Alternatives when your Chosen Domain Name is Already Owned
If you’re here after finding out that your chosen domain is already owned, then your frustration is justified.
12:26 20 April 2020
Finding that one special domain name that’s not already taken can be a painstakingly hard task.
The short answer is that years ago, many business owners, investors, and even hobbyists just went ahead and secured the most obvious ones including shoes.com, food.com,internet.com, and others. And with more than 1.9 billion websites today, getting your desired domain name cannot be guaranteed.
However, fretting over it won’t make anything happen. If your preferred domain name is taken, it’s still possible to secure a great domain name anyway. Check out these options while considering your goals, budget, and creative ceiling.
Purchase domain from its owner. Domains are like real estate properties. You can freely offer to buy them. This can give you exactly what you want, but the reality is perhaps the domain name is not for sale – Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Walmart for instance obviously won’t be for sale.
This is also the most stressful and expensive way to acquire your domain name. But if you’re heavily invested in the name, it might be worth it. Find out the domain name’s owner, first by checking the information on the site itself since it’s the easiest way to connect with them. You can also check the WHOIS registry provided that they don’t have privacy enabled, in which case you won’t get their contact information.
You can also use a domain name broker service to make an offer for your desired domain name. Just be prepared since you’ll be negotiating with the owner if he is interested in selling. After finalizing the purchase, you’ll have to register the domain name as your own and have it web-hosted.
Consider getting another domain extension. This is generally much cheaper than purchasing a taken domain from its current owner. However, since people automatically assume that a website ends with .com, you may stand to lose a couple of potential leads along the way. Alternative top-level domains can make it harder for people to find your site or they may assume that the .com variety is you when it’s another entity – but this is just occasionally the case.
Alternative domains are available in hundreds of different flavors, including .net,.org,.online, .tech., and others.
Another quick alternative to consider is to use variation via tweaking the domain name itself, using another top-level domain, or even both. This can be an apt choice depending on your goals and how the unavailable domain is used.
Let’s say you want breadhouseas your domain name and .com version is taken. You can still register breadhouse.net or breadhouse.online instead.
However, people prefer sites they think are trustworthy, and consumers naturally trust .com more than other top-level domains. You can also go with a related .com that’s not taken yet, like breadhouseonline.com. Take note that if the original domain name you preferred is in use for a competing or related business, you may be setting yourself up for legal trouble if your domain name is too similar to your first choice.
Choose a completely different name. This consideration prevents confusion and can be much cheaper than both options above. The downside is that it might not align with your branding and can cause customer confusion.
If a slight alteration to your preferred domain name will be too close to a competitor, or if you prefer the .com top-level domain, the next best option is an entirely different name. This is better if you’re a start-up and still don’t have a brand, but established brands can benefit as well. It’s time to get creative and research on how customers search for offers like yours.
For instance, instead of breadhouse.com, consider pastryhaven.com, or bakersfest.com.
Now that you have alternative ideas when choosing a domain name, go ahead brainstorm with your team for a new name and visit your preferred domain name registrar to snap it up before others do!