Company Naming

Which is better if dot com is not available?

Patrina Mack Experts in global commercialization

February 26th, 2017

These options are available as an alternative: dot io or dot co or dot net? the dot com version is available for sale for $11000 which is non-starter at this stage. Any thoughts about which of these three are best?

Andrew Chapman Publishing Entrepreneur and Author

February 26th, 2017

I push back on the idea that one is not available, unless you are 100% stuck on it needing to be the exact name you intended. I'm not some domain name expert, but anytime my friends and colleagues say they can't get a dot-com for their venture or website or blog, I instantly challenge their belief. Usually, they've given little if any thought to alternative phrasings, often having a list of maybe a half dozen they came up with. After going through a little tough love with them, we come to discover dozens and dozens of viable options that are all available at the regular price. When I was going through this with Social Motion Publishing (which I named in part based on domain availability), I came up with literally 100+ domain names — not weird or misspelled or contrived — all available at the regular price.

So, since you didn't share what domain name you wanted that's not available dot-com, all I can suggest is this — pretend there is no alternative to dot-com, and then brainstorm until you have at least 25 *available* options. And avoid numerals, hyphenation, misspellings, or anything that needs to be explained... those rarely work in the long run. In my opinion, dot-com is still well worth the effort to get one, and without paying a ransom.

Michael Boezi Writer, Strategist, Educator.

February 27th, 2017

I did some recent research on this for my own biz, and there’s no doubt that your top-level domain (TLD) should be .COM. The two reasons are customer trust and SEO. The folks at Search Engine Journal say that .biz (or any other non-com TLD) "could associate you with low-ranking websites." There are some other good tips in this article by them too, some of which are echoed in this thread already.

In my biz, were making a choice between .com and .biz – so our site is built around, and we just bounce to it so we have a super-short domain for campaigns etc. I don't think it's a good idea to do it the other way around though. This is your core Web property, and you want to build it on a solid foundation.

Shel Horowitz I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

February 26th, 2017

Put your eggs in multiple baskets. Buy a couple of domains that you would have taken in the version but also generate alternative names that are available in (That's something I can help you with, very affordably, BTW). I have never yet come across a business for which there was no viable name on the open market (i.e., $12 or so for a year's registration). If you spend $100 or so on domain names, you can sift out which ones work better and meanwhile just build one site and put in redirects from the others.

James Abel Software/Hardware Engineer

February 26th, 2017

What is the nature of the company or project? .co is good as a general alternative to .com. .io is OK if your audience are techies/nerds. .net is less desireable to .co in my opinion.

Jon Schultz President, Blue String Ventures, Inc.

February 26th, 2017

The best is to see if you can get the .com on a pay-over-time arrangement or lease with option to purchase. Many sellers will agree to that to get their asking price or somewhat close to it. One thing to remember is if you use a dotcom you can brand on your name, whereas if you don't use a dotcom then the extension should be part of your brand. For example, if you want to name your company Americamera and you have the .com, then press releases and articles can refer to you simply as Americamera and people will look for you at the .com. But if you only have the .net, you should always refer to yourself as

If you absolutely can't get the dotcom, I would never go with a .co as you will easily lose both web traffic and emails to the .com (i.e. people will write to instead of The .io is too unfamiliar to most people and they don't know what "io" means. The .net is definitely the best of the three, however if you are going to do a video-rich website you might want to consider .tv, which is widely used and will only grow in use as the web becomes more videocentric and the Net and television converge. Plus, when people see a .tv domain advertised, they tend to visit the website because they expect to find video there.

Cheryl Malik Digital marketing, design, content strategy, mama.

February 26th, 2017

We typically work around the name dot com bit when it's taken, opting for some sort of phrase that makes sense. Think, or there's one I can't quite remember right now that uses get[business name] dot com. When building an agency named Layer Cake, we opted for

Lieba Golden-Koulendros Brand Distiller and Brand Namer

February 27th, 2017

Agree it depends on the nature of your business: does your offering exist primarily online? is it an SAAS or a retail shop? As an experienced brand namer, we no longer get really hung up on an exact .com name - using other suffixes is becoming standard, as is appending a descriptor to your name in the url.

Searchability is not solely about domain name - and as more apps are developed, consumers connect via icons.

If you have a strong name and identity, and can deliver on your brand promise - don't sweat the clean .com!

Chuck Bartok Social Media Consultant, Publisher, and Contrarian Curmudgeon

February 27th, 2017

If the Dot Com is out of budget I would go with .net. Over the years our experience with .net has been good. Not a fan of the new "

boutique" extensions.

BUT also heed the advice here about 'modifying' the name to get the .com

One of our domains was NOT available at .com so we added a word and used a .com

Few years later the .com came available, we grabbed and redirected the existing traffic.

Duplicated the content into .com

It took Google and other Search engine about a month to recognize and eventually abandoned the other website, but of course kept the domain for the future

Charles Gillis President

February 27th, 2017

Most people are unaware of the new extensions available in last 2 years like .consultant, .furniture, .land, .properties, .rentals, .city, .shop, .parts, .online, .today, just to name a few...Its the big domain name sellers who have thousand of .com names in inventory and are trying to sell them who hype the need that .com is king...... after all, whats a more effective name, or ?? How bout vs.

I think the whole ball game has changed when it comes to creating a name for a brick & mortar store or for an internet company, Now its name against name, he who has a name that grabs attention is likely to get the click, he who has a name that's easy to remember is likely to get the click...he who has a name that describes what the company does is likely to get the click....

That's the big difference between bricks and the web.....its all about getting the click!



Last updated on March 2nd, 2017

Hi Patrina,

We have Both .co & .net

But, etc.

has put

.co Prominently on the web "Map"