What Reasons Does a Business Have to Look Up Currently Used Domain Names?

Looking up who owns a domain name is as simple as typing it into a domain name database, waiting a few seconds, and reading the results. When you’re in charge of a business website, it might seem odd to spend time looking up the owners of other domain names, even if it’s a fast and free process. However, there are a number of reasons why looking up who owns a given domain name will stand to benefit your business.

Buying the Domain Name

When you check WHOIS, you’ll have access to the contact information for a site’s owner or the owner’s proxy. If you think the name is perfect for your venture, the only way to take the domain name while another owner has currently licensed it is to offer to buy it. Be aware that some owners may be reluctant to let go of the name at any price, especially if they’ve had it for several years and have established a business there. However, if the domain name is inactive, the owner may be waiting for an interested party to come along and make an offer.

Ruling Out Domain Names

A domain name database can also prove helpful when ruling out potential domain names for your site. Enter any ideas that come to mind and see if there’s a current owner. If there is and you still want the name, consider changing the suffix (from “.com” to “.net,” for example) and check to see if the domain is claimed again.

Snatching It Up at Expiration

If a domain name is currently owned, the database can tell you when the name is set to expire. While many owners set their domains to automatically renew, there’s a chance you can swoop in after it expires to try to buy it out from under them. This will allow you to claim it at the lowest possible price. However, if you contact the owner beforehand trying to buy it from them and they don’t want to sell, they’re unlikely to let the registration lapse.

Rather than asking a domain name owner to sell you the domain name or hoping to snatch it up when it expires, it’s probably easier to come up with an alternative, unclaimed domain name. Find the right webhosting service, and the entire web-building or site redesign process will prove so simple, you’ll wonder why you got stuck on having a certain domain name to begin with. You can even enter a claimed domain name and get suggestions for similar, alternative names that are yet claimed.