How to Check For Domain Name Availability
Making the choice to have a business website is a good idea. However, your first step to having an online presence is getting a good domain name. Your domain name is the gateway through which users will be able to access your website. The reality is that you cannot just wake up and decide to have a particular name. You will have to invest in a little time and money to ensure the domain name availability.
Understanding Domain Names
Much like a physical address, your domain name is the online address for your website. When someone types your domain name on a browser, it will bring them right to your website.
If you want to understand it better, each website has an IP address which is composed of numbers. The numbers may be a bit difficult for the common man to remember. Luckily we have the domain name which you customize as per your preference. The name then becomes your online identity.
You have leeway in what you decide to name your website. Try as much as possible to link it to your business, so that you do not confuse your website visitors. Have a memorable name so that it stays top-of-mind with everyone.
The experts recommend that you keep your domain name short. Also keep it easy to pronounce, so that it is easy to spell. Avoid numbers and hyphens because they create a lot of confusion. Try as much as possible to localize the name, so that it has a bearing with your location.
Make it easy for web users by using intuitive, logical domain names. For instance, Illinoisdogtreats.com; this already tells you that the business is in Illinois and it deals with dogs. The words ‘dog treats’ are keywords that will rank you highly on SEO.
But, before you decide on the final name, confirm it is available.
How to Check the Availability Of A Domain Name
There are many online tools you can use to check whether or not a domain name is available. Many web hosting companies like Hostgator.com, Bluehost, among others have tools that can assist with this.
Further, when you are going to do the registration of the domain name, you will have to do another name search at the registrar’s office. However, to avoid disappointment, we would recommend that you do the search before making the trip.
Depending on the search tool you are using, once you enter your preferred domain name, you will get the following information;-
- Confirmation of whether or not there is someone else using the name
- What extensions you have available. These include .com, .co.uk, .net, among others
- The cost of the different extension levels which will impact how much you pay for the domain name per year.
- Alternative suggestions to your preferred domain name if it is not available.
What If The Domain Name IsN't Available?
There is a possibility that whatever domain name you prefer may already be in use somewhere else. The search tools will advice you appropriately, and you have several options to take.
• Go Back to the Drawing Table
Yes, it took you a long time to come up with that particular name. Yes, it is very frustrating that it is no longer available. However, you have no choice but to start the name search process again.
Come up with as many alternatives as possible and try to make them unique, without being too complicated. Remember, a good domain name should be simple and easy to remember. Do not confuse your customers with difficult spellings or use of complex numbers and symbols.
Make it a fun session, call in your family members, friends or even the kids and brainstorm around proper domain names. You could come up with some very interesting ones.
• Think about Alternative Domain Names
Depending on the tool you are using for the name search, if your name is not available, some of the tools will suggest to you what you could use instead. It is the same situation as when you’re opening an email account, and the username is not available. The account usually gives you a list of potential usernames you can consider.
Go through the computer-generated names carefully and see if there’s one that can fit your needs.
• Consider Different Extensions
If you had your heart set on a .com extension and your domainname.com is not available, then you may have no choice but to consider another extension. Even if you think that this may impact upon you negatively, having the right keywords within your domain name means that you will always rank highly in the search engines.
Be careful though; only choose an extension that makes sense. For instance, a .au extension would give the impression that your business is in Australia, while in actual sense it may be in the United States. In this case consider using a .biz extension or .art, .fashion among others.
• Use Name Variations
If you still feel that you need to use particular descriptors or words in your domain name, think about using some variations. For example instead of amazinghair.com, how about outstandinghair.com.
Inserting favorite words or puns can make your domain standout. If your favorite word is in slang, you may want to give it a pass.
Setting up a website is exciting for any business owner. Having the right domain name will make a difference between people visiting the site or not. Using online tools like Shopify will ease the process for you. All you need to do is come up with the name and check its availability. Check here shopify.com/domains Look for a tool that gives you the right kind of extensions. Importantly, do not forget to use keywords within your domain name as it will assist with your search engine rankings.
Once you find the right domain name and confirm that it is available, you will not need to move to the registration process.