A Domain Name
Reserving a domain name means that it is possible to reserve its trademark or its trade name on the Internet, to put an Internet site on line to increase its visibility and exchange emails with a personalized and professional Internet identity. To hold your own domain name, means you will also be free to use it as a means of communication and you will be able to preserve the domain name for a long time to come so long as you renew it by paying the associated fees. It is independent of your hosting account, and you are free to switch and change hosts without any risk of ever losing your valuable domain name.
Some Thoughts Before Buying A Domain Name
We strongly advise you to check that your chosen domain name is already free or expired before you attempt to purchase it. Failure to do so can lead you into a “merry dance” of paying inflated fees and investing time in setting up watch campaigns on domain names until they (possibly) expire. This simple checking will also prevent possible legal conflicts in which the owner of a trademark would always have the sympathy and judgement of a court of law.
Finding Good Names
Go to any good search engine and type the phrase “expired domain names”. You will see a number of sites that specialise in helping to find domain names that have expired. A word of warning, don’t pay for this service there are plenty of free ones. Most run a script on the site that allows you to type in a word or phrase and find expired domains that incorporate your chosen word. It may take a little work if the script returns a number of results but believe me, this is a lot less work than trying to think up good phrases.
Precautions To Be Taken After The Purchase
In order to keep a domain name for longer than the purchased period, it is possible to set up email alerts when the name is due for renewal. Most reputable companies offer such a facility and it is always worth a small extra fee (not all companies charge for this service) to save the headache of trying to win back an expired domain name, especially a carefully thought out and cherished one.
Let me end this article with a word of warning. I have heard this story twice and both times it involved personal names used as domain names, i.e. johnsmith.com. One story I heard was from a guy who had 4 months left of his purchase but received an email that it was time to renew the domain. He chose to ignore it figuring, that he had a couple of months left to sort it out. The next month he found that the domain company he had purchased from, had sold the name to someone who offered to pay more for it. No amount of arguing got him his cherished domain name back.
The second story was more cynical. A friend told me he had bought a domain name based around his own name and had built up a steady stream of traffic focusing on snow boarding, his passion. He was making a useful amount of money from his blog when all of a sudden he noticed one day that his site redirected to a parked page with the company he had bought the name from. He contacted them and they said it was probably a glitch and they would look into it. The very next day the site showed someone else’s blog focusing on the exact same subject and with more and bigger ads to tempt people to buy from the site.
He contacted the domain company a number of times but never did get his domain name back. It was one of the saddest and most cynical stories I have heard regarding domain name theft.
In both these stories the companies used were small outfits who very quickly disappeared into the sunset. My only advice would be, always buy from a known and reputable source.
By Mike D Atkinson