Frequently Asked Questions

General

How does Instant Domain Search make money?

We make money when you buy domain names through one of the registrars we link to. These referral fees are what keep the site running.

What is your privacy policy concerning my search results?

We do not share your search results with anyone. We do live EPP queries with VeriSign (the administrator of the .com TLD) on .com names that are not in the zone files to make sure they are still available to register. We make money when someone buys a name they found on our site through one of our listed vendors. We’re not in the domain resale business.

We try to select the best vendors in the industry, but we cannot be held responsible for their use or misuse of your domain searches once you click on their link from our site.

Instant Domain Search encrypts all of your searches with HTTPS to prevent others on your network from reading your searches.

How does Instant Domain Search work?

We download huge lists of registered names from VeriSign and other gTLD providers every night. Almost all domain names that are in use are included in these lists, called zone files. We index the zone files, and host the indexes in data centers around the world. For gTLDs whose zone files we do not have access to, we do a DNS query to check availability. We also do a live query with VeriSign directly for .com domain names to see if their status has changed since we indexed the zone file, or if they are in a state that would exclude them from the zone file.

When you first visit our web site, we determine which of our servers is closest to you, and set up a secure link from your browser to our server. As you type, we search our index for the exact match, and also try to come up with useful suggestions that you may also be interested in buying.

The availability and suggestion server is written in C++, and exposed to the internet with Go. The site is hosted on Google Cloud Platform.

The name I found shows as available on your site but it really isn’t. Why?

From time to time, we will list names as available when they’ve already been taken. This can happen when:

  • The name’s ownership is being disputed.
  • It’s about to expire.
  • It’s in the “Redemption Period” i.e., it recently expired.
  • The name has no nameservers.

On the other hand, we should never report a name as taken when it’s actually available. We only show names as taken when they are in good standing and have nameservers associated with them.

How do you choose a good domain name?

Read our article How To Search For A Domain Name.

Somebody stole a domain I found on your site. How can I resolve this?

This is probably a coincidence. Millions of domains are registered and expire every day. Please take note of the date and time of your search. Then compare it to the actual date and time the domain was registered. We care about your privacy.

Advertising Age: “A nifty, real-time platform for brand-name brainstorming.”

How do I search for a domain?

Search for a domain by typing in our instant search box. We check available domains as you type. If your name is taken, we generate available domain names and extensions you can register.

How do I find out if a domain name is available?

A domain search can tell you if a name is available. Use our instant search tool to see if a name has already been registered by someone else. The tool checks many different extensions at once and shows other available domains on the same screen.

Which is the best domain extension?

.com is the best domain extension. It is so popular that it can be hard to find an available name you can register. About 150 million .com domains are already registered.

What is a domain name?

A domain is the address where a website lives. It helps people find any website quickly. Learn more about how domains work and how to choose one for your company or project.

Extensions

What is a gTLD?

A domain name is the part of the URL that tells your browser where to find a website. A generic top-level domain (gTLD), is the last part of the domain, like .com. Since over one hundred million .com domains are registered, ICANN (the entity responsible for domain names) voted to allow more TLDs to be created. Hundreds of new gTLDs are now available.

What are the domain extensions?

A domain extension is the ending or suffix at the end of a domain. For example, for our web address, instantdomainsearch.com, the .com is the domain extension. The difference between domain endings depends on if it’s a top-level domain (TLDs) or a country code domain (ccTLDs).

How many domain extensions are there?

As of May 2021, there are more than 1650 domain extensions including TLDs (Top-Level Domains) and ccTLDs (Country Code Top Level Domain Names).

Generators

What is a domain name generator?

Artificial intelligence (AI) scans through registered domains and suggests available names that will fit well with the inputted suggestions. By identifying a list of valuable possibilities and combinations, you can use the domain name generator to brainstorm or select the best choice for your new domain.

How do I get a creative domain name?

Using tools like our domain name generator can help you search for the most creative ideas to choose the right domain name. Generating multiple results with a variety of words can help develop a creative name for you to choose from.

Which domain is best?

The best domain is the one that meets the needs of your business and translates what you do to your customers with clarity. Beyond your brand, there are top-level domains that are considered most memorable or most valuable such as .com, .org, or the country code where you are doing business.

How do I find a unique domain?

Make use of domain extensions and country code endings to secure the name that best fits your brand. Use a thesaurus or name generator to find alternatives when your preferred name is already taken. You can elevate this process by determining keywords that speak to your value proposition, or elements of your brand, that will speak clearly and directly to your audience.

Aftermarket Domains

Where is the best place to buy a domain?

There are many domain registrars and websites that will offer basic services for buying and securing your domain. Consider why you are buying, what kind of timeline and budget you can allocate towards the domain, then review fees and renewal policies. Many companies will offer web hosting services or do-it-yourself design features that can be accessed for an additional cost. These are not required to secure your domain.

Are domains a good investment?

Like any investment, the value of a domain is dependent on supply and demand. As with other forms of real estate, there is also an element of maintenance and improvement that can translate to a better return on your investment. Words, length, and marketability are key indicators of value for this type of investment so consider your skill set to increase traffic or authority for your domain name. The more work and patience you can afford to meet the needs of search algorithms, the greater your opportunity will be to profit from this type of investment.

How do I find domains for sale?

There are a number of registrars accredited by the governing body (ICANN) to process the registration of domain names. Both registrars and resellers can help you purchase the domain of your choice. Alternatively, domains can be purchased through broker-type websites and then registered with your preferred company.

Can I permanently buy a domain?

Domains can be purchased for a maximum of ten years as determined by the governing body ICAAN. You can secure your chosen domain and schedule regular renewals by keeping your payment information up to date. Most hosting services will offer reminders for renewal and a grace period anywhere between 30-60 days at no extra cost.

What is my domain worth?

The market rate for any domain is determined by demand. Top-level domain extensions and easy-to-remember words are generally more expensive than country code extensions or less memorable text. Many domain search websites can offer appraisals but the true value won’t be determined until you’ve found a buyer. Make sure your ownership includes public contact information so interested parties can connect with you. When you list your domain on a marketplace be sure to highlight any existing traffic, legacy, or authority your site might command to ensure the highest bid.

Expired Domains

Can I buy an expired domain?

Yes, but it must be dormant for 30-40 days. When you purchase an expired domain, it will be yours for 1-10 years depending on the terms. You can opt for auto-renewal to avoid expiration surprises.

How long do you have to renew a domain after it expires?

You have 30-40 days to renew an expired domain, depending on the terms of your registrar. After that, it will go to auction, where you can also try to purchase it, but it will sell to the highest bidder.

Do expired domains still work?

No. Expired domains only work when you renew or re-register them. When you purchase an expired domain, it maintains any inbound links accumulated over the time it was live. Some people buy expired domains from similar businesses to help with their SEO and Google rankings.

Business Names

How to name a business?

Our business name generator tool instantly creates unique ideas with the assistance of artificial intelligence to help find a unique name for your brand and website. Type in words that relate to your company’s service or products and choose from the list of automatically generated options.

How do I come up with a creative business name?

Creativity is a process of distilling the best opportunity from the options available. Connect to our business name generator to practice communicating your brand the spaces still available on the internet.

How do I get a unique brand name?

Standing out in a crowd is an important element when choosing how to promote your brand. Use a brand name generator to explore the many ways you can put your best foot forward. Generate names from available domains and choose a distinctive space to secure your business in the ecosystem of what already exists on the internet.

How do I come up with a name for my company website?

Generate a full page of company name suggestions by typing words related to your business proposition into the company name generator. Artificial intelligence will scan the web for the best opportunities to help you tap into your market and stand out from the crowd.