26. June 2013–
Whether you are a startup developing apps or a small business with a brick-and-mortar storefront, having an online presence is essential, and finding the right domain name is the first step. Unfortunately, according to a recent Wakefield Research survey, 57 per cent of small business owners think finding a domain name is as hard or harder than naming their own child. Even if you don't have children, I think you can agree that finding a domain name for your business (which is really just a different kind of "baby") is a challenge.
I've seen many outside the domain industry blame this problem on what they call "domain squatters"; however what they are actually referring to is "domain investors".
Domain investing versus domain squatting
Domain investors, also known as domainers, and domain squatters are often confused, much to the chagrin of domainers. Domain squatters are people profiting off domain names that contain trademarks of known brands or famous people. Domain investors, on the other hand, acquire many different types of domain names and monetise them through reselling, pay-per-click links or development. Although domain investors and domain squatters can be one and the same, most domain investors choose to purchase generic domain names as opposed to trademarked ones.
Beyond registering a random assortment of letters (and trust me not all of them are even available – sorry, but keyboard mashing "asdfghjkl" is taken in .com, .net, .org, and more), there are a few options. One option, of course, is to try and purchase the domain name you want from the owner. If you don't immediately see your ideal domain for sale, you can do a Whois lookup to see who the owner is and contact them directly.
How much to invest in a domain name?
You'll want to do a little research on domain prices and you may even want to look into hiring a domain broker to help you with the deal. This, obviously, can be expensive, but it is something to consider. There was a great article on Forbes recently that talks about whether VC money should be used for a domain name. I highly recommend reading it, especially if this is something you are considering.
Another option is, obviously, to get creative, which, I admit, can mean registering a "tongue-busting" domain name. This is especially true with the popular .com extension, which boasts over 100 million registrations as of 2012.
For this reason, I urge you to also consider alternate domain extensions, in particular .eu. In case you don't know, most countries have their own domain extension, such as .de for Germany and .co.uk for Britain. The .eu domain extension is similar, but instead of being for a single country, it covers the entire European Union, which will total 28 countries as of this July. The .eu domain can offer you a more unique domain name, setting you apart as a European startup, and with .eu you'll have more opportunity to find a domain name that won't require you to repeat it 44 times.
Get your domain name search started with Dynadot, an ICANN accredited domain registrar. Right now, you can start your business on .eu for only $2.99 (2.25 euros) during our June sale. *Sale ends 6/30/13 23:59 CET.
This article is a sponsored post.