What to Do if Your Domain Name is Taken

Written on 20 February, 2022 by Melissa Toh
Categories Domains Tags domain names

Business owners spend hours researching their physical and virtual “business property” such as brick-and-mortar stores, websites and social media platforms. Most don’t place the same value on the selection and protection of arguably their most important virtual asset – their domain name.


Guide to securing your domain name:

  1. What to do if your domain name is not available
  2. What is the domain aftermarket
  3. New .au is arriving


A domain name is a foundation stone for your entire digital presence. Today, it has become even more critical when businesses rely upon that online presence to build business growth or even survival. Whether you are an established business or just starting, a premium domain name is one of your most significant assets. Unfortunately for many companies, securing the right domain is very often an afterthought.

So, what do you do if the domain name you have selected is not available? Let’s explore some of your alternatives.

What to do if your domain name is not available

Option 1 – Add another word

Let’s say you are looking to have your brand name and domain name identical, but when you check domain name availability through WHOIS, you find that the domain name is not available. Try adding a word to your brand name and check again. Beware, though, adding words to your domain name can be ineffective, and that other domain is still out there.

Option 2 – Try another top-level domain TLD

More than just one domain extension is available, so make sure you check if another TLD is available with the same domain name. There are some effective ones that serve to place your brand domain geographically. This is a good option if you are 100% set on keeping your domain name the same (and you can’t purchase the existing one).

Option 3 – See if you can purchase it

Check domain name availability to purchase it

Businesses will check Google domains or the WHOIS database for the availability of their domain name. They may not understand that a domain name, whilst already registered, may be available either now or soon for sale on the Domain Aftermarket.

You really want that domain. You are invested in your brand, and all other parts of the puzzle align with that domain. So how can you purchase it? If you have tried to register your chosen domain name with us and the name shows as unavailable, there are two ways you can proceed.

1 – Domain is currently in use

If the website is populated and currently in use, you can search the domain name’s owner in the WHOIS database and email them directly to initiate potential negotiations. Please note that some people may have privacy settings, so a third party’s details may appear instead.

2 – Domain appears parked (unused)

Many businesses will not be aware that domain names, even while registered, may be available to purchase immediately or in the near future on the Domain Aftermarket. If the website is not in use, or is “parked”, search for the name on the domain aftermarket to check if it has been listed for sale on their platform.

What is the Domain Aftermarket, and how does it work:

The domain aftermarket is an online marketplace for domain names. The most usual ways to secure a domain via the aftermarket include:

Expired domains or expiring domains: 

Buy an expired domain, which is one that existing owners don’t renew. This is a great way to pick up an ideal domain name as domain names expire every day.

Dropping domains: 

Domains need to be renewed regularly, and owners may choose not to renew them for various reasons. By monitoring for domains that may potentially drop, you have a proven way to pick up desirable domains, including the one you are chasing.

For sale by owner:

In some cases, you can buy directly from the owner or through a domain broker, a domain investor or an auction site that specialises in listing domains. If you choose this option, take measures to ensure a smooth financial transaction and domain transfer.

There are several domain aftermarket providers available. Check them out and read their reviews before you start trying to secure your preferred domain. Often, the domain aftermarket will allow you to create an alert that will automatically send you an email whenever the domain name you are searching for becomes available.

Breaking Australian domain news! .au is arriving

what is the domain aftermarket

On March 24, 2022, a new generation of domain extensions will become available for Australian business – the .au domains. The new .au domain names will allow Australian companies to create domain names that are shorter, easier to remember, and very Australian. Gone will be the need to preface your domain extensions with .com or .net. You can simply add .au to your domain name.

So what does the .au domain release offer your business? They are domain names where your brand or domain name will stand out – and that’s what all businesses want. Learn about the benefits of the new .au domains here.

We believe the .au domain release will be revolutionary for Australian business. Apply for your new .au domain from one of the best domain registrar in Australia, Webcentral. And if you are eligible we can reserve your new .au domain immediately.

Simply register your interest here.

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