I know it sounds less professional than the word "registration" but that's how it feels to a lot of us, a treasure hunt. The fun of the search, almost like a lottery, appeals to the adventurer in me. Where to start? Where to get them? Which domain names are worth something? What variations should I register? What extensions do I need to cover? Is there something I am forgetting? Is there something I should ask? Once I have located the domain, can I get it before someone else? And how quick is the whole process?
Here is what I know ...
Where to get Domains
- Available domains can be searched for & registered at a registrar such as Webnames.ca.
- .CA domains that have expired can be pre-booked on the 30th day after expiry when. First, do a WhoIs search on the domain you want to register. After searching the name, scroll down to pre-book it. Domains are assigned the next Wednesday and can be managed 24 hours after that.
- Recently released .CA domains are listed here for pre-booking as well.
Webnames.ca also publishes a list of the very best to-be-released (TBR) .CA domains every Tuesday on Webnames.ca blog. All the names on the list, and more, are released the following Wednesday. Pre-booking doesn't guarantee you will get the name, but it give you a good shot at getting it!
- Webnames.ca Value Bundle comes with free Domain parking options, one of which is a "For Sale" page where you can specify an asking price for your domain.
- Already Registered domains can be purchased from the owner, however to make the transaction secure, I would suggest having a Domain Escrow manage this. I would also suggest looking up the Escrow at the better business bureau beforehand. You can search for Domain Escrows on Google.
- Ask Webnames.ca, we would be happy assist and advise you in finding a name. Call us toll-free at 1-866-221-7878
What a Domain is worth
This is a good question, which really depends on the buyer's need. Domain worth is determined by the buyer. It is a gamble, but a little research can help inform your decision. Some domains are worth more than others - for example domains that already are receiving considerable traffic. Some people have enough experience selling domains to set a specific price for sale, while others use the "Make me an offer" approach. Comfort with that comes with experience.
For more information on this topic, read the following article: What's your Domain Name Worth? Domain Appraisals and Pricing your Domain for Sale
Predicting brand and product names that would be desirable to companies can be one way to determine what to register. Single word domains in .COM are valuable and .CA is valuable for Canadian entities. Other extensions for well established entities could be worth something too.
If multiple word domains are purchased, make sure they are memorable, a common string or phrase, and easy to read as a domain string; such as lawnchair.ca, opposed to inthemarkettowncentre.ca which has too many words and is hard to decipher.
Less valuable, but when combined with a good marketing campaign can still work, are the two following options:
Dashes (-), are acceptable in domain names, but only recommended if they make sense for a name or phrase. They can present an alternative when the no dash version is already taken, or add clarity to a possibly confusing combination of words. For example, markettown.ca has two t's, and so perhaps market-town.ca would be easier to remember.
Another option is to use business 'type' in the name. funtimes.ca is already taken. Fun Times is incorporated, so I could register funtimesinc.ca or funtimesltd.ca. (Note 'inc' or 'ltd' was added)
Interchangeable or double spellings such as center and centre are often missed.
If you are looking to build a collection of names to work with, the above tips can help you get started. Domains are fun - and potentially financially rewarding - to collect, and some are awesome enough that they deserve to be polished, developed, and flaunted.