When The Domain Name You Want Is Taken: Lesson Learned

2018-08-26 Photo of Kittens on Eleanor and Jane Blog
Meet my unfair competition: Jane and Eleanor from the blog, The Adventures of Eleanor and Jane

See this picture?

This what happens when you wait too long to register your domain name: it gets scooped up by your competition.

And since no one can resist cute, cuddly kittens, particularly a pair of orphaned sister kittens who were given a second chance at a happy home, I’d say they have a rather unfair advantage.

Let this be a lesson to you.

If your domain name is available, register it now.  Seriously, it’ll set you back $15 – $20 at most.  That’s less than a half a tank of gas or two Chick-Fil-A value baskets.

Even if you aren’t ready to pay for hosting yet, register your domain name. Or better yet, if you haven’t launched your website or blog yet, make sure the name you want is available before you go all in — and then, register your domain name.

It will save you the hassle of possibly having to rename everything in the future.

Back when I started this website, my goal was to just get it up and running.  And so I did.

I launched it on a free WordPress.com account. I chose WordPress.com over other free content platforms because I thought if I couldn’t have a .com site yet, a .wordpress.com site would look better than a .blogspot.com site.

So my official URL was (and is): www.EleanorandJane.wordpress.com 

My goal was to save for hosting and a domain name, and then to ultimately migrate this website to the self-hosted platform, WordPress.org.  I even went so far as to check the domain registry to see if EleanorandJane.com was available.  At the time, it was.

Then life happened, time went by, and I left this space dormant for some time.

When I returned fully committed to my writing career, I resurrected this blog. I soon realized that if I wanted to be taken seriously, I needed to switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog because that’s where all the professionals hang out.

I began researching hosting packages and design elements for my website.  Everything was coming together until, on a hunch, I decided to make sure my domain name was still available.  I typed www.eleanorandjane.com in the address bar and, bam!

In my absence, two kittens had hooked their teeny tiny claws into my space.

Never mind that one kitten was also named for Eleanor Roosevelt. (The other kitten, Jane, was named after Jane Ives of the TV show Stranger Things, not the literary great Jane Austen)

And never mind that the blog is written in the voices of Eleanor and Jane — yes, the kittens. Here’s the blog tagline:

Just two mischievous tabby cats that love to run and play. Here are our adventures through the eyes and voice of our family.

You couldn’t manufacture this cuteness if you tried.

I’m not gonna lie.  It was easy to get woo-wooed by their adorable furriness. I got sucked into their sad backstory and read every post.

After all, I’m not an evil supervillain.

Truth be told, I know Eleanor and Jane doesn’t exactly shout, Kari Watterson, Content Writer for Hire.  I chose the name for the women they represent, and partly for the way it rolled off my tongue,“What do I do? Why, I write for Eleanor and Jane.” 

I know conventional wisdom says your website name should clearly reflect your personality and brand. You should know by the name exactly what you’re going to find.  So while Jane Austen is a writer, it’s an abstract (albeit deeply personal) connection.

So it’s back to the drawing board for me.

I may decide to rename this blog and still migrate it to WordPress.org.

I may keep the name and just keep writing here on WordPress.com.

Either way, I’ve learned my lesson.

I’ve taken the plunge and set up hosting and a domain name for an entirely different project. It’s an idea I’ve been nurturing for some time.  It’s still in its infancy.  When I’m ready to share, I’ll post about it here.

My first two domain name choices for this new site were already taken.  Frustratingly, the names don’t even match the content, but I’m happy with the name I finally chose. It sets the framework for everything I’ll be doing, and one I’d be proud to promote.  It will take a bit of time to build this new website out, but at least I’ve preserved the name.

As for the other Eleanor and Jane, the supercute kitten duo that unknowingly stole my name and my heart, I wish them and their human family all the best.

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3 thoughts on “When The Domain Name You Want Is Taken: Lesson Learned

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