Registering New or Taken Domain Names

As a business owner using weForms for your WordPress site, you may often find yourself in need to purchase a particular domain name.  Registering a domain name when it is unique and unclaimed is an easy task.  If the domain name you want to use is already registered, then attempting to acquire it may depend on your legal claim to the name. 

This article will give you a brief overview of purchasing a domain and the steps you can take if a domain is already registered to another entity.

  • Registering a New Domain Name
  • Steps to Take When a Domain Name is Already Registered

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Registering a New Domain Name

A WordPress site requires both a domain name and a server to host it.  In order to “own” a domain name, you will need to register it with a domain registrar. If your domain name has not been registered before, then you will be able to register the domain name through an official domain registrar. Here are the steps you would take to register an available domain name:

  1. Check the Domain Name.

    You would first need to make sure that the domain name is not already registered. Most domain registrar sites will have an option for you to check the domain name.  Make sure you have the correct spelling and check.

    You can also go to the official ICANN website  – Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers.  You can use the ICANN Lookup tool to see if your domain name has been registered.
  2. If you have not selected a particular domain registrar, then you can choose one.  Make sure that the registrar supports your top-level domain (TLD) extension.  In some cases, they may be limited to a specific few.  You can find a list of all the valid top-level domains here.
  3. When you register a domain name you will be required to supply a valid name or company name used to identify the owner of the domain.  Enter the domain name you want to register with your selected domain registrar, then pay the fees to register the domain.  Typically, you can register a domain for at least a year.

    Note, you may also have the option for domain privacy.  This allows you to keep your contact information private from the public.  The publicized information is typically contact information provided to the domain registrar. 

Steps to Take When a Domain Name You Want to Use is Already Registered

In some cases, you may be trying to use a domain name that is already registered.  Don’t let this get you down, as you may discover that the domain name can be available depending on a few factors or on how much money you want to spend to acquire it.

Before you decide to try to acquire a domain that’s already been registered, go through this list first:

  1. Check to see if the domain is being actively used, or if someone is simply sitting on it. In some cases, a domain may be on the verge of being available depending on its status.
  2. If you intend to pursue purchasing the domain, then make sure to sit down and determine the upper limits of what you will want to spend on acquiring the domain.
  3. Reach out to the current domain owner and see if you can find a way to barter for or purchase the domain name.  
  4. If you find that a domain name owner refuses to part with the domain name, then you may have to take legal action.  First, make sure that you have a clear trademark for the name you want to use. You may need to consult with a lawyer.  We highly recommend that you contact a lawyer experienced with domain names to help you navigate any legal action that you pursue.  You can also work through ICANN in order to see if arbitration is available for your particular case.

If you’re successful in getting the domain name from another owner, keep in mind that they may need to transfer the domain name to you and/or your selected domain registrar.  Domain transfers are not instantaneous and may require a little time to complete.

Finally, if you find yourself trying to use a domain name that has already been registered, then make sure that you have pursued all the variations of a domain name before trying to negotiate or pursue legal action to obtain the domain name.  In many cases, a simple variation on the domain name may be required.