So you want to start a website for you or for your company? You will face many challenges - content writing, webdesign, SEO, maybe even online marketing like Adwords, etcetera. But of course, let's not get ahead of ourselves - the first thing to do is to register a domain name!
There are several ways to check whether a domain name is free, and which extensions are still available.
Is the domain you're looking for still available?
If a .com is what you're looking for, chances are the domain name you wanted is already taken. In the case of .net and .org your chances are slightly better, and the local extensions (.co.ik, .fr, .de) are often taken for the best keywords as well.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. First things first: you have to pick a domain name! It's preferred to include one or more important keywords in your domain name that you wish to be found for, which is important for the search engines.
After that you have the extension to consider: .com is the oldest extension on internet, and consequently also the most valued one, followed closely by .org and .net, its successors.
Try to avoid 'newer' extensions like .biz or .info, these still look a bit queer to the users and aren't that well indexed by Google either.
If you want to reach a local audience, the national extensions are fine also! .co.uk for the UK, .fr for France, .de for Germany, these all work perfectly well!
Where's the best place to look whether your domain is still available? Simple enough, go to the website of any company that sells domain name registrations, and you can check for free before ou buy!