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Free Domain Names for Businesses

I am a member of the UK Business Forum and I saw something there today which reminded me of a very important subject on businesses and the Internet.

In my time as a web designer I have bought many domain names both for me and on behalf of my customers. 10 years ago this was already quite difficult as many domain names had already been registered, especially if you wish to choose a .com and/or a .co.uk

This situation in itself is not surprising. The value of having the right domain name can be immeasurable for some businesses. I do have one complaint though.

Anyone who has been searching recently for a domain name for their business will have seen that the vast majority of registered domain names are simply not being used. How many times have you tried to register a domain name only to see the Go Daddy or 123-REG holding page?

Just a quick aside I must mention here. The first time this happened to me was back in 1999. My colleagues and I wanted to create a competitor to Ebay. Something which seemed achievable back then. We thought long and hard about a domain name and one of us came up with the great idea of ebuygum.com (I still think this is a great play on words). We were surprised and saddened to find the domain name had already been taken. It wasn't being used, it was just registered. I've just taken a look now 12 years later and the owner of the domain name is still not using it!

Needless to say, we never got the business of the ground and neither did we usurp Ebay!

So most domain names are registered by squatters hoping that one day they will either get a business off the ground using that name or in the hope that someone will offer them thousands of pounds to buy it off them. Sometimes I just wish that domain names were more expensive and it might put off people who do this.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

It may seem to the reader that I am very bitter about this situation and I cannot deny that I am sickened by opportunists who seem to be putting a strangle-hold on businesses and the Internet. Perhaps deep down I am.

But I also believe I am a positive person and I am happy to say that there is a positive I can find out of this situation.

In order to start a new business and to have your own .com and/or .co.uk domain name, you must be creative. Maybe the names of modern businesses would be much more boring if it weren't for the Internet and its lack of free domain names. Thinking of a name for your business takes a lot of thinking, planning and creativity. The lack of free domain names means that you have to be extremely creative. It forces you to use your imagination like never before when thinking of a name for your business. It attaches more importance to your name.

So let's allow these squatters to continue holding onto their domain names and shelling out renewal fees for no reward. We can get on with growing a real business and registering our creatively imagined business names for the standard and very cheap Nominet and Internic fees.

Fri 18 February 2011 11:01:49

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