So you finally found a name you love and unfortunately your thenameyouwant.com is taken. This is a too common problem and some say just get the .net or .org and be done with it and others say contact the owner and offer to buy the domain and if that doesn’t work find another name.
I’m in the latter group. Assuming it’s a serious long term business you’re starting always try to get the .com it will save you pain and sweat down the road. It’s a fairly common occurence that people who start their businesses using a less popular domain extension eventually tries to buy the .com domain in the end. Unfortunately, savy domain investors tend to their homework, if they realize you’re running an established business and now want the .com they’re going to grossly inflate the price because they know how desperate you are. Look at all the big successful websites, notice how absent .net and .org sites are. You will barely see anthing other than .com in the top rankings, whether you look at alexa rankings or rank online businesses based on revenue(facebook, google, amazon…). .COM is the gold standard. People have claimed over the years that .com will lose its value and other domain extension will rise in popularity but it hasn’t happened yet and frankly I don’t believe it will ever happen.
But I don’t have the money to pay that greedy domain hoarder and I really love the name what should I do?
I hate to say it, but I don’t like idea of getting anything else than .com as I said in the beginning. Just suck it up and find another name. You are not alone with this problem and there are no easy solutions. There are cases when it’s completely fine in my book to not get the .COM name though:
Nonprofit sites – .ORG fits well.
Non-english websites, where local extension is widely used. For example a german website with .DE is viable solution since they are so widely used and recognized in germany. For anyone wondering, I don’t recommend the .us domain at all. Dot com dwarfs .US in popularity so I wouldn’t give that a second thought. However, it’s ideal if you have both the .com name and the local extension in whatever country you’re targeting. Depending on the country, the .com can actually be almost as popular as the local extension or even more popular.
Websites that aren’t that important, just go with anything you can find in that case. For example a school project, a time sensitive website(example: worldcup2016.xxx or USELection2016.xxx). Since you’re not in it for the long term or it isn’t for business purposes then not having .COM is definitely okay.