Someone took my domain name. What to do?

So you’ve come up with a great domain name only to find out that it’s already taken. Don’t stress! There are many wonderful domain names out there, and plenty of ways to find another one that will work for you, or to potentially claim the one that you want. Here are some helpful hints for what to do next:

Strategies to Use If Your Domain Name Isn’t Available

Make a small change

If the exact domain name that you want isn’t available, a very similar name may still be. Sometimes making a simple change will result in a name that’s available. Remember: the key word is simple.

Use a new domain ending

One way to keep the domain name that you want may be to simply change the ending. The most common domain ending or TLD (top-level domain) is .com, but there are now a variety of TLDs, ranging from .net to .org to .pro. A TLD that’s relevant for you may even help explain and describe what you do. Get the full scoop on less traditional TLDs and whether one is right for you in our post about traditional vs new domain.

Make a tweak

Are there any easy additions or subtractions that you can make that will change your name slightly? If you’ve already established a brand or business name, you can try different ways of building on the name. For example, if “” is taken, you can try to get “” or ““. If your brand isn’t established yet, you could alter your name based on what’s available.

Don’t complicate things

The key to a good domain name is simplicity, so be careful not to complicate your name in an attempt to find one that’s available. For example, avoid things like hyphens, numbers or funny spellings. They’re hard to type and remember, and can lower the perceived credibility of your website. It’s better to go with a simpler second choice for a domain name than to over complicate your domain in an attempt to get closer to your original pick.

Stick with your first choice

Stuck on your favourite name? These may be your only options for landing it. It might not be possible, but it’s worth a shot.

Try to buy it

You can always offer to purchase the name that you want from the current owner. If the Whois information is public, you can contact the domain owner directly and see if they’re interested in selling. If the info is private, you can see if they have contact information listed on their website. Keep in mind: it’s pretty unlikely that the owner will want to sell, or they may demand a steep price.

Legal action

If you own the trademark to the name used in the domain, you may have an option to take legal action to claim the domain name. This generally applies only if someone is offering similar goods or services as you, and if they began using the name after you. The first thing to do if you believe that your trademark is being infringed upon is to discuss the issue with your lawyer or legal team.

Start with new Domain name

The easiest and best option might be to come up with a new name. Here are some good reasons why:

Red flag

If the name that you want is already taken, it means that there’s already another entity using that name. Trying for a similar domain name might create an originality issue or customer confusion, as well as potential legal issues. Do some research to find out if the name that you want is already a brand name or trademark. Your domain name should be unique to you, as well as free of any potential infringements.

Forget perfection

An important thing to remember is that there’s really no such thing as the perfect domain name. You can waste a lot of time trying to work with your original idea when a perfectly great domain name is out there right now. Why not go back to the drawing board and come up with something new, fresh and memorable?

For help brainstorming a new name, read the tips in our post about choose a good domain name.

With these strategies, it’s time to start planning your next move. Our last bit of advice: it’s wise to come up with a few backup names in case your top choice isn’t available.

Ready to have another go at finding a great domain name? Start searching now at Bluehost.

Questions and Answers

What to do if the domain name you want is taken?

  1. Make a small change
  2. Use a new domain ending
  3. Make a tweak
  4. Don’t complicate things
  5. Try to buy it

Are Me domains good?

It is attractive as it can be utilized both as a personalized web address and as a catchy business marketing tool. . me domains are great for personalized domains, call-to-action domains, and social network activities. . me domains are also a preferred choice for blogs, resumes, and personal pages.

Is .com or .co better?

While it’s possible to rank well for a . co address with good search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll never outrank the same domain name at a .com address. … co vs .com SEO isn’t as thorough. This legacy .com domain name extension is better overall for business and marketing purposes because it’s just more familiar.

How do you see if a domain is taken?

First, simply type the URL into’s search—we’ll tell you if the domain can be registered or not. Or, search for the domain in Whois Lookup.

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