Finding the perfect domain for your brand or website can be a daunting prospect, especially for those who have no experience in the field before. You’ll no doubt have noticed after just a few searches that memorable domains aren’t so easy to find, some may even be listed for sale; and possibly out of your reach if you’re a small business owner.
So what are your options? There are several services offered by registrars, 3rd party sites and domain market places which could help you. As well as other alternatives you might want to give thought to first. So we’ll cover a few of the basics just to get you started.
On July 15, 2013 the first of hundreds of new gTLD’s became available to register after being introduced by ICANN. So one of these may be well worth considering if you want to stand out from the crowd. Prices will vary from registrar to registrar, so be sure to shop around. Some gTLD’s may also have certain restrictions, so be prepared to provide additional details if your business falls under one of these.
Name Generators & Suggestions:
There is a plethora of choice out there when it comes to name generators, some offered by domain registrars, others by 3rd party sites. Typically these aren’t generally up to much as they mash words together past on keywords input by the user. There are some that are a little more advanced which contain more dynamic features and may even offer to check availability for you.
Many registrars will also present suggestions, such as alternate extensions (.co.uk , .net, .org etc) or hyphenated alternatives. This can be particularly useful, especially if your business is just local to your country.
So your desired domain is taken, don’t worry all hope is not lost. If you’re patient you might want to consider a placing a backorder. What is a backorder? A backorder is a service which attempts to register your domain automatically for you once it becomes available for registration for a fee, costs can vary. A backorder would only be recommended if a domain is due to expire within a couple of months, so be sure to check the expiry date of the domain you want first.
It’s important to note that a successful registration with a backorder is NEVER guaranteed as there may be others who have backorders placed via other services, some of which are better than others. Any decent backorder service will also offer you a credit or full refund if the backorder fails, so it’s worth looking around.
TOP TIP: Do your homework when choosing a backorder provider, read reviews and customer experiences so you can help increase the chances of a successful backorder.
If you run a whois check on your desired domain, you might find that the owner has listed it for sale in a marketplace such as Sedo or Afternic. Here you can negotiate with the seller for a better price that’s within your budget, or if that’s too tedious for you most will offer an agent who can negotiate on your behalf.
Using a marketplace is probably preferred for most buyers and sellers as once a price is agreed the transaction is normally processed via escrow, such is the case with Sedo, who also require seller verification.
A broker is a 3rd party person who will attempt to acquire, or sell a domain on your behalf even if it’s not listed for sale, for a fee of course. This can take a lot of the hassle out of the whole process, but please do make sure you use a trusted service.
You might be surprised to know that in many cases where the domain is unused or parked the owner will be quite happy to negotiate directly with a buyer as it’ll save them commission fees from selling via a marketplace, and the hassle of having to fish out potential buyers themselves. So it’s definitely recommended to try this method first if their contact details are available via whois.
TOP TIP: Ask if they would be willing to use a service such as escrow.com to process the transaction once you agree a price, most will be happy to do so as it gives both buyer and seller peace of mind,
Whilst this guide wasn’t by any means exhaustive, it’s just intended to give the inexperienced a few helpful pointers on how and where to obtain their domain name in an industry full of jargon and beady eyed vultures circling overhead with for the next opportunity. It needn’t be as daunting as it might seem!