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Domain name: How to choose the perfect name if it is no longer available?

Web Design,Freelance
Domain name: How to choose the perfect name if it is no longer available?
Domain name: How to choose the perfect name if it is no longer available?

Domain name: You don't have a website yet. You are about to create one, but you are still at the first stage of its conception: the choice of the domain name.

If some people manage to get the domain name they like, others struggle. In this world, first come, first served! So how do you choose an original domain name?

Unfortunately, in some cases, even if you take the time to choose your domain name, you run into a big problem: the domain name is already taken. However, it was so perfect, original...

You have no choice but to start your research from the beginning. So, to avoid making the same mistakes and choose a perfect domain name that is already taken, I advise you to follow these steps to the letter.

But first, I'd like to make a point about what a domain name really is.

#domainname #domain #url #webflow


How do you choose your domain name?

A - Just like that, a name that comes to mind
B - I prefer to do a study
Don't hesitate to share your opinion in comments


What is a domain name

What are these roles

10 steps to choosing the perfect domain name

  1. Good keywords
  2. Unique name
  3. Short domain name
  4. Simple URL
  5. Intuitive word
  6. New" name
  7. Practicality at the rendezvous
  8. Avoids copyright problems
  9. Check on namechk.com
  10. Reserve your domain name

What to do if the domain name is already taken?

In video

What is a domain name?

I won't go into the definition, as it is a user-friendly form of internet addresses (for example: happydesk.be). I know that as a web designer or web professional you already know what it is.

It is also called "internet address". It is the equivalent of your postal address on this incredible technology that is the Internet. Thanks to it, your customers will be able to contact you easily.

I would like to point out that a domain name will then be widely used in other sectors, often including :

  • username for various software
  • page name on social networks

Hence the importance of taking the time to choose it well. However, domain names have other equally important roles. What are they?

Domain name : Why choose well ?

A domain name is not only about a company's identity on the Internet. If you decide to create one, you probably want to bring traffic to it. There are several ways to do this (SEO, indexing, metadata, etc.), but one of the most important is obviously: choosing the right domain name.

Indeed, your site will have to be easy to find, and therefore, have a domain name that is easily memorable (we will come back to this later, but the principle is to facilitate the process of "word of mouth")

Moreover, having a well thought-out domain name (i.e. a website) reflects your professionalism, your credibility and your creativity. For visitors, your site will even be considered as a sign of trust.

Choosing an effective domain name also allows you to protect your brand or your company. As I said at the beginning of this article, "first come, first served". When buying a name, for example, some people take advantage of this to make a defensive registration. Let me explain: it consists in buying the name with several extensions and names with similar spellings. In a way, they establish a security perimeter.

In another way, this practice can be seen as a way toexpand the reach of the site in question.

And what? How do you make sure you choose the right domain name? How can you be sure that it is unique and, above all, still available?

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10 steps to choosing the perfect domain name

If your company doesn't have a name yet, you should know that when you choose a domain name, your company's name will automatically take the URL. It's best to stay original!

1. The right keywords

Because there are bad keywords. The right keywords are those related to your activity. Since you are a web designer, you can include all the strong keywords related to this field: design, web, etc. You can even make a list of keyword ideas that come to mind when you talk about your business. Once this list is finished, how about associating them or adding prefixes to some of them.

This way, people who come across your site will have an idea of what you do.

There's no need to brag about the SEO benefits of choosing a keyword domain name. Google will also know what you're doing, so it won't have any trouble ranking your site in the top search results (of course, as long as it follows the other SEO rules).

Yes, but how to find an original idea of domain name with keyword?

I recommend the domain name generator tools. They are easy to use, because you only have to enter a few keywords on the sites, and they take care of proposing you some domain names (still available).

Here are some examples of these tools: Panabee, Domain Wheel, Ungrabbed...

Did you know that you can simply skip these steps if you take the easy way out? That would be to choose your own name or your company's name.

2. A unique domain name

The best way to fail in the choice of a domain name is to choose a name close to that of an already existing brand (perhaps it is simply its name in a feminine version, plural, etc.).

Flickr made this mistake once. Many confused it with Flicker (because of the pronunciation, which is very similar, but also the way of writing it), so the brand ended up buying this domain name. And nothing tells us that it is affordable.

3. A short domain name

By definition, what is a simple, short and concise easy URL? It is a name without special characters, easy to type on a keyboard, easy to remember and no more than 10 characters. How is this advantageous?

Humans have a limited memory. A short domain name would therefore be easy to remember and easily marks the mind. In fact, the most popular domain names are usually more or less 7 characters long.

Remember the word-of-mouth principle I mentioned earlier. Imagine that people are talking about your website, and yet the pronunciation of the name is somewhat complex. People who don't know your website yet might hear it wrong and go to another brand. That would be a shame. Otherwise, they might forget the name easily.

4. A simple domain name

Even if your domain name is easy to pronounce, but hard to write, it's not worth it either. Difficult to write?

This is the case when numbers and signs are added to the domain name. Logically, these elements integrated in the domain name complicate the pronunciation of the name.

Studies have also shown that sites that rank poorly all contain hyphens or numbers in their URLs, which is a shame.

In the practical case, know that your email will be linked to your domain name. You yourself will not be comfortable writing this way: nom@trait-d-union.com.

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5. An Intuitive Word

When others hear about your domain name, they should be able to tell right away what it is. Here is an example: hotmail.com. You know right away that it offers a service related to e-mail processing.

Similarly, there is careerbuilder.com. Even if I didn't tell you anything, you'll know right away that it talks about career, how to build your career... Then comes Webflow.com, which obviously deals with web-related topics.

But what about Amazon.com, Zillow.com and many other sites that don't have intuitive URLs? Well, they have invested a lot in their brand, so much so that they are currently very well known by the public. So, if you are sure you can follow their model, there is no problem to adopt a name like theirs (but I admit it is easier, with an intuitive name).

6. A "new" domain name

Yes, it's easier to have an intuitive name. But I didn't say it's more advantageous. Let me explain: by creating your own name, which belongs to you (whether it's a brand new name or the name of your company if it already has one), you automatically create added value to your domain name.

So avoid combining different words or keywords. As a webdesigner or future webdesigner, as creative as you are, you won't have much trouble finding a more convincing name!

By the way, let me ask you a question:

If you were asked to choose between investissementimmobilier.com and immoinvest.com, which one would catch your attention the most?

I bet you'll turn to the second one: immoinvest.com. Not only is it catchy, but it meets all the requirements we just discussed: unique, clear and concise.

7. Practicality at the rendezvous

Did you know that more than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices? This means that more than half of the people who type in your domain name on the Internet are on mobile. But mobile media includes a whole other issue: autocorrect.

The domain name you propose should therefore not mislead users on mobile. Then, the name in question must be "practical", in the sense that users should have no trouble writing the word. For example, having to switch to the numeric keypad.

To make sure that everything should go well, why not try it yourself (this is called usability testing)? Take your phone, and try to type the chosen domain name. Is it easy to type on mobile?

8. Avoids copyright problems

The best way to get problems is to propose a name that is similar (or almost similar) to an already well known brand (or a brand at all). The first example that came to my mind is this: ovh.com is already taken. And you, are you thinking of taking a name like sitewebovh.com? I wouldn't advise you to do that at all! You would have violated the copyrights of the company OVH.

After a few days, you will receive a cease and desist letter from a law firm. The problems have only just begun! It is therefore very important to check that the chosen domain name does not bear any resemblance to other registered trademarks. You just have to search a little further.

On the other hand, having such a domain name will make you lose out, especially if the other site is a competitor. What if your target confuses you with him, and then goes to him?

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9. Check your name on namechk.com

Now that you have a list of interesting domain names, all you have to do is check if they are still available. This tool is a great help: namechk.com. (Yes, not namecheck ! It's namechk) Very complete, it checks in 2 clicks and a few seconds the social networks, software... to see if it is still available.

Make a demonstration with the name Amazon. As a result, you will see different colors displayed on the concerned networks and software. The color codes used are :

  • green : to say that the name is still available
  • yellow : to indicate its unavailability
  • red : shows that the name contains an error

10. Reserve your domain name

Before someone else takes over the domain name, it is now time to reserve it. You have 2 choices:

  • You only buy the domain name, and you take care of the technical details when you're done choosing the right hosting.
  • You buy an accommodation package right away.

In the case of Webflow, you only need to buy the domain name. No need to buy a hosting because Webflow takes care of it.

What if the domain name is already taken?

Finally, you have been able to choose a name that is original, clear, simple, intuitive, practical and not yet a registered trademark. You check it if it is already present on the internet, and bad surprise: it is already taken!

You have to work on the extension

You will have to turn to the extensions. This is the little word that follows the domain name in question, i.e.: .com, .fr, .be, .net, .org...

It is true that the .com is the most interesting. It is obviously the most popular. It is the one that is easily retained. But if it is already taken, nothing prevents you from taking another extension. Besides, new TLD extensions (top level domain) have recently appeared. They accentuate the originality of your domain name, and thus, will certainly look better on other media such as business cards.

But first check for thecountry extension. Chances are, this one is not taken yet. It is especially local companies that use it. For France, it will be .fr; Canada, .ca; Belgium, it is .be; and many others. At the local SEO level, it is even the best solution! Google uses it to geolocalize sites.

Do you understand better why I chose happydesk.be as my domain name?

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Why not add more words?

Sometimes you don't have to look far. If a domain name is already taken, all you have to do is add a word and possibly change the order of the words to get a new one. But be careful! You must take into account the advice I explained earlier: copyright is very important.

I thought of this as an example:

instead of opting for flowdesign.com (because it is already taken), you can add "ly" and get a domain name like flowlydesign.com

Your customers will know that you work in the design world. Maybe if they know you well, they won't have any trouble to become aware that you specialize in creating websites onWebflow? And even if it's not your company name, at least you'll be easy to find on Google.

Be creative, make a sentence

If none of these solutions work for you, you will have to start from scratch in your domain name study. Instead of choosing a word, however, focus on a phrase.

This method also works very well. When we search for an information that is still unclear to us on Google, we tend to type a sentence that describes more or less what we are looking for. In this case, Internet users will have a lot of chances to come across your site if its domain name is a creative phrase that more or less describes your activity.

Anyway, don't forget one of the basic rules: the domain name should be more or less 7-10 characters long.

Acquire an existing domain name

Finally, you can also ask to be the owner of a domain that already exists.

Good or bad idea, in your opinion?

For some reason, I think this idea is great:

  • It already has enough traffic, and therefore, a high PageRank and domain authority
  • It also has authority blacklinks

Not all the domains you will find are expired, and therefore, it will be less likely for you to acquire these names.

Let's assume that you are really looking for an expired domain name. You will save a lot of time by using specialized tools. I know 2 of them:

Vigilance is still required, because even expired, it will be necessary to check that the name does not belong to brands. Also take a look at its traffic patterns. A constant downward trend perhaps? So it's not a good idea to buy it! Who knows, maybe it was hit by a Google penalty? Or maybe the owner just went out of business?

Another solution that can be more expensive in some cases is to buy a domain name from the company that owns the domain name you want. There are procedures that your host can perform for this.

You can also try to contact the person directly and negotiate a price.

This solution is usually required when a well established brand wants to buy all the related domain names such as: Amazon, Google, Apple, etc...


Choosing a domain name is not as simple as it sounds. It is not a simple name. Your image relies entirely on it, hence the importance of taking the time to choose it well. Making the wrong choice of domain name and then realizing it too late, can cause you many problems (loss of money, referencing, time, etc.).

So, from now on, when you choose a domain name, for yourself or for your client, you know what steps you have to go through:

  • Make sure that the name conveys the image you want to give, possibly including keywords related to your activity
  • Be sure that it does not resemble (or almost resemble), both in pronunciation and in writing, an already existing domain name or a registered trademark
  • Make sure it is easy to write on both mobile and computer, and that it is especially easy to pronounce
  • I mean, that it doesn't exist anywhere else. I really recommend namechk.com for this last step.


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