Let’s face it. .com is popular. Everyone knows what it is. You don’t have to explain it to anyone. .com is associated with how we think about the internet, simply because it has been around so long and because there are 126 million (yes, million) registered domain names. Maybe you’ve had inspiration recently to start a side hustle, or to showcase your artwork. Maybe you’ve got a business plan and want to launch your brand online. Either way, when you go to register the name you want, you find that your name isn’t available under .com. This article discusses what to do if your .com domain name is taken.
Your first thought might be to do the classic word hack. If, say the name you want is “Smart Link”, you could get clever and snag a .ink domain name, and your website name could be smartl.ink. Another example of a word hack is if you had the name “Show Biz”, your domain name could be show.biz. Word hacks are tricky, though, because it all depends on the name or phrase you want. Keep an open mind, but don’t rely on this option.
Browse The New TLD List
A better option is to take a look at the long list of new TLDs (Top Level Domains) available. Browse the list and see which one stands out at you. You’d be surprised to find that the domain name you want is probably related to one of the TLD extensions on the list! For example, if you have a hobby of creating glass art, you could grab a .art domain name. In fact in that scenario, a .art name would be more relevant than a .com name because it describes exactly what you do in the address bar. You make it easier for people to get that “aha” moment when their brain is deciphering what you do.
Search For Your Name With a New TLD
Once you’ve spotted a few TLD extensions that are related to what you do, start searching for your domain name with those extensions. If someone makes 3D animation, for example, and they work with other people, they could get a domain name that has their business name, plus an extension of .studio. They could also get .tv or .video because they produce video, or they could get .design because animation is a form of design. These are just stream-of-consciousness examples, but you get the idea.
Spend some time to think about how your business or your activity can be categorized. What industry does it fall under? Chances are, there is a TLD that is relevant to what you do. The more closely related your business is to the TLD extension you choose, the better. Google will reward you as well, because it looks at the content on your website along with your domain name as it matches your website with users’ keyword searches.
The moral of the story is, don’t get discouraged if the domain name you want is taken under .com. There are plenty of other options that could be helpful. And it might actually be more unique.