Thursday, March 13, 2008

What do you do if your domain name has been registered?

Gosh I'm really smacking myself in the head about this. I've been beating around the bush about registering a domain name (www.nookandpantry .com) and it didn't seem like a very popular name at all so I just decided to wait. I finally decide to register it and I was shocked that it's been registered, only two days ago!

So I have 2 questions:

1. What do you do if the domain name you want is taken. It seems like www. blogname.com is the most logical. Do I have any other options?

2. I'm also very newbie about this whole process but how do you go about buying/registering a domain in the first place. I looked at some older topics about this and it seems like I have a few options:
000domains.com, GoDaddy, Domain Direct, or Yahoo

Any recommendations?

This Post was written by Amy from nook & pantry

23 comments:

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Unfortunately, domain names are something of a wild west at the moment. For instance, when you check to see if a domain is available, that search is public information to other domain registrars, and if you don't snatch it up quickly, it is not unheard of for the domain registrar to buy it themselves (quickly and automatically)! For what purpose? To auction it off at a higher price than what it used to be selling for since now, it would appear to be desirable (after all, you looked at it so you probably considered buying it).

So if it is a domain name that you're in love with, the good news is that you might still be able to buy it without much difficulty. The bad news is that it might run you a little more than it ought to cost.

Also, if you're having trouble finding a domain that you absolutely love, you could always go with some other domain and make a subdomain (e.g. that's what I do--mikes-table.themulligans.org where "mikes-table" is the subdomain of the domain name themulligans.org). I use GoDaddy for the domain name, and for what its worth, I do my hosting elsewhere.

I hope this helps!

Andrea said...

Oh, Amy! I do understand your frustration. My husband has wanted a domain with his name on it for a long time, but since he has a, um, well, popular name (Michael Meyers), it's never, ever been available, though I think it has changed hands a few times.

Registering a domain name is extremely easy, and like you mentioned there are lots of places to do it. I happen to like GoDaddy and have been with them for domain registration and hosting for a long time...they've been very reliable and fit my budget.

For all of us, even if you don't want to host on your own, getting a domain name you want is pretty important because it helps keep your brand. You can set up a redirect that will point to your site on Blogspot/WordPress.com/LiveJournal/whatever, so if someone is looking for you and types in www.blogname.com, it will automatically point to your blogname.wordpress.com site. Easy, and only $10 per year.

If you want privacy on your registration, which I highly recommend, that costs another +/-$10 per year. Privacy hides your contact information (name, phone number, address) from people doing a WHOIS search trying to find the owner of a domain. It routes all contact requests through a third party company.

Good luck Amy, and let me know if I can help in any way.

DawnsRecipes said...

You could try nook-and-pantry.com instead. I don't recommend nookandpantry.net, though. People tend to type .com automatically, and you'd just be giving that other site all your traffic. Other options might be nookNpantry.com or amysnookandpantry.com.

Haalo said...

Whatever you do, don't type out the possible alternative names into search engines to see if they are available as they too will get snapped up. Only search through domain name providers.

Erika W. said...

I recently switched my blog over to my own domain, and the process couldn't have been easier. I went with Bluehost, and they have everything I could possibly need- including a rate that I found reasonable. I went from knowing very little about setting up my own site to having one up and running in just a few hours- they were so helpful. Customizations took a bit longer, but I've been very pleased.

One warning about changing from a blogspot. My blogger forwarding/re-direct only worked for a few days. It wasn't until a friend asked me where my blog went that I realized the forwarding wasn't working. So keep an eye on that when you get to that point. I just made it so that my most recent post at the blogspot address is a shout out to my new site.

sketchy said...

Using whois is a great way to see if things are registered. Many domain purchasing companies are shady with their squatting practices.

Deborah said...

Don't use GoDaddy to search, as anytime a search is done they block the domain for 15 days so no one else can buy it. If you looked at the domain with them in the last 15 days, it might be just blocked for yourself. Try again in two weeks! Good luck!

Delilah Hinman said...

Amy, you could try nookandpanrty.org or .net. (Or nookNpantry.com as someone else suggested.) I haven't used GoDaddy befor but they seem popular.

If you're looking to host your own blog, I recommend using BlueHost. They are super easy to use and a fairly affordable price.

Hope you find what you are looking for!

*;; Delilah

Eve Fox said...

Ah domain names. It is true that they've become somewhat of a wildwest. Basically, you're kinda screwed. However, there are a few things you can do.

1. if you absolutely only want that name nookandpantry.com - you can contact whoever purchased it (info that is available via whois) and ask them if they'd be willing to sell it to you but they likely bought it because they knew you wanted it and they'll charge you more than you'd have had to pay otherwise. OR if you're willing to wait a while for it to come up again (it will be at least a year depending on how long whoever bought it registered for) you can pay a bunch of money to a service that will wait until it's up for reregistry and if that person who bought it does not reregister it within the timeline, they'll buy it for you to make sure no one else gets it. But I think that can be rather pricy and the companies that offer this service seem rather sketchy to me, to be honest.

2. you can pick another domain name. if nookandpantry.net or .org is available, those would be good alternatives (if whoever bought the .com version did not already buy them). My domain name (gardenofeating.com) was totally taken because there are a few companies named that, etc. so I ended up registering the URL gardenofeatingblog.com instead.

Those are you options as I see them.

As for who to register the domain through, I would recommend GoDaddy.com since they are MUCH cheaper than Network Solutions, REgister.com, etc. A domain name will cost you roughly $10 a year to register and if you register for more than one year at a time, the cost per year drops, too.

Good luck!

-Eve
http://www.GardenOfEatingBlog.com

breadchick said...

Amy,

I did a quick "who is" look-see for you and found out who now owns the domain name.

Unfortunately nookandpantry.com was purchased by a company called UltraRPM, a domain name squatter that uses search engine predictive software to purchase untaken domain names to try and sell back to people like you. They charge anything from a couple hundred dollars to thousands depending on search engine rankings.

So, you could do some of the things suggested here to get a new name but beware, companies like this also start snapping up common versions like nooknpanty.com, etc.

Or you could contact them to inquire what the price is for the domain and decide if it is worth it for you to do that. Typically these squatters purchase domain names for 2 years.

Good luck!

Owen said...

A couple of suggestions for finding good combinations

nameboy.com lets you put in one or two word combos and suggests tens or even hundreds of combinations or similar phrases and shows availability - WITHOUT alerting squatters.

To see if a domain is taken quickly I do the following. I use OpenDNS as my DNS (domain name server) provider - it is free, open and provides lots of extras - go to opendns.com to check it out. Once you are up and running with them, just type the domain you are interested in into the address bar. If it is already in use you will get the web page. If not, they do a search themselves that shows you what's around like that again WITHOUT alerting anyone.

I use dreamhost for all my domain name registration - it is not the very cheapest ($10) but it is very easy and quick. I have heard bad things about godaddy - like the block the domain for 15 days thing.

Cate said...

What about registering something like thenookandpantry.com or mynookandpantry.com or something else along those lines? (Haven't checked to see if they're available...)

Amy said...

Thanks so much for all the feedback everyone! It was tremendously helpful!

I was afraid that there isn't much I can do about it at this point. Having to buy the domain from the squatter for hundreds of dollars is pretty ridiculous. I think I'll wait for it to free up, who knows maybe I'll get lucky. I'll also look into other possible domain names in the meantime.

Cyber squatting is such a nuisance, definitely very sketchy. Thanks again for all the help! :)

David said...

I also recommend registering common variations on your name. Someone registered the most common misspellings of my name, and those URLs lead to sites with just ads.

Unfortunately journalists don't fact-check like they should and I've had several articles written where the incorrect URL for my blog was published, leading people to one of those sites.

If I'd known then what I know now, I would have registered them. But I don't feel like doing the dance with cybersquatters.

Elise said...

I have been known to buy domain names for my friends, just so domain name squatters don't get them. (Like http://foodblogschool.com).
You can check and see if the purchaser of your domain name is willing to sell, though I doubt that if he/she is, they will be willing to part with it for less than $1000.

I suggest registering nooknpantry.com, if it's available and changing the name of your site to reflect the domain name, if you are serious about hosting your site on your own domain. Dot nets and dot orgs just aren't very useful.

Domain name squatting is a huge and profitable business. The minute you even think you might want a domain name and it's available, you should buy it, to keep the professional name grabbers from getting it. At Godaddy (which according to a friend of mine with 4000 domain names is the most reputable firm out there), the cost is only around 8 or 9 bucks a year.

And to David's point, think of all the misspellings too. One domain name squatter has about 4 common misspellings of my site (who knew the word "recipes" was so difficult to spell correctly?). Since I have a registered Trademark, and the trademark process started before this guy bought the domain names, I have legal cause to go after him, but it will still cost me about a thousand dollars a name to get them back, just in legal filing charges.

Elise said...

Had to add, my friend with 4000 domain names is not a squatter. He's just protecting a brand he's built. In a very expensive way.

Anonymous said...

When I first started my blog, a professional squatter bought the dot com name, so I waited a year, since they only registered it for a year. As soon as the year was up, they didn't bother re-registering it and released it. Naturally, I bought the name for safe keepings. So, even if a squatter has taken your domain name, they might not keep it forever.

Alanna Kellogg said...

When I first started Kitchen Parade, the domain KitchenParade.com wasn't available so I purchased kitchen-parade.com, then subscribed to Network Solution's e-mail alert if the domain I really wanted came available. It did - and I snatched it up.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

elise -- I am not a lawyer, but in having some trademark snafus of my own in the past, my understanding is that by not pursuing cases of trademark infringement that you're aware of, you are effectively forfeiting your trademark and if push ever came to shove, you might have lost all of your trademark protection. It might not be that big of an issue to you, but I just wanted to throw it out there just in case.

Amy said...

I haven't contacted the squatters about purchasing from them because I doubt they'll let me purchase it for a reasonable price and it might tip them off that I'm interested in the name. But I have hope! Maybe they'll forget to reregister next year and I can snatch it up. I'm definitely thinking about registering nooknpantry right now just to prevent it from being taken. I wasn't sure if GoDaddy was a good company but it sounds like it's the way to go (thanks Elise!).

Alanna, the network solutions alert sounds really handy, I'll have to look into that!

Thanks again everyone for the advice!

Amy said...

Update:
Hooray! Beth of Kitchen Mage sent me an email this morning alerting me that the domain was available! So I quickly purchased it through GoDaddy. Thanks so much Beth!

Elise said...

Wow, Amy that's a lucky break!

And Mike, thanks for the warning. Yes, I intend to go after these guys, and yes it is going to cost me. Grrrr.

kitchenmage said...

Amy, you're welcome! There has to be some advantage to all those years being the Web Goddess around my business.