This is one of hundreds of videos where I answer questions for small business owners about website design. The question of the day is, “What if somebody is already using the domain name that I wanted for my website?” If you’re thinking of starting nike.com that’s probably taken! CBS.com, probably taken! There’s a ton of domain names out there that are not taken but the perfect domain name that you wanted is taken so what do you do?

There’s a simple way to find out who owns the domain name so you can approach them and offer to buy it from them. You can go to Whois database, it’s simple to find just Google  Whois database and it will show you a few options. You can go in and put in the domain name and every domain name has a registry behind it. It will tell you who owns it, their contact information, and even if it’s privatized there are some information that you can use to reach out to that individual.

Here’s the thing, if you go to that domain name and there’s a website behind it, most likely they’re not going to sell it to you or maybe they might do it so it’s still worth the try. If you go to the domain and it’s obvious they’re not using it then you have a pretty good chance, or they may just be using for email or other purposes. You can look up their information and say, “Would you consider selling your domain to me?”

Nowadays, there are some really cool domain extensions like fiddler.online, there’s no “dot com” at the end. The “dot online” is a domain extension so you may consider looking at various new domain extensions and try that for your domain name.

Kurt

Kurt Francom is a former partner at WordXpress. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has two kids and a massage therapist wife Alanna (a mechanic never has time to work on his own family cars). Kurt enjoys reading, writing, time-travel movies, attending college football games in the fall, and drawing caricatures.