Should You Use a Temporary Domain Name?

In a perfect world the domain name you want to register would be available, but sometimes it just isn’t, because someone else already owns it. One option if this happens is to just choose another name and register that, but some people think only the exact name will do, or will do best. If the domain name is registered but not being used, an option they might consider is registering a temporary domain name and using that until the name they really want becomes available. But is this a good idea?

The short answer is: No! If the domain name you want to use is already registered, even if it’s about to expire, that doesn’t mean the owner won’t renew the registration. The owner of the domain name may own dozens of them, and simply hasn’t gotten around to developing the site yet. Since the domain hasn’t been developed, the owner may not realize it’s time to renew until the last minute.

Another reason not to develop your site using a temporary domain name is that as your website is developed it is indexed by the search engines, and other websites begin to link to it, which will lift your rankings in the search engines. If you later manage to buy the domain name you wanted in the first place and transfer your website to it, you will have to start the process again. Even if you keep the old site and use it to redirect your visitors to the new one, you may confuse some of them, and you would have to rebuild your brand and reputation.

If you can’t get the domain name you really wanted, the best approach is to use another name and stick to that. In fact, it really pays to have a list of alternative domain names when you inquire if the name is available in the first place. The domain name is nowhere near as important as the branding you develop on your site, and as awareness of your brand grows, awareness of your domain name will grow with it. You can promote your domain name and your website even if the name isn’t the one you first thought was the “only one” you could use.

If you develop your brand name and promote your domain name and website content brilliantly, it might even become a household name. Just think of Google. Perhaps “” might have been the first domain name they thought of, but it’s hard to imagine that turning into a household word! Sometimes being turned down is the best thing that can happen.