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Domain’s the Game: Finding an Available URL


“That name is unavailable. Please search for another one.”
Anyone who has ever searched for the perfect URL or even tried to find a Gmail address or a coveted Twitter handle can relate to that frustrating sentence. Unless your name is really unique, chances are it’s taken. This is particularly stressful for the would-be entrepreneur, as you are searching for a name that will stay with you for a while.

We used GoDaddy to find our ideal domain names. True, the suggested ‘Variations’ the site offers are meant to assist finding other names, but the alternatives are not really useful and usually kind of entertaining! Aside from that, the site is really helpful. Over the years, it’s user interface has improved and the navigation is more intuitive. Although there are other providers with a cleaner and simpler interface, for the price and the 24×7 phone customer service, we still keep going back to them and currently own more than 15 domains with them.

Still stuck?
If you’ve run out of naming ideas, use the Igor Naming Guide for some tips. Also, the Lean Domain Search is great for sparking some available name ideas. If you have a local business or specialize in a particular niche, consider including keywords of the city or niche in your domain name (e.g. Finally, if your ideal domain name is taken, try finding and reaching out to the person or organization that registered the name. If they are not using it, they may be willing to give or sell it to you at a discount.

After you finally get a great domain name, don’t forget to snag the Gmail address, Twitter handle, or anything other account you may be using. Happy hunting.

How did you find your company name or domain name? Share any tips with us in the comments below.

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  1. Check Username Availability at Multiple Social Networking Sites 🙂 Perfect for Checking all in one single window!!

  2. Wow Darshan I just checked out – So cool and useful! Thank you for this link 🙂

  3. Psst!! It is a Secret one, don’t tell anyone now ok ? 😉

  4. We are noesis consultancy

    we registered our domain in 2010
    (we also bought .org after couple of months)

    It was big url hard to tell someone to type everything, but we had to live with it because was then owned by some US X-FBI Agents, and was with some chinese guy.

    so we took that long domain name, later we found out (co and not com) is expiring not surprisingly it was again with some chinese guy. we waited and kept watch on it, and finally we bought it in mid 2011.

    mean while which was owned by x-federal agent was then owned by some domain selling agency,
    contacted us as we bought domain and we already own and .org
    and made us offer mail attached below

    $12,500 USD way out of my budget. we said not interested (later they sold it to NOESiS Energy)
    but we kept our eyes on others mean while.

    we bought,
    recently on 9th July we acquired,

    which was expired and we kept watch for it to be dropped and finally
    we got what we wanted to, still is on my watch list but I dont think it would be released by them till next couple of years.

    In my opinion buy search engine friendly Domain and keep watch on your desired name, some day some one who have it will find it not worth to renew and you can catch that opportunity, but don’t depend of them, it might not be released and can be sold directly to another party.

  5. Wow Govind power to your patience and persistence…I hope you get one day!

  6. It’s a deal Darshan! 🙂

  7. You should also check out Panabee, which helps you brainstorm URLs and names for your business / product

  8. Samudra, just checked out I love how they’ve automated the common name brainstorming techniques! Thank you!

  9. Nice Post!.:)

  10. Thanks Prashant! Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. The problems with searching a URL is that there are some evil domain registrars that will register that domain if you don’t decide immediately. Have at least sorted 10 -12 options of your primary name and the .com or .in, and then search. You should immediately grab one if its available. Yes, You should also do the same for Facebook and twitter handles.

  12. That’s smart Rupin! No wonder a few of mine were snatched within 24 hours of zeroing in on them!

  13. Fortunate thing with domain names availability and allocation is of on first come, first serve basis and there is no system check on who can register what. So as soon as a TLD  extension (Top Level Domain Name, for example; .com, .net, .org, .in, .co etc) comes out in the market, domain name investors pounce on them to register meaningful names and leave the rest for world to decide and register for their business, services or startups.

    Most of these businesses, services and startups are not aware of the fact that the domain name they want (which is already registered) for their product/company could be available for purchase in the aftermarket (Godaddy Auctions, Sedo, Afternic, BuyDomains to name few) at a premium price from the initial registrant as well. Please understand the fact here that particular domain name you want for your business has VALUE, that’s the reason it is already registered by someone else before you got in to the game and paying a little extra to perfectly brand your product/company should not hurt.

    Awareness about domain name investments needs to be imparted to masses and that’s exactly why some of us, with an experience over 10-14 years in domain name industry, have formed Domain Name Owners Association of India™.

    HomeVista Decor and Furnishings in Bangalore paid $24,000 to rebrand itself as (source) and there are regular sales happening in the .in registry world (source1 & source2)

    Lets hope attitudes will change in the near future. We hope people will start considering domain names as a virtual real estate and valuable assets sometime soon.

    P.S. For global list of domain name sales, please go here.

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