Most companies and bloggers have been here before. You get everything you need for your business or blog then you start thinking of a website. You have already settled for a name so you pick up your phone and call us to register your domain.
But we get back to you with the not-so-exciting news. Our hosting guy Mary or Cyrus – whoever is in the mood that day – tells you that your preferred name is already taken.
Official stats show that the number of registered domain names has breached the 100 million mark, and the exercise is not slowing down. The fact that businessmen and bloggers are in a mad rush to get their names registered should scare those who are not yet registered. Think about a name right now. If it is a good one, it may be taken tomorrow indeed it has survived thus far.
Understand something: That your domain name is taken does not mean so is your business or blog. There is a way out. Or rather, into another domain name.
Mary / Cyrus (nothing to do with Miley Cyrus, we swear) asks you to come to our very fine offices at Pitman House on Jakaya Kikwete Road for a resuscitation.
This is what they will tell you:
“Let’s say “Your Blog” as the name of, well, your blog.
If “yourblog.com” is already taken, you can register your blog with a different extension like “yourblog.net”, “yourblog.info” or “yourblog.biz” just to mention a few. Of course, you have to bear the risk of people confusing your blog with another, but your style should be enough to bring them back home.
There is the matter of top level domains, too. These are domains with very specific extensions like ‘.blog’ , ‘.Kenya’ , ‘.accountant’ and ‘.consultancy’ among others. Sounds fancy, no?
You can opt for any of the two, or anything else in the world really, apart from being hosted on another website like WordPress or Blogger. This is because these platforms control your style, can lock you out of your site for violating their terms of service or other issues and can limit your access to analytics. Don’t you want the freedom to be in control of your style, templates, and content? That’s what I thought.
You can always switch domains later, but it’s a good idea to start with a web address you control while you build up your search engine visibility.”
After all that lecture, you ask if you can buy your domain name from the ‘evil’ person who took it while you were sleeping.
“Yes y, u can!” Miley Cyrus quickly respond. ‘You can contact the person and ask them if they are itching to do a deal. They may reject your offer out of hand, or even refuse to discuss it at all. They have the right to, whichever the motive they had when they beat you to it.
If you are not in a hurry to make money, you can wait to procure the domain when it expires, which may depend on the current holder’s attitude towards renewing their subscription. Again that is a big if.
The best bet will be to check the availability of a different name or, better still, extension. Because a domain name is your office online and just like we do with physical buildings, we can all be in one of them, on different floors.”
Call Mary or Cyrus on +254710135135 and ask them for more information on matters domain or everything tech. Don’t tell them we set them up!
James Njoroge is the Digital Marketing Executive at Legibra. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org