It’s a common scenario.  Your business plan is in place, your website is nearly complete and you are almost ready to launch your online business.  All you need now is to secure the perfect domain name for your website.  Whether you choose a domain name or a .com domain name, it is going to be a huge success.  And then the inevitable happens, every domain you want to register, seems to already be taken.

It is an all too common experience these days.  Your ideal domain name is most likely gone.  As the Internet has rapidly grown, so has the rate of domain name registrations.  In fact, domain names of three letters in length ran out 10 years ago. Four letter domain names were quick to follow.  These days shorter domain names or those with common words, are in short supply.

So what can you do?  One option is to go out and buy a premium domain name.  One that has been purchased by a speculator with the sole intent of reselling to you.  This means a significant price premium, that most people would rather avoid paying.

I often assist customers in finding their ideal domain name, in order to avoid going to the premium domain market.  Here are a few tips I often give people.

Think local  

As the web expands, local search is becoming increasingly relevant to sort through the vast amounts of data.  Think about your customers, where are they located, where are they searching, what are they searching for.  What would you search for if you wanted to find your product?  Let’s say your business is for car maintenance, and your ideal domain name is – that’s guaranteed to be gone.  But where are you based? If your business is based in Leeds, people in New York are unlikely to want your services.  This opens up a raft of options for example:

This also improves the odds of your customers finding you via search.  Many searches for specific products or services are based around geographic needs.  Including this in your domain name, massively helps your website’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Thinking outside the box

Don’t get stuck with rigid terms you MUST have in the domain name.  Look through a thesaurus, change the words up a little.  Draw up a list of different domain names that are available with different words, in different orders:

You don’t have to commit yourself.  Build a small list up and you may find something else comes to your mind.  Give yourself as many options as possible.

.com is not the only domain

There are literally hundreds of domain name types you can register.  Most won’t be appropriate for your needs, but keep them in mind.  As a UK domain name provider, we deal with many UK clients.  For these clients domain names are often as useful a domain name as .com.  You might find that while your ideal .com is taken, many other domain types are free.  Some of the most popular include are:

.org for organisations

.net for online endeavours for UK based businesses

.eu for european websites

.tv for video related websites

.mobi for mobile targeted websites

Check out our domain name registration page for more details.

A few warnings

A shorter domain is often better.  The shorter the domain name, the easier to remember by your customer.  Longer domain names are less memorable, but are not inherently bad provided the keywords in the domain reflect your business.

Don’t forget it is okay to use the odd hyphen in a domain name, e.g.

but don’t go crazy:

Also try to avoid easily confused words or words with slightly different spellings and different meanings.


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