5 alternatives when your ideal .com domain is taken

7 MINS
Web.com Team

If you’ve tried to register a domain name for a business or product recently, you know how competitive it can be. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with the perfect name for your new business, only to find that the business name isn’t available as a domain because somebody else registered it first.

But don’t panic — you have choices. In this article, we’ll explore alternative options when your ideal .com domain is taken. 

What to Do When Your Ideal .COM is Unavailable

Use an alternative domain extension 

Domain extensions are also known as top-level domains, or TLDs for short. The .com TLD, while by far the most popular for businesses, isn’t the only option out there. Currently, some of the most popular domain extensions that can work for a for-profit business include .net, .expert, .company, and .guru. Does your business run on a global scale (for example, an eCommerce website that sells products globally)? Then try the .global extension.

However, be cautious with using alternative domain extensions as some online visitors associate a number of them with spam. 

Check new TLDs

In addition to these alternative domain extensions, new ones are being added as we speak. Recently, Google released .foo, .zip, .mov, .nexus, .dad, .phd, .prof, and .esq. Imagine the fun and creativity your customers will credit you for when you launch with a URL address that’s radically new but is still uniquely relevant to your industry. It demonstrates to your customers that you’re not only up to date with the latest trends but also willing to embrace unconventional yet industry-specific domain extensions. 

Check out a TLD launch schedule so you’re more familiar with the tons of domain name extensions you can choose from. As we’ve mentioned earlier, practice caution on choosing your new TLD. You can refer to the Spamhaus’ list of TLDs with the worst reputations before locking in your domain name so that you don’t get a bad rep online.

Drill down into industry-specific domain extensions 

There are numerous domain extensions tailored specifically for certain industries, which can help your website stand out and establish credibility within your niche. If you sell auto parts and accessories or own an automotive repair shop, consider .auto or .car. If you provide tutoring services to students then the .academy extension might work for your business. A CPA could use .accountant or .accountants, and a consultant could use .consulting.

This type of domain extension also helps prospective customers quickly identify what your business does, which is especially helpful if your business name doesn’t spell that out. For instance, www.davidson.consulting is immediately clear, as compared to www.davidson.com

Try country-specific domain extensions 

A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is a top-level domain generally used for a country or territory identified with a country code. Having a .us.com ccTLD is useful if you sell products globally, but want people to know you’re based in the U.S. American-made products have a lot of cachet overseas, so the country-specific domain extension can be a real selling point for website visitors. 

You can also register a country-specific domain name for the countries you primarily sell to. For example, if most of your eCommerce business customers are in Canada, registering a .ca domain extension will help you develop a website with a Canadian flavor tailored to those customers. Country-specific domain names help protect your brand overseas, too.

Customers also seem to trust eCommerce sites that have country-specific domain names when shopping. Using ccTLDs can improve buyer confidence since it assures them of the availability of goods or services in a specific location. 

Get more local support with city-based domain extensions

Believe it or not, .nyc is one of the most popular domain extensions on the Internet. If your business relies on a local customer base, using this type of extension can actually give you a boost in search results if people in that city are searching for your type of business. 

Aside from improving the quality of search, having a city-based TLD can also encourage individuals to act locally. It’s a chance for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to promote camaraderie and community spirit. Furthermore, it signals that you’re a local business, thus, making potential buyers feel as if it’s easier to make a purchase from you. City-based TLDs offer high value, top quality, and genuine identity online.

If I already have a .COM, should I consider other domain name extensions? 

Even if you’ve been in business for a while and already have a .com domain, it’s a good idea to purchase alternative domain extensions for your business name. Domain experts actually recommend purchasing multiple extensions. By claiming as many domains associated with your brand as possible, you not only ensure that your customers find you easily online, but you also help protect your brand and its reputation from domain trolls and cybersquatters.

With more than one domain, you can use web forwarding to point your visitors to other online destinations associated with your business, such as social media accounts. This broadens your web presence and gives your customers more opportunities to explore your business. 

If you need help finding similar domain matches for your current domain name, you can try our free website grader tool and it will automatically churn out similar domain names that will benefit your brand online. Not only that, but you also get a full report on how your website works for you. If you need more help evaluating the free report generated for your business, you can always call the Web.com support team and they will be more than happy to help you with your domain questions.

5 Alternative Domain Extensions 

There are thousands of TLDs to choose from, so let’s narrow it down to five alternatives that can serve as worthy replacements for a .com extension. 

.NET 

The .net TLD is the most popular alternative to the .com extension. Originally intended for networking websites, the .net domain has evolved to be widely accepted and recognized across different industries and purposes. While it’s commonly used by businesses that specialize in networking and internet services, any type of website can now use .net.

.ONLINE 

The term “online” is understood in over 24 languages around the world. This makes the .online TLD suitable for businesses with an international audience and those expanding into the digital space. Whether you’re a startup tech company, a freelancer, or a brick-and-mortar store, the .online TLD is an easily-recognized and versatile domain name for all types of businesses that want to build a universal brand.

.TECH 

The .tech domain is globally recognized as a domain dedicated to all things technology, which makes it perfect for tech brands, tech bloggers, or communications companies. It’s a professional and industry-specific domain extension that immediately resonates with your target audience. When your website has a .tech domain, it becomes easier for anyone sourcing tech-related needs to pick your website among the search results.

.STORE 

“Store” is a word that anyone associates with the act of purchasing and the place where transactions take place. By choosing the .store domain extension for your website, you let everyone know you’re in the business of selling — right off the bat. If you already have an existing domain name for your online products or services, consider registering a .store domain as a secondary web address. This will enable you to direct customers to the shopping section of your website.

.US 

The .us domain is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) that’s specifically associated with the United States. This means it’s location-specific and you can only register a .us domain if your business is in America. Registering a .us ccTLD can significantly enhance your online visibility, as search engines prioritize showing .us websites to US residents. Therefore, if your brand or business is targeting people living in the US, doing a .us domain extension is a strategic step to establish a strong connection with your audience and solidify your brand’s local presence and credibility.

Look Beyond .COM 

There are a gazillion ways to get your brand name to stand out on the Internet—and having a unique and smart domain name extension can be one of them. Sure, everyone trusts a .com, but you’ll be sure to turn heads and get clicks when you have a catchy and unforgettable URL. So, don’t fret if your domain name’s .com version is no longer available. That setback just opened a whole new world of online opportunities for you!

  • Web.com Team

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