denic German Domain Name Registrar

Alternatives to a .de Domain Name

.DE domains are open for registration by owners from any country. However, if the registrant is not located in Germany, it is necessary to designate an authorised contact situated in Germany. This authorised contact will be responsible for receiving official or court documents on behalf of the registrant. In the event that the registry requests the authorised contact details, they must be provided within two weeks.

Numerous German Internet addresses (also known as domains) end in the country-specific abbreviation .de – this ending is understandably very popular in that country and is therefore frequently used. If you want to register a domain for your Internet presence, you may find that your desired domain name is already taken as a .de address.
Nevertheless, you still have the chance to secure your favorite name for your own website. This is possible by using alternative domain extensions. There is now considerable choice.

The great popularity of .de domains

The ending of a website is called a top-level domain (TLD). The abbreviation .de is one of the most used country-specific TLDs worldwide. Due to the fact that the .de domain is so popular, the selection of available website addresses with this ending is now relatively small. As Denic, which is responsible for managing the .de domain, announced in its annual statistics, around 15 million .de domains were registered in 2015 alone. Calculated per 1000 inhabitants, the city of Osnabrück accounted for the most registrations by a wide margin.

If you want to buy a suitable domain for your website and find that none of your desired .de domains are available, you have two options: Either you switch to a different address for your .de website – which often leads to a complicated, imprecise or unusually long homepage name. Or you can use another TLD (such as .com, .online or .org) that is still available in combination with the desired name. The advantage: the address of your own homepage remains memorable for users.

At the latest when a domain check reveals that the registration of a .de domain is only possible with cumbersome or overlong word combinations, you should consider alternatives. In addition to the long-established variants such as .com or .net, you can now choose from a constantly growing range of newer TLDs.

Generic top-level domains

In contrast to the country-specific “country code top-level domains” (ccTLDs) such as .de or .fr, generic top-level domains (gTLDs) do not necessarily refer to a specific country. Rather, gTLDs offer the opportunity to highlight the thematic scope of a website through the ending alone – for example, .com stands for “commercial” and .org for “organization”.

A distinction is made between different forms of gTLDs: Some domain extensions (such as .com, .net, .org or .biz) have existed for a long time and have established themselves over the years. Apart from these classic gTLDs, there are so-called new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs or nTLDs). These include those endings that have been gradually introduced since March 2013. Many new top-level domains are already available, with well over 1,000 expected in the long term. Examples include .online, .web, .page and .info.

With many nTLDs, the name already refers to a special offer. For example, .store, .sport, .club, .hotel or .reise can be used to emphasize the type and purpose of a web presence. Regional endings such as .berlin, .hamburg, .koeln or .bayern are now also available. The nTLDs offer many new opportunities to customize your domain to your own website. However, there are also nTLDs without a fixed context such as .xyz or .jetzt.

Find your desired .de domain now or alternatively choose from a variety of generic top-level domains:

Advantages of generic top-level domains

Some of the advantages of generic top-level domains are obvious – for example, if you want to set up a website for your company or brand, but the corresponding name is already taken as a .de domain: by using a different, free TLD, you can still use a memorable domain for your website.

It is also possible to use an nTLD to make the content of your website clear to visitors: If you run an online store, the .store, .shopping or .store extension is not the only option. Depending on your focus and product range, nTLDs such as .boutique, .fashion or .shoes could also be ideal for your offering. In addition to the examples mentioned, many other areas and sectors are covered by the nTLDs.

If your website is internationally oriented, you should use a generic top-level domain anyway. A .de domain appears nationally bound, whereas the endings .web, .com or .online are internationally understandable and do not suggest a geographical limitation of the offer.

Reserve and/or buy the right domain

There are numerous contact points on the Internet where you can register your own domain – so-called domain name registrars. These are companies or organizations that often also offer other Internet services, such as web hosting. As a rule, the providers will also provide you with a domain checker.

When searching for your desired domain, it also plays a role how much it costs. Prices can vary greatly: you can expect to pay anything from a few cents to around 10 euros per month. You usually buy a domain through a domain name registrar. The registrar then ensures that the registration request is submitted to the relevant registry and that all the necessary steps for setting up the domain are completed.
The path to your own domain is therefore easier than many people think. Even if your desired Internet address is no longer available with a prominent domain extension such as .de or .com, there are now many good TLD alternatives. The abundance of nTLDs in particular promises that anyone can register the right domain for their website.

Check for your available Domain Name here