What To Do If Domain Name Is Already Taken

It can be frustrating when you’ve finally came up with the perfect domain name, only to find out that someone else already owns it. Coming up with the right domain name can be hard enough, and this hurdle can be enough to really take the wind out of your sails.

Sometimes people will even squat on certain domain names, all for the purpose of trying to make some quick cash. You won’t be able to force another person to hand over a domain, but there are a few things you can do.

Below we dive into what these things are. Keep frustration at bay by following some of the tips we outline below.


1. Will a Different Domain Work?

I know you probably have your heart set on a specific domain; otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. But, is it possible that you could modify the domain slightly?

Sometimes adding a word after, or before, your ideal domain will change it enough, so that it becomes available. However, don’t overcomplicate things too much by adding hyphens, or hard-to-spell words.

You still need to make sure that your domain remains memorable in the eyes of your visitors.

Domain Name


2. Can You Use a Different Extension?

A lot of people tend to focus on the .com domain extension. However, there are literally dozens of different extensions you can use for your domain. Some have more authority than others, but keep in mind that you don’t just have to use a .com.

Domain extensions like, .net, .co, and .me, are still very commonly used. See if your dream domain name is available with a different extension. You can always end up buying your dream extension later (if it becomes available), which we’ll dive into next.


3. Find Out Who The Owner Is

If you’re 100% set on using your dream domain and domain name extension, then be prepared to make an offer on the domain. To get started you can use a Whois Lookup.

Just search for the domain name and you’ll receive all of the publicly available contact information about the domain owner. Often, this will give you their email address, so you can get in touch with them to see if they’re willing to part with the domain.


4. Make an Offer on the Domain

Before you actually reach out to the domain owner there’s a few things you should know.

• Their asking price might be a little higher than you expected.

• Don’t make an offer in your first email. Often, it can be cheaper to ask the owner about their domain and if they’d be willing to sell.

• Feel free to make a counter offer, if their initial offer is incredibly high. It’s not uncommon for people to overestimate the value of the domain names they hold.

If you don’t want to deal with the negotiations yourself you can also hire a domain name broker like Sedo, which will help to simplify the process on your end.

Lastly, if you can’t find the contact information of the person who owns the domain, then your best bet is to just wait for the domain to expire. More on this below.


5. Watch the Domain (Just in Case)

If you’ve been unable to negotiate a fair price for the domain, then you can always just wait for the domain to expire and try to buy it before the owner has a chance to renew. But, this isn’t 100% guaranteed to work, so don’t bank on it.

The renewal process will depend upon the registrar they purchased the domain through. You can see where they purchased the domain name in the Whois information you found earlier. To keep tabs on a domain you can use a service like Dynadot to see if and when the domain becomes unregistered.

Just because someone else already owns your dream domain name, it doesn’t mean you have to give up. Hopefully, the steps above will give you a little light to make it through this dark time.

Has your dream domain name ever been stolen from right under your feet? What did you do? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.