Searching for a new Domain Name

Bradley Davidson on 03/04/2024
In Hosting

Searching for a new Domain Name, or "Rule Number One"...

DO NOT go to a Registrar to check to see if your Domain Name is available, ever, unless you are ready to buy it immediately.

In an all too common scenario - You have a business or idea, a solid name that you like, but you do not yet have a website. You check to see if your name is available and it is, great! So you go back to create a website and get your ducks in a row, possibly invest in printed materials, only to return later when ready to launch and find that your desired web address is taken. You even had a unique name that no one else was likely to think of. How did it happen?

It's called Front Running. Some unscrupulous Registrars unfortunately share or sell domain name lookups that are submitted to their sites. Worse than simple speculation purchases of domains that someone hopes to resell to a famous or trending entity - these are targeted grabs. What should have cost you at most $25, now has an asking price of thousands.

How do you safely find out if the domain name (web address) that you want is available? You can just type it into the address bar of your browser to see if it resolves to a live site. This is not a definitive answer but is quick while brainstorming. Next, check with an independent Whois Lookup to find out for sure.

Once you find one that you like and is unused, go ahead and buy it. You do not need to have your website finished or even started to lock in your identity. You'll have one less thing to worry about later. If you choose not to use it in the end, you simply release it by not renewing it when it expires.

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