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I'm starting to develop a mobile app, and have a first choice name I'd like to use. However the .com domain of the name has already been taken.

Is it actually worth it buying it, or would you tempted to go with CoolNameApp.com or CoolName.net instead?

If you couldn't afford the .com domain name, would you use a different name for the actual app?


Also just to let you know I'm a student with not much money.


Am fascinated to hear your ideas and opinions on the importance of .com domains for mobile apps :-)

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Google takes $10/year for a .com-registration. Is this feasible on your budget? –  user1249 Jul 30 '11 at 13:46
    
Unfortunately it seems that for basically every passable name the .com domain is taken - I suspect usually by speculators. So to get a .com I'd need to reach a price with the current owner. And most time this will be more than $10 :P –  Jon Jul 30 '11 at 13:59
    
Note that common words cannot be trademarkable. Hence you need to find an uncommon word for your application if you want to be able to protect the name. A good candidate is if the domain name is available. –  user1249 Jul 30 '11 at 14:49
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Since you are talking about mobile applications, there is one specific thing that you must consider: the time to type.

Here's a screenshot of an emulator of Windows Mobile.

A screenshot showing .com, .org, .edu and .net pre-typed TLDs which appear when you hold .com button

By default, the TLD is .com. It means that to access example.com, I have to type eight characters. To access example.net, I have to hold .com button until I see the .com, .org, .edu and .net TLDs, then press .net. Finally, to access example.co.uk, I have to type all the characters, manually.

Speed matter, especially for mobile users with a small, uncomfortable tactile keyboard, and .com is the fastest to type. So in a context of a mobile application, .com is the first choice TLD.

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Thanks, I was aware of this, but it wasn't really as high on my list of priorities as perhaps it should be. –  Jon Jul 30 '11 at 16:27
    
I don't have stats on this, but don't most users type the name in google (or location bar) and pick the first one on the list? –  zzzzBov Jul 30 '11 at 17:00
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@zzzzBov: maybe less when using smartphones. First, they may find that passing by Google every time is long on a smartphone. Second, smartphones are used to access internet more by business people and people with technical background than desktop PCs. Of course, your comment is very valuable and the author of the question must consider the target audience of his application. If the app targets housewives aged 50 and more, my answer will not be valid any longer. –  MainMa Jul 30 '11 at 17:52
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Well a .com domain is what most people will default to if they cannot remember the actual domain. At least that has been my experience when dealing with your average person (in the United States). Now when I went to Europe, whenever I would see a sign advertising the site fro some business, nearly every time they were using the domain for their country (e.g. .se for Sweden or .de for Germany).

Another thing to consider is that people have started to try to integrate the domain as part of the address as a whole. Sometimes this can be a problem as you cannot always buy a certain name (For instance a friend wanted to get kulbert.is but he is not a resident of Iceland so he could not buy it). I personally did this with a site I am working on for a product called Icarrus so I bought icarr.us.

Overall you should buy a short, memorable domain name. The extension isn't so important, although it can have a meaning depending on the location and of course certain domain names cannot be purchased depending on your location and affiliations.

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Thanks for the advice, I have been trying to think of names featuring a domain as part of it. Also I live in the UK and I definitely agree with you, in that .co.uk is the most popular domain for local business. (But my app will be available globally, oh well.) –  Jon Jul 30 '11 at 14:01
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Use CoolNameApp - this is very common. Good for you for building an app as a student - this is a great addition to your resume, and fortifying this with a website is a super idea.

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