3 Mistakes I Made When Registering This Domain

April 28th, 2007 by Mr. Fanrastic

As you have no doubt noticed, this blog is located at www.fanrastic.com. But it almost wasn’t.

While I was pondering domain names, I made a few mistakes. I would like to share with you the lessons I have learned to help you avoid some of the pitfalls associated with domain registration.

Mistake #1

I used a web-based WHOIS lookup to check if my domain was available before I was sure I even wanted it.

What’s wrong with this, you ask? The short answer is that you can’t trust anyone on the internet. Believe it or not, I already knew this. That’s why I thought I would be safe using internic.net to run my WHOIS query. You see, internic.net is run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, including domain names. If you can’t trust them, who can you trust, right?

So I confidently submitted my query for fanrastic.com to InterNIC. It told me the domain was available, and that’s when I made my second mistake.

Mistake #2

Upon finding that my domain was available, I waited before registering it.

Waited for what exactly? Well I wasn’t entirely settled on the name at that point. I wanted to see what other names I could come up with. Turns out that while I was dreaming up new names, a sleazy outfit by the name of Capitol Domains had quietly snagged my potential domain.

So, a couple days later when I had finally made up my mind, I again ran a WHOIS lookup to make sure fanrastic.com was still available before I registered it. That’s when I discovered that Capitol Domains had registered it two days ago. Needless to say, I was pissed.

Mistake #3

I kept checking if my domain was available. (Okay, I didn’t actually make this mistake. If I had, this site probably would have a different name.)

So what’s wrong with checking up on your “stolen” domain? Well it turns out that most of the time when a domain is snagged before you can register it, the greasy bastards that took it are hoping it will attract traffic, because traffic equals money. By checking up on the domain, you are increasing the traffic to it, and are making it look more lucrative than it actually is. This also tells the slimeballs that you really want the domain, so they may decide to keep it in the hopes of selling it back to you for a significantly higher price.

But wait a minute, you say. How can they afford to register all these domains since most of them won’t generate significant traffic on their own? The answer comes from our good old friends at ICANN. They recently amended their policies to allow for “domain tasting.” This allows a person to register a domain for a short period of time (something like 5 days) and release it without incurring any costs if they don’t like it.

This is the reason I lost my domain, and the same reason that I got it back. Fortunately I avoided Mistake #3 because I did some research and realized that my best course of action was inaction. I just had to sit patiently and resist the urge to check up on my domain for a few days. In this case, I waited 10 days to be safe.

The next time you are considering registering a domain, keep the following points in mind:

  1. Never run a WHOIS to see if a domain is available before you are prepared to register it.
  2. Once you find that your domain is available, run — don’t walk — to a trusted registrar and register your domain.
  3. If you messed up #1 and #2 above, just sit tight for a few days and do absolutely nothing with your domain. With any luck, your domain will be released and you can claim it for yourself.

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5 Responses

  1. Rob

    Good lessons. To bad you didn’t get Pootastic.com

  2. Anonymous

    or scootin-aboot.com

    that one makes me imagine chase doing the bum-dragging on the carpet move around the living room.

  3. Scott

    I gotta get a picture of that.

  4. Anonymous

    I’d like to taste pootastic.com!

  5. ET

    Good to know!

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