You've got a new business or you're creating a new website and one of the first thing you have to do is register a domain. However, it's not that simple, because unsurprisingly, with over a billion websites out there, the domain you wanted has been taken.

Someone either has the same business name or a domain squatter is sitting on it.

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If it's a domain squatter you can contact the and ask to purchase it, but there is a chance they will want too much money.

However, don't worry. There are plenty of ways to get around this and get the perfect domain for you.

What is the purpose of your domain?

Before you start the arduous process of crafting a new domain you first need to really consider the purpose behind your website, who your target market is and how you are going to be driving traffic to the site.

If your website will primarily be promoted offline, for example in adverts on billboards or posters, or on you business cards, then it is incredibly important that your domain name is short and easy to spell.

Remember that people's memories are short and they will likely forget parts of your website domain if its too long. Which means you want the name to be intuitive and supported by your brand identity.

What can you do?

Alternative TLDS

First you should really consider using an alternative TLD. There are hundreds of new TLDs which rank equally as well in Google as a .com. If you're a restaurant you could use .EAT for example.

Using an alternative domain allows you to use your brand as a domain name whilst still clearly and concisely describing the purpose and value behind your website. If your primary sources for traffic are going to be Google search and referral then having an alternative TLD won't matter, in fact it could even help you.

For example, you might have a band with a strange name, you could use the domain ending .MUSIC. This will help inform people about the contents of your site, which in turn should mean more relevant people hitting your site and reduce your bounce rate, which will help your SEO no end.

However, because .com is still the most common, people might assume, and look for your website by typing into the search bar, so having an alternative TLD might not work for everyone.

Synonyms, Idioms, Word Play and Literary Devices

You want your domain to be original, unique and stand out from the hordes of other websites on the internet.

Start by researching ideas around your business, get a thesaurus and look for interesting synonyms. Go a step further and research idioms. These can help your create smart, unique memorable names.

Word play and literary devices, if your business is a little more fun can be a good way to stick in people's minds.

However, remember to keep it short. A long domain name can be off putting, hard to type into a search engine and more difficult to remember.

In addition, you should consider that people might want to actually talk about it, so anything to odd, or crude could damage your brand and limit your growth. Google are a great example of this. They were, rather obscurely, originally called 'Back Rub'. Can you imagine them becoming the household name they are today if you had to say 'i'll just back rub it' every time you wanted search for information online?

Make it into a phrase

If you are set on using a .com domain, and you really committed to a domain name, for example it's important to you to go with your brand name but it's taken, you can try making it into a phrase. Add a prefix or suffix and this will allow you to create an original phrase that will be easily memorable.

For example, The Tree are a marketing agency. However, their domain is This isn't just because they couldn't get their domain though. It was also because this is also a brand statement of confidence.

Try using the Domain Name Generator

Start off with a bit of paper and a pen, write down all the ideas you have, and any that come to mind. Create some captivating phrases, play with words. Try and imagine how your domain name supports and develops your brand too. You can then use the domain name generator to easily come up with thousands of domain name ideas.

The Domain Name Generator explores alternative TLDs, brandable domain names, and will help you get some great ideas. Even if you don't like any of the suggestions it will certainly give you creative inspiration. Then at the same time you can check if your domain is taken right there and then using the domain checker widget on the results page.

Final quick tips

  • Keep it Short

  • Don't buy a dropped domain unless you aware of the history of the domain.

  • Don't use symbols or numbers.

  • Be careful not to commit trademark infringement

  • Use industry relevant keywords, but keep it short!

  • Try and get the same social media handles as your domain name.

  • Buy similar domain names.

  • Get the most industry relevant TLD.