Should You Buy a Domain Name?

Your domain name is the main web address for your website. Ours is www.hadeninteractive.com. Choosing a domain name is important — a poor choice can make online success more difficult.

But what if your chosen domain name is already taken? Sometimes you aren’t the first Acme Wind Chimes to register for the domain, and someone else has already got www.acmewindchimes.com and that’s all there is to it. Sometimes, though, you get a message announcing that the domain you want is for sale.

I’m going to try to be fair about this. There are people who feel that a domain name is like a piece of real estate. You see an undeveloped piece of land on a street corner, you foresee that there will be a future value in the land, you buy it and hold onto it until it becomes valuable, and then you sell it, earning a profit for your far-sightedness.

Equally, the domain brokers feel, they saw that someone in the future might want www.acmewindchimes.com, so they put up their couple of dollars to park the domain and wait for someone to need that domain, at which point they sell it for hundreds or thousands, gaining their reward for their prescience.

I think I’ve expressed the viewpoint fairly.

The question is, do you pay that price? Here are some things to consider:

  • What’s the real competition? If www.acmewindchimes.com is parked with a bunch of irrelevant ads on it, then your www.acme-windchimes.com has a head start. Do an excellent job, and you won’t have to worry about other Acme Wind Chimes websites.
  • What are your alternatives? Don’t get your heart set on a particular domain name if there are others that might serve your purpose equally well. If you’re a new start-up, then availability of your most logical domain name should be a factor in the naming of the company. If you’re an established company with a new web presence, consider all the possible alternatives before deciding that you have no choice.
  • What’s the ROI? Considering the alternatives open to you, will you be losing customers by using an alternative name? if so, can you estimate what the loss will be? I was recently quoted $1778 for a domain name. I normally pay $10 for registration. If I believed that doing without the first choice domain name would cut my income by $1768 dollars in the first year, it could be worth my while to pay the fee.

A suggestion, though. You might want to go ahead and register YourName.com if it’s still available. Just in case.

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