"What if the domain name I want is already taken?"

When you do your domain name search on the whois, you may find that someone else on the Internet has already registered that name for his or her own site. Try a slight variation on that name. Consider a hyphenated form. Think of a name that might be a synonym. Consider a name using "the", "this", "e-" or other additions that may be suitable. See if the same name is available with a different domain extension.

There have been so many names registered already within the .com .net .org registry, it can be difficult to find a suitable available name, and you will probably have to be creative. Two and three and four character names (not counting the extension) are already gone.

To ease the crunch, ICANN has allowed a longer domain name (up to 67 characters now including the extension, instead of the original 26), and will introduced new extensions in 2000. More are under consideration.

Occasionally, you may find your desired domain name "for sale." Unfortunately, there are a group of speculators on the web who buy up domain names, not to use for their own web sites, but to re-sell for exorbitant prices. While we all try to discourage this, little can be done at present. Just keep in mind that, while a catchy and easy to remember domain name is an asset for success on the web, it is no substitution for a carefully designed web site properly submitted to search engines and linked throughout the Internet community. You would usually do better to take your second choice domain name, and spend the extra thousands of dollars these speculators sometimes ask to apply to your web site content, design and marketing.

Finally, if you are the owner of a trademark or feel you have the intellectual rights to a domain name that has been registered by someone else, please refer to the Uniform Dispute Policy published on this site.

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