There’s nothing more frustrating than doing all the hard work involved with starting a business and creating awareness around your new brand through word of mouth, only to find that your ideal domain name has been taken.
You’ve probably already registered your company name, right? So, what do you do now? Well, the last thing you want is a domain name that’s different from your company name.
What do you do if the domain name you want is already taken? We’ll take you through it step by step.
How do I know if the domain name I want is taken?
If you want to check if your ideal domain name is taken, start by typing the URL into the search bar of your preferred registrar. For example, visit name.com and search for a name they will tell you if the domain can be registered or not.
What do I do if my domain name is taken?
If your domain name is already taken, you have a few options.
1. Use your second-favourite option
If you’re starting a new business, then it means you’re starting a new brand. Hopefully, you’ve done the sensible thing and written a list of your favourite names? It’s generally good practice to check domain availability as well when deciding on your new business name. If you do have a list of potential names, move down to your second-favourite option.
Although a little disappointing, at least you’ll be able to avoid naming confusion or trying to buy the registered domain from someone which could prove very expensive.
If your second-choice name is also taken, then perhaps you should consider registering the one you want with a different domain extension.
2. Use a different extension
As of 2019, there were 142,558,419 registered .com domains. The chances of your second, third, or even fourth favorite option already being in use? Very likely.
You will find this true with a lot of domain extensions.
What are the most common domain extensions?
.com — This is usually used for big business and the commercial sector
.org — Usually associated with non-profit organizations and forums
.net — This is generally used for networks such as internet providers and technology
.co — Used for major companies and corporations
Having .com at the end of your domain name isn’t the be all, end all way to brand yourself online. Not only are many of them unavailable, but the .com domain extension is not the only credible extension anymore.
There are new domain extensions available that represent certain professions, movements, and industries. If you are creating a new brand within an existing company or launching a completely new venture, why not try out a more fitting extension that gives you the ability to really tailor your domain name to your business.
.icu is one of the new domain extensions that is associated with innovators, trailblazers, and modern ventures. By using a .icu domain, you are joining an international community of entrepreneurs and creatives who are doing great things in their own authentic way.
.icu is shorthand for “I See You,”. It is an extension designed to provide an easy, innovative, and universal alternative to traditional domains.
Our extension has over 100 registrars globally signed up to distribute the names to end users. .icu is also one of the top ten largest new domain extensions with more than 900,000 registrations!
3. Own your domain!
The bottom line is that you need to have your own domain name. You shouldn’t build your online presence on top of another service’s URL by using their platform to showcase your business.
For example, if your company’s name is Becca’s Pizza. You shouldn’t use a subdomain and let another company truly own your online brand name on another URL’s extension, for example, beccaspizza.shopify.com or facebook.com/beccaspizza. The additional services may be necessary for you to conduct business but this shouldn’t be your sole avenue for customers to find you online. Register your domain name and then direct people to online shopping carts, social media pages and more from your domain.
Ok, but why?
Social networks and e-commerce sites govern how your brand looks and functions. They have templates that you have to use, limiting the uniqueness of your design.
They can change services or raise rates at any given time – you have no control, if you don’t pay, you lose your site.
You have limited access to analytics, making it difficult to track insights into your audience, such as location, age, gender and more.
Your site could be removed without notice, and there’s not much you’ll be able to do about it. This is usually through violating their terms of service. Again, so many rules and regulations.
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