What To Do If Your Domain Name Is Taken? .Com Alternative
It is difficult to imagine our routine without many sites we visit every day. We memorized their addresses by heart and type them in without looking at the keyboard.
In this post, we will talk about some tips and tricks that will help you get the best domain name for your dream website.
Why You Need Your Own Domain Name
There are over 1.7 billion websites on the Internet (Iinternet live stats), and each one has a unique address. A website address you type in to get to a website usually consists of a domain name and a top-level domain.
There are many top-level domains, most of them are divided into global and local. gTLD, or Generic Top-Level Domains, such as the most popular domain extensions .COM or .NET, are called global. Geographic top-level domains in specific countries or regions are called ccTLDs (Country Code Top-Level Domains), or local domains. One of their key differences is that gTLD domain names can only contain Latin characters (.ORG), while ccTLDs support Cyrillics and special characters (.РФ). The organization in charge of maintenance and management of top-level domain names is Internet Address Space Administration (IANA).
.COM domain is one of the oldest top-level domains, but this does not make them less popular and democratic. .COM domains were originally designed for commercial businesses and today are used everywhere. .COM domain is not only universal but is also easy to remember. As the Internet has developed and expanded, and many malicious websites spreading false information have appeared. Since many of them use .US and .INFO domains, it is believed that Google now treats .COM domains as a criterion for enhanced website trust and reliability.
To avoid confusion, all domain names are combined into a global system called DNS, or Domain Name System. The main DNS goal is to associate the website addresses with the server addresses on which they are physically located (hosting).
Oftentimes, domain name registration is called domain name purchase, while in reality, users pay for domain name use for a certain time period, which is more like leasing. If the domain name lease term expires and is not timely renewed, it may cease to be valid and may become available to domain registrars.
Domain names have several standard statuses:
- Available – a domain name is available for registration and you can purchase it.
- Special – a domain name is available for a limited time period or at a special price.
- Not available – a domain name is already registered or reserved by the registry.
Depending on their popularity, length, and other parameters, some domain names receive Premium status. The price of premium domain names is much higher. However, even when choosing a premium domain name, you have to make sure that it is available.
Domain name registration is extremely important. If you ever change your host, this will not affect your website address. You will not need to inform your regular visitors or customers who already know your internet address of such changes since for them your website will be located at the same web address. A well-chosen website address is easy to remember, and a well-chosen domain name always makes the right impression on new customers, partners, and advertisers.
Choosing Your Domain Name
Getting Creative About Your Domain Name
Most often, your domain name is based on your brand. This way, internet users can find, remember, share, and identify your business online.
We recommend choosing a domain name at the same time you choose a company name or brand name. In other words, if you already have a business name, it is advisable to use it as your domain name.
Google loves brands because its users love brands! A strong online brand means users are more likely to click, read, and share website links. The more people remember your brand, the more they will visit you online. Ultimately, this shapes your brand authority and will help your website generate a higher ranking on Google.
Use your business name or brand name in your domain name if:
- Your brand has already been established and recognized.
- You have started promoting your brand and are working on its recognition.
- Your brand includes your own name.
- Your brand is unique.
Domain Name Selection Services
Choosing a domain name can be daunting. New websites, brands, and companies pop up every minute, and everyone wants to get a perfect website address. Competition for good domain names is growing faster than the new domains appear. But sometimes you need very little help to find a creative alternative to .com you like without sacrificing brand recognition or relevance.
Although one can’t say so from the name right away, Shopify Business Name Generator is an excellent tool that provides affordable domain name ideas for .COM domains.
In addition to an excellent domain name registration service, which we will talk about in a minute, Namecheap offers a generator called Beast Mode. It gives you options based on your keywords and shows similar domains. You can select results using a variety of filters.
Name Mesh needs just a few keywords to generate a list of results for you. You can filter domain name ideas by top-level domain, availability or maximum length.
To start your research, you need just a general keyword field – Lean Domain Search will offer hundreds of domain name options based on your parameters. Only for .COM domains.
Name Station asks for simple & free registration via email or social media. You can filter results by extension, name length, and other parameters.
Webhosting Geeks generates domain names such as .com, .net, .org, .us, .ca, .au and .co.uk domains. Enter just a couple of keywords to get started. You can improve the results by choosing where to place your brand name, set a length limit, and so on.
.US vs .COM Domain: How to Choose and What You Need to Know
Hundreds of individuals and businesses who register a domain name, face the choice .us vs .com domain. Quite often, when launching a new product or website for your brand, you run into a problem that you have to choose between the popular .US and .COM domain. How to figure out which web address will be more effective? Is .us domain good?
According Domainnamestat, 1.62% of all domain names in the world are registered in the U.S., and that is about 100 million. To compare, over 167 million domain names use .COM. Based on user preferences and frequency of use, .COM website address increases visitors’ trust. Many believe that all or most websites belong to .COM domains and smartphone keyboards often come with built-in .COM keys.
To figure out the top-level domain most suitable for you, the key question is not only where your business is located, but also where your customers are. Your business location helps choose which domain to use for your website. However, the location of your target audience makes this choice final.
If your website is commercial, use .COM domain regardless of your business location. In order to register a commercial or personal website address in the .US domain zone, you have to meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident;
- Be incorporated within one of the fifty (50) U.S. states, the District of Columbia, or any of the United States possessions or territories;
- Be an entity or organization that has a bona fide presence in the U.S.
As you know, search engine optimization, or SEO, plays a huge role in the website operation. Even the domain you choose may affect the way your website appears in search engine result pages (SERPs). For instance, in one situation .US vs .COM domain is equally effective, and in another, only a small fraction of your audience will see your website.
The first aspect to consider when choosing .us vs .com domain is your users. For example, when using search engines, customers from the U.S. see websites in the local .US domain extension higher than similar websites with international domains. If your goal is to reach an international audience, then your best option is a generic top-level domain .COM. Therefore, the most important aspect when creating a website or content, or when purchasing a domain is your user’s preferences.
Domain Names and SEO
Google claims that search engine result pages (SERPs) are highly personalized. This means the same search query is processed differently for a user in Finland and in Denmark. Particular search engine result pages (SERPs) depend on many variables, including user location, language, and browser search history.
If your website is registered in the generic common top-level domain zone, such as .COM or .ORG, you can specify yourself in the Google webmaster panel which countries are most important to you. If your website uses a local top-level domain with the country code (such as .FI or .DK), then it is already associated with a geographical region and you cannot specify a different geographical location.
Website names can also be used as keywords because one does not always remember the exact web address of your favorite online store or news portal. Users increasingly use their browser address lines for search services and enter the names of the desired websites by heart, often with typos. With this in mind, you can choose a domain name so that it partially intercepts the search queries of your target audience as a regular keyword. So, you can include one or more keywords in your website domain name. Pay special attention to certain keywords or phrases that your user may use to describe the company product or service.
This strategy usually consists of creating lists of keywords or phrases that most accurately describe your business or your products or services. Such words are called descriptors and should reflect what you offer in such a way as to distinguish you from your competitors. You can also use words or phrases that people accidentally search for when looking for your product — that is, anything that someone enters into the search engine while thinking about your product. A keyword should be relevant in the first place, that is, speak about your business and match your website content.
What is important to remember when choosing keywords for your domain name?
- Pick a catchy name. Short, catchy names work best since they are easy to remember and type in the browser.
- Simplicity is important psychologically. How likely are you to re-visit a website whose name you cannot even pronounce for the first time? The simpler the domain (or URL) is for us humans, the better it is for search engines.
- Avoid hyphens, numbers, non-standard characters, and long names. If you want to use a few words in the website address, you can divide them for readability, but this can have negative consequences.
Domain Name Registration
Domain names can be registered with an independent registrar or with a web hosting provider who hosts a website attached to the domain name. Domain name registrars must be accredited by top-level domain registries, which in turn are accredited by Domain Name and IP Address Management Corporation – ICANN.
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 you’re 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.
Services – Overview and Comparison
GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registration services. GoDaddy is very easy to use due to a large number of video tutorials available on its official YouTube channel. For example, you can watch a step-by-step domain name registration guide on GoDaddy here. Users of all levels are able to easily register domains on GoDaddy.
GoDaddy provides hosting services with unlimited storage and traffic, as well as MySQL database support. GoDaddy provides a website builder and a one-click installation.
GoDaddy features the largest domain name auctions.
- Various plans
- Fast uploading
- Long waiting time on phone tech support
- Cannot change themes without losing content
- Users with little experience and simple projects
Excellent service, it also offers domain registration services along with hosting. Even beginner users can get support using detailed video tutorials for all occasions on its official YouTube channel. For instance, this guide helps you quickly navigate and begin domain registration on Bluehost. Bluehost is designed so that all users can quickly view the demo and understand Bluehost domains and how its services work. Bluehost has a simple and intuitive navigation system, and you can easily configure your email and hosting settings in one click.
- Convenience and ease of use
- 24/7 tech support (email, phone, chat)
- Reliability issues in the past
- Tariff plans frequently raised
- Beginner users and professionals
As the name implies, Namecheap specializes in low-cost domain names. NameCheap is unique in the number and convenience of viewing hundreds of categories of local, international, and new unique domains. It offers a secondary market of domain names at affordable prices where anyone can sell an unnecessary domain. Has various manuals on its official Youtube channel. For instance, here is a beginner tutorial for domain registration.
- Very affordable prices and domain renewal on friendly terms
- 24/7 support (chat)
- Simple interface
- Short-term cooperation is not the cheapest
- Lack of tech support by phone
- Beginner users and professionals
Alternatives to .com
If your ideal domain name is not available and you are not finding suitable offers among the main domains, there are a few tricks to find alternatives to .com.
Using homonymic domains is a creative approach to top-level domains so that your domain name would be a word or phrase. Homonymous domains have a high novelty factor, and they are often easy to remember. There is a small flaw for SEO because search engines do not take domain extensions into account during SEO ranking. Depending on the resulting domain name, the URL may be new enough to stand out in search results.
Local top-level domains ccTLDs can also be used with this method. Usually, ccTLDs consist of two letters (.ru, .in, .ca, .ua). Using ccTLDs, you can come up with various combinations of one or two words that can be put together in a domain name (such as come.in). There are many local domain zones, and the best domain extensions are .net, .com, org.
When planning a homonymous domain name, two approaches are usually used:
- Putting two parts of a domain name into one word
- Selecting a domain name to form a popular keyword or search query
List of .com Alternatives: .IO, .CO, .AL, .ORG, .NET, etc
This is a very popular method to pick domain names. Just make sure you take into account the following risks, especially with ccTLDs:
- Political Instability. Most local top-level domains are managed by foreign government agencies, which have the right to refuse to use a domain at any time. For example, the .io domain extension got in the news after interruptions in its operations due to protests against unfair disposal of funds from a popular domain not received by Chagos island residents, where that .io domain was registered.
- Google ccTLD Policy. Google treats various ccTLDs differently, especially when it comes to local search. Some of the ccTLD domains cannot be geo-oriented in Webmaster Tools due to their narrow localized nature.
- Domain Name Recognition. Sometimes, homonymic domains are well understood only in writing but are difficult to understand by ear.
You might not be able to buy the domain name you are interested in as it is not available. You can use monitoring services that will act as intermediaries between you and the current domain owner. Such services relay to the current owner your interest in buying their domain and your price offer. If the domain owner does not respond or does not want to make a deal, do not be discouraged.
These services will allow you to constantly monitor the status of the domain names of interest and set up notifications about changes in their availability status. This simple and effective way allows you to organize the monitored domains into customizable portfolios and not miss the chance to react in time by buying the right domain.