Domain Names – What You Need to Know

Posted on: May 1, 2013

Over the years, many customers have contacted us regarding problems with their domain name or names. While these problems range in difficulty and solutions, we encourage all of our customers to think about their domain names at the time of registration. The following is a discussion of common problems with domain names and the solutions to these problems.

Do you have yourcompany.com, or do you register one of the other extensions such as .ca, .org, .net, info, travel, biz or .mobi (the list can get extensive)? If you are looking to choose a domain name in the future, a .com address should be the first choice when available. If the .com is not available and you are a Canadian company, .ca is the next best choice. We also believe that picking up additional domain extensions can help you avoid problems in the future, as it prevents other companies from registering similar domains to yours. Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to get any of the extensions for the domain name you want, and then we encourage you to choose a domain name that is relevant to your company or product, and is easy to remember.

Problem with domain names is spelling

Do you have a company name that is easy to mistype, often misspelled, or that contains a word with multiple spellings? For example, your company may be Travel Centre, and you want the domain name travelcentre.com. In a case such as this it may be useful to register travelcenter.com if it is available. Related to this problem are singular and plural company names. You may own usedcar.ca, but what about usedcars.ca? By registering both domain names, you can maximize your exposure and limit confusion.

Unsolicited invoices from companies that you do not do business with.

The invoice will look legitimate and will charge you a fee for a service related to your domain. The invoice may cite web hosting, redirection and/or other services, claiming to have provided them. We encourage you to check the company name on the invoice to the company name you know supplies the service to you and only pay the charge if the names match. Also look for small print on these invoices. In most cases the small print will say something like “this is not an invoice this is a solicitation for business”.

Trademark or Wordmark Infringement

Another more frustrating problem is when a company uses yourcompanyname.com and operates a competitive product under that domain name or they try and hold you ransom for the purchase of the domain. When this happens, you might consider the following options. You can file a domain name dispute with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). Anyone who registers a domain name agrees to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, which allows any domain name user to file disputes under this policy. Your second option is to dispute their use of your company name through the court system in the county in which the registrar resides. This is a more costly option, but still may be worthwhile. The third, most simple option is to pay the owner of the domain name you want, if the price requested is lower than the cost of either of the first two options. There may be other solutions for such a scenario and each case should be evaluated individually.

High Pressure Sales Tactics

We often hear from customers or see emails where a company says some entity came to them to register domain names very similar to yours. They want to contact you to give you the first opportunity to register these domain names and if you do not respond in a set period of time they will register them for the said entity. Every time we have seen this is has been a high pressure sales tactic, the domains are way over priced and in actual fact there is no said entity wanting your domains in the first place. If this happens to you and you are concerned consider working with a company you know and trust to help protect you from these scams.

With any domain name, we encourage you to carefully consider which name you choose and what company you choose to help you. We can help you choose a domain name, and we recognize that a great domain name can make a huge difference to your Internet Marketing success.