Home | About & FAQ | Ideas for website names

What if my name is already taken?

If your name or your business brand is truly unique, then there's a good chance you can easily purchase your domain name.

But according to DomainTools.com statistics, with well over 125,000,000 existing domains,
and more than 100,000 new ones being registered every day, your name doesn't have to be
John Smith for you to find out that the URL you want is already taken.

So what to do if your name is John Doe and JohnDoe.com is taken? Here are some suggestions:

Use another domain extension

Option: Register JohnDoe.net, JohnDoe.co, JohnDoe.org, etc.
Pros: Address remains short and easy to read.
Cons: You may need to constantly remind people that it is not the most common .com address. Be aware of what actually
does live at the .com address, as at least some people will go there accidentally.

Add a middle name or initial

Option: Register JohnTDoe.com or JohnThomasDoe.com.
Pros: It uses the common .com extension and works if people are familiar with your middle name.
Cons: It's a little more unwieldy and harder to remember.

Add a clever modifier to the name

Option: Register TheJohnDoe.com, YouveGotJohn.com, OriginalJohnDoe.com, TheRealJohnDoe.
Pros: Very "Twitter Celebrity-esque and works for some people.
Cons: Harder to remember, feels forced, and tells everyone you couldn't get the domain you wanted.

Add an internet based word to it

Option: Register JohnDoeOnline.com, JohnDoeWebsite.com, etc.
Pros: Pretty straightforward and keeps your name as you want it.
Cons: Harder to remember.

Create a new word or company name

Option: Register DesignFroggle.com, DesignForSocialChange.com, etc.
Pros: Using a fun or generic word worked for Amazon, Google, and Yahoo. Just as easy to promote your company as yourself.
Cons: Harder to find unique names vs. back in the 90s. You still won't own your name.

Tie your name to your location

Option: Register JohnDoeNYC.com, JohnDoeInSeattle.com, etc.
Pros: Ties your name and brand to a specific part of the country.
Cons: You can never move.

Tie your name to your profession

Option: Register JohnDoeDesign.com, ArchitectJohn.com, etc.
Pros: Ties your name and brand to your specific industry.
Cons: You can never change jobs.

What NOT to do


Option: Register John-Doe.com
Pros: Straightforward.
Cons: It's one thing to see this written, it's another to say it. Every time you tell someone your website,
you'll need to say "John Dash Doe."


Option: Register Website4JohnDoe99.com
Pros: Nothing.
Cons: Again with saying it out loud… you'll need to say "The word website, the number four, john doe,
the number ninety-nine." You can do better than that.

Be too clever

Option: Register J0hnDoe or JohnDoh! or YouveGotSexyJohnny
Pros: You are clever for 1 minute.
Cons: People will be annoyed for a lifetime.