August 27, 2008 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Which is better: or Or do I have to keep trying to find that isn't already taken?

In case the summary wasn't clear, here it is in more detail:

After much searching, I have some company names that I like. Unfortunately, the .com's for these names are held by squatters. That has led me to purchase names that are something like the following:

I've read this thread and talked to friends, so I get the consensus that anything-other-than-dot-com is the suckage and if I use a .biz domain I'll lose lots of traffic. But am I any better off tacking a stupid helper word ("software," "books") onto my name so I can use the .com? Will people end up at and if I use any of the options above? Is my only choice to keep looking for a company name that has the .com available in its simplest form and hope that I can come up with something decent?

Yes, I will try to purchase the .com's from the squatters, but I don't want to spend a lot on this, so I'm not hopeful I'll be able to get them.
posted by alms to Technology (17 answers total)
your best bet is to have a name where you can have
second to that is preferrednameinc/software/books/boston/

I'd stay far away from biz. far far away.
posted by nitor at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2008

Unfortunately, the vast majority of .biz addresses are scams and spam. There's baked-in distrust of any address that has a .biz TLD.

If you can get a reasonable-sounding .com name, take it.
posted by Citrus at 1:10 PM on August 27, 2008

Yeah, .biz has a rather spammy reputation and is best avoided.
posted by malevolent at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2008

Thirding what's mentioned above - I just get a creepy vibe from .biz. Probably most of your customers do too.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 1:36 PM on August 27, 2008

Have you thought about ? It seems to be available, although if the existence of a dash hurts the attractiveness of the domain name?
posted by tuxster at 1:39 PM on August 27, 2008

Avoid .biz... If is taken, a lot of your traffic will go there if you choose McSweeney's has to go to great lengths to announce the .NET in its name, since someone's sitting on the .com domain.

Look at the examples of,, and for ways that certain name brands have had to distinguish themselves (remove the bold portion and you end up at another company's site)'s not the absolute best option but it's still distinctive.
posted by kittyprecious at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2008

I instinctually avoid .biz domains. When I was starting my side business I was faced with the same choice and went with rather than

I'd sooner go with a .tv domain than a .biz domain.
posted by lekvar at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2008

And I don't know why it fascinates me so, but WaMu and WAMU are my favorite example of dueling TLDs.
posted by kittyprecious at 1:42 PM on August 27, 2008

Not even BIZ uses .biz
posted by Robert Angelo at 1:44 PM on August 27, 2008 [3 favorites]

Always .com if you can get it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:55 PM on August 27, 2008

Do these apply at all?
posted by desjardins at 2:05 PM on August 27, 2008

What about doing like delicious did, and going w/ a country code for your top level domain? So instead of, you could do Which would be from Spain.

Then again, this might not be kosher.
posted by nushustu at 2:13 PM on August 27, 2008

In my opinion, (also register and redirect, because they sound the same and people won't remember the difference as clearly) is the much better choice. People tend to blank on the .com / .org / .whatever since it's just there, part of any address, so they'll forget it later. Whereas if they heard your domain as, they're not likely to forget the software part.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:25 PM on August 27, 2008

Always .com rather than .biz. That said, there are still shorter names out there to be found. The key is to think outside of the box... or not worry so much that the domain describes your business (really, does Amazon describe what Amazon does?).
posted by twiki at 3:42 PM on August 27, 2008

Note that we at Delicious recently switched from to Choosing a domain hack dooms you to explaining how domain names work every time you tell a friend about your site.

I don't think there's anything wrong with (jacquilynne has a good point about registering too) or
posted by dreamyshade at 9:16 PM on August 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all, this is great feedback. The path forward is clear.
posted by alms at 12:36 PM on August 28, 2008

Sorry I missed this thread - but it looks like it's been covered nicely. Just wanted to offer my help in the possible purchase of your preferred name from the domain investor holding it.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:02 PM on August 31, 2008

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