A technique of checking domain name availability

7 min read
Juned Ghanchi

Can anyone reach your home or office without knowing the address? Just imagine — how can anyone know your whereabouts if you have no address! Similarly, like your home and your office need a physical address, your website also needs an “address” that can be used by internet users to find it. This post will explain the technique of checking domain name availability for use as the online address of a business website.

Check domain name availability in 3 steps

To check domain name availability anytime, day or night, simply follow these steps.

  1. Open the domain search box.

  2. Type in the name you want.

  3. Make the online purchase.

Before we list the steps, let us first talk briefly about domain names — what they are and how they are used for business.

Domain names are unique

So, what is a domain name? A domain name is your unique identity on the internet. It can be any combination of letters, used together with various domain name extensions, such as:

  • .in for companies that do business in India.
  • .com for businesses that operate globally.
  • .net, favored by ISPs but open to any business.
  • .org for nonprofit and charity organisations.

No two websites can share the same domain name. Thus, once the domain name is registered by any individual, business or organisation, no one else can use it legally. When the users type your domain name on the internet, they are automatically directed to your website and none other.

Domain Name Availability Your Story

For example, when the users type “YourStory.com” into their browser window, they are automatically directed to the website of the startup advocates in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Flipkart.com leads to a website and also appears in the company email address of cs@flipkart.com. The web address and matching email make Flipkart look credible.

Moreover, by registering a domain, businesses can increase brand awareness and bring more customers to their businesses.

The domain name also needs to be registered to protect your copyrights and trademarks, helping newcomers know that the domain name they might be planning to use is already registered.

How to find a domain name

After you have decided on a domain name that is less than 64 characters long, has no special characters or blank spaces, and contains only the letters A to Z, you can proceed to check its availability. While you might use numbers and hyphens (-) in a domain name, this is not recommended, as this can confuse those trying to find your website.

Open the GoDaddy home page — you will type your desired business name in the search box at the top. Those who have an operational company with a brand name have different options from those who are just starting up.

Domain Name Availability Mobile View OneIf you already have a business name

For those who have already named their businesses, start by typing your business name into the domain search box. Should you find that your business name is unavailable with the .com or .in extensions, you might consider another extension to get the domain that matches your business name.

Here are a just a few extensions for you to consider (get the complete list here).

Because these extensions are new, there are still many great domain names available to register.

If you haven’t yet named your business

Those who have not named their businesses have more options when it comes to domain names. You can actually choose your business name based on which domain names are available to you. This will save you headaches down the road, as customers will be in no doubt where to find you on the internet. Read this post for ideas on how to name your startup then proceed to Step 2.

Domain Name Availability Mobile View Four2. Type in the name you want

Let’s say you are thinking of the name “TheFlyingHorse” for a horse trade business. Type this name in the search box to check the results. In a few seconds, the results will appear on the page and let you know if your desired domain name is available or already taken.

When we type “TheFlyingHorse” in the search box, the result is shown as available. The price of this domain is shown and the schemes or offers available for names with alternate extensions are also shown. Consider your choices before you finalise the purchase.

3. Make the online purchase

Once you have decided, add the domain name you want to your cart and make the online purchase. It is now yours to use for a website address, an email address or both. Having your registered domain name in your website and email address gives a more professional look to your business.

To learn how to register a domain name with Hindi characters, watch this video.

Domain Name Availability Mobile View Not AvailableIf your first choice is unavailable

Now let's say we type “MysticHorse.com” in the search box. The result is “Sorry, MysticHorse.com is taken. Still, want it? Here’s what you do.” This means that the domain name is already registered to someone else.

When you go to the “Here’s what you do” hyperlink, a new dialogue box opens that offers help to you in getting the domain by contacting the current owner on your behalf to see if the domain is available for sale. The charges and commission for this service are mentioned, and you can choose it if you wish to continue.

Moreover, other suggestions with alternate extensions and their price are quoted below this section for you to choose if you want. You can either choose the domain name with an alternate extension or you can move on to a new domain name and check its availability (time-saving and best option).

Another option would be to do a WHOIS Lookup search and send the owner of the domain an offer for that domain.

Having multiple domain names is beneficial

Domain Name Availability Street Scene
Any business owner wishing to have a website must first get a domain name.
Photo: Shi Fauzia Flickr via Compfight cc

Once your domain name is registered, it builds the credibility of your business on the internet. You can further enhance the online presence of your business by registering multiple domains. You have the following advantages of registering multiple domain names:

  • By registering domain names that are similar to your primary business domain name, you keep your competitors from registering them.
  • You can also reach a range of markets by creating distinct advertising strategies on the various domain names you own.
  • Using these secondary domain names, you can direct more traffic to your website, as customers are given more ways to find you on the internet.

So using the example above, you could register:

  • TheFlyingHorse.in
  • TheFlyingHorse.com
  • TheFlyingHorse.trade

For a small cost, you now own your digital presence simply by snagging a cheap domain that's unique to your brand.

To wrap up

A domain name forms your unique identity on the internet and it’s very important to choose wisely. Ideally your domain name should match your business name — this makes it easy for customers to remember. To check domain availability is a matter of a few moments day or night, from your phone or computer. This is not a decision to be rushed into, but rather taken slowly and with great care. Why not check now?