Once you have decided on which domain names you would like to buy, you need to check
if they are available. There are several ways that you can do this.

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  Home > Workshops > Choosing & registering a domain name >

Is your domain name available?

Name Razor - the ultimate naming software!

Once you have decided on which domain names you would like to buy, you need to check if they are available. There are several ways that you can do this.

The software method
If you followed our advice on the previous page you will have downloaded and started to use the Domain Name Analyzer ("DNA")software. If not, we suggest you do so - it's free, and it's a small download (500k). Click here to read about it and download it.

If you are using DNA, it will check for you whether domain names have been registered, or if they are available for you to register. It will even give you info on who has registered it.

But, if you don't want to (or can't) install software on your system, there's plenty of other ways to check domain name availability.

The online method
Most "domain name registrars" (companies who take the hassle out of buying domain names) have an online search facility on their web site. Our favoured registrar (they give excellent service) is Easily.co.uk. You can use their search box from here:

Searches for .co.uk , .com , .org , .net & .org.uk simultaneously

Just type a name and hit search. Don't type in the "www" bit

When you hit "Search", a new window in your browser will open, and Easily will pause whilst it searches the indexes. You'll then be shown a page which first tells you which of the variations of the domain name are available, and which ones have been taken.

Is your favoured domain name already taken?
If so, don't despair, because no-one owns a domain name; you only "rent" it for a fixed period - anywhere between 1 and 10 years. You can use any of the methods described here to find out information on who owns the domain name, and often, when their rental of the name is due to expire. If they fail to renew it (and this happens to thousands of domain names every day), you may be able to grab it yourself.

Don't expect to pick it up the instant it expires; there's usually a grace period of several months before an expired domain name becomes freely available on the market.

The amount of information that you will get about the current holder of a domain name will vary depending on the organisation administering the "top level" of the domain name hierarchy. There's usually a wealth of info about .com 'owners', but Nominet, who administer the .uk domains give away very little info.

Is your favoured domain name available?
So.. maybe there are some of the domain names that you would like that are available. How do you go about buying domain names? What are the pitfalls? Who should you buy from? Read on...


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This is who WE use for Domain Names
We have used Easily for all our domain name needs for several years. We recommend them without reservation. They are not the cheapest, but their service is efficient and reliable!

marketing, selling, web promotion

Just type a name
and hit search

Searches for .co.uk
.com .org .net &

Get your domain names from Network Solutions!
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* Marketing Magic is owned by Traynor Kitching & Associates, ("TKA")
an Internet marketing consultancy based in York, England.
All material is © 1997- TKA and other authors
Send comments and questions to: help@tka.co.uk
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