alternatives, when the preferred domain name for your business is already taken.

    Joseph is a thought leader on naming and domain names, weekly contributor at industry leading blog DomainNameWire and has participated in our two expert roundups on the new TLDs .

    As a branding consultant he continually meets businesses which aren’t able to get their ideal domain name. So now what? In the following he walks us through the “fallback options” to take an analytical approach how to pick the second best domain name.

    Listen, Im sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your Brazil travel agency will never live at Amazon.com. Apparently some e-commerce outfit got to the rain forest first. Now what? Time to consider your fallback options. Within this article, I wont tell you which domains are bad or better or best, which you ought to use or care about. Individual situations differ. A doctor writes prescriptions one on one. But here I will say something obvious: People do rank their choices. Equally obvious: Societys habits change over time. So Ill drop some hints about how domain preferences have changed, havent changed, and most likely will and wont change in the future. Beyond that, I propose a less obvious thesis: How other people rank their domain choices will affect how you rank yours … and how they rank you.

    Also Check: How Much To Purchase 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.

    Domain Name Taken Try These 7 Clever Solutions Instead

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Transfer From Wix To Shopify

    Find Out Who Owns The Domain Name

    Once youve determined that the domain isnt being used for an active website, your next step is to find out who owns the domain. The easiest way to do this is by using a WHOIS service. Theres a number of websites where you can do this sort of lookup, but, most of the time, youll get a set of standard information from any of them:

    • when the domain was registered,
    • who the domain was registered by,
    • how to contact that person or company,
    • and even when the domains current ownership expires.

    You may also see other information related to the purchase, but for the purposes of getting that domain, the owners email address is really what you want.

    Example results of a WHOIS lookup:

    Some domain owners will have purchased privacy protection and their names wont appear in a WHOIS search. In these instances, it will be difficult to purchase the domain unless you can find it on a domain auction site or marketplace like Sedo, Namecheap, or Flippa.

    What Is A Domain Name

    How to Choose a GoDaddy Domain Name and What to Do if Itâs Already Taken

    Every website on the internet has an IP address. These addresses point to a websites location think of them like GPS coordinates. The IP address, which is generally a set of numbers, usually resembles something like this:

    Unfortunately, trying to remember all of those numbers in order to navigate to a website can be challenging. Thats where domain names step in and lend a hand.

    A structure called the Domain Name System translates those IP addresses into names that are simple to remember. Those names are called domain names.

    Your website’s domain is what people enter into the address bar on their browsers to point it toward your website. In the simplest terms, if an IP address is your websites GPS coordinates, the domain is its street address. Some examples are mailchimp.com and google.com.

    When someone types a domain into a browser, it gets routed through a DNS server. That server translates the name to figure out which IP address it points to. Then it grabs the data for that website and delivers it to the browser. This process happens in a matter of seconds, letting you find and view a website fast.

    Recommended Reading: Register Domain Privately

    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.

    Can I Just Register The Same Name With A Different Domain Extension

    Sure, if theperfectdomain.com is already registered, you could always just register the same domain name with a different extension, e.g. theperfectdomain.info. The biggest potential problem with using alternative extensions is that people could forget your domain, and by default go to the .com domain instead.

    Slowly but surely though, people are embracing top-level domains other than .com. And with hundreds of new generic top-level domains hitting the market, ranging from city names to hobbies and professions to surnames , its becoming more normal by the day.

    However, it will take time for people to get used to this new world where anything is .possible. Just be aware of the hopefully short-term drawbacks to using a TLD other than .com. Heres a nugget from Christopher Steiner at FoundersClub about .com usage in Y Combinator :

    But everybody knew, even then, that a company needed a dot-com domain. That wasnt debatable. But it seems a subject that is up for discussion now, judging by data. Promising startups still end up with dot-com domains more often than not, but the margin at which they do is decreasing.

    This is assuming youre not trying to name yourself Apple, going with something like apple.online. Its always good to check the WIPO Global Brand Database to make sure youre not trying to infringe on the space of an already established brand.

    Also Check: How Much Does It Cost To Register A 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.

    Check What The Domain Is Currently Being Used For

    What to Do If Your Perfect Domain Name is Already Taken ...

    Your first step should be to visit the domain you want to buy. Is there a real website there? Has it been updated in the past few years? If the answers to both questions are yes, the owner of the domain is probably not interested in selling it. If theres a real website but it hasnt been updated in several years, youre more likely to get the domain, but theres still a strong chance the owner will refuse to sell it.

    On the other hand, if the website you see is simply a placeholder, you can approach the domain owner with confidence. If the domain owner buys and re-sells domains on a regular basis, they might even have a page up linking to the domain buying service they prefer to work with.

    Heres an example of what a parked domain usually looks like owners of such domains are usually just waiting for the right offer to come their way:

    You May Like: How To Transfer Wix Domain To Shopify

    Avoid Hyphens And Numbers

    Remember how your domain name should be easy to spell and pronounce? Hyphens and numbers make it more difficult.

    Imagine explaining Facebook if it had a hyphen in there

    Have you seen this new site Face-Book? Theres a hyphen in there by the way, between the Face and the Book.

    Facebook might not have spread so quickly if that was the case.

    The bottom line? Your domain name should be smooth and punchy hyphens and numbers get in the way of that.

    Stick to the letters!

    Consider Using Niche Keywords That Reflect Your Website

    Our website mainly about web development or helping people to create a website. Hence we chose to add a name that reflects all of it website. Obviously website.com was no longer available, we simply chose WebsiteSetup.

    Keywords can help to improve your SEO you need to tread carefully here! If you try to awkwardly stuff keywords into your domain, it comes across as generic .

    If you choose to use keywords, put the keywords at the beginning of your domain. Thats where theyll be the most powerful for your ranking.

    You can find keywords with tools like and Keywordtool.io.

    Also Check: Transfer Wix To Shopify

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