I want to register a domain but all of my ideas are similar to domains that are already taken. Is it always a bad idea to use one similar to one already taken? Some of the names are taken but when I go to the site it looks like the site hasn’t been built yet or isn’t being used. Please help!
It’s not a bad idea, but it’s not ideal.
First off, it really depends on what the domain name is that you want to use. Is it a generic, non unique domain name or is it a domain name similar to a brand and is the domain name being used?
A PARKED DOMAIN NAME – GENERIC
Let’s say I wanted to register motorcyclesinfo.com, so I go to Namecheap to check and find out it’s already taken. Disappointed, I visit motorcyclesinfo.com to check out the website I wanted to build and see that the domain name is not even being used, it’s just a parked domain name, a domain name owned by a person or company who want’s to sell that domain for a higher price or perhaps will want to use the domain name in the future.
So I go back to Namecheap and discover motorcyclesinfo.net is available to purchase.
Should a person in this situation register it?
If the .com is simply a parked domain name, there is no problem registering a similar domain name with a different extension.
But what if motorcyclesinfo.com existed already and was a built out website?
FIND ANOTHER DOMAIN NAME.
Don’t be an echo, a copycat of another already existing website. Don’t infringe on the domain name of another webmaster either. Change the info part to something else.
A WEBSITE THAT ALREADY EXISTS BUT LOOKS LIKE IT’S NOT BEING USED.
Again, find another domain name.
Even if the website looks like it’s not being used or that particularly popular, come up with your own thing. You have no idea how much traffic a website gets or the audience built around it.
It’s better for search engines and the user experience as to not confuse anyone. You also run the risk of getting a copyright take down for infringement for having something too similar. Example would be if I owned designinstruct.com and you go and register design-instruct.com or .net and create a website that is very similar to what my hypothetical website is, you’re putting yourself in a precarious situation for no reason.
Find another domain name.
If a branded website becomes popular enough, a smart webmaster will go out and copyright their domain name. An example of this is smartpassiveincome.com, which is also branded as SPI. While each individual word is not unique, the combination is.
As SPI grew in popularity, up popped copycat websites. Smart-passive-income.com, smartpassiveincome.net and so forth. All of these websites were taken down because they were created to leverage the name recognition of smartpassiveincome.com.
A personal example is how I created a website on web design called JuiceBoxCreative.com. It was a fun, interesting domain name. Only 1 problem, Juicebox Creative is the business name of Juicebox.com.au. So if i was to work and build that website out, I’m creating something that is basically using the brand recognition of an already established business.
My approach online is to always create something unique for a website.
Take the same approach. It’s not the end of the world if you want to use a domain name that is similar to another domain name, particularly if the domain name is just a parked domain name or perhaps the website you want to create will have a different unique selling point.
But for the long term you will enjoy the process of creating something that is 100% your own as imitation is the shortest path to failure.