If you’re looking for a cute and eye-catching domain name that will make your website stand out from the crowd, you might be considering buying an emoji domain – as you should, they’re tops in the rankings today.
It’s no secret that choosing a domain name can help make or break a small or medium-sized business (SME) and transform a personal blog site. (opens in a new tab) into a rising star or let it fall into darkness.
A domain name is your site’s address, but it’s much more than that – it can be the first thing that catches someone’s eye on your site, making it as important as your logo and your brand name.
Having an overly verbose Uniform Resource Locator (URL) can set off a few red flags and if it’s hard to remember to get started – your site’s fate is sealed, most of your potential customers will avoid it.
So your best bet is to keep it short, sweet and somewhat catchy – and what better way to make something easy to remember than to use something more used in day-to-day, professional and personal communication? By pasting an emoji on it, of course.
What is an emoji domain?
An emoji domain is a domain name containing one emoji or multiple emojis – it’s as simple as that.
With the first created in 2001, emoji domains aren’t exactly new kids on the block. However, with the rise of smartphones, we have seen a surge in their popularity over the past couple of years. Some heavy companies such as Coca-Cola have also experimented with emoji domains as part of their marketing campaigns.
With over 2,600 unique emojis that you can combine with text, the number of possibilities seems endless.
How is an emoji domain different from a regular domain?
Although emoji domains have been with us for a while, it’s still not allowed to add an emoji in top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .net or .org, which is unfortunate, but understandable. This is because more than a couple of phishing sites have been spotted on emoji domains raising red flags for many domain registrars. (opens in a new tab).
Also, since emoji domains aren’t supported by all browsers, apps, and social media, if you want to register one, you’ll have to do it twice: first as an image, then as a a text format called Punycode. – with a regular domain, there is no need for this.
For example, if you want to use shocked emoji for some reason (“😮”), after converting to Punycode, it would like this “xn--p38h” – so if your browser doesn’t support emoji domain instead of emoji you would see a confusing combination of characters above.
Also, since the number of TLDs for emoji domains is very limited, with .ws, .st, and .fm being the only extensions available for a long time, if you don’t create a surprisingly unique combination of emoji – the domain you want might already be taken.
Registering an emoji domain is also a little trickier than a regular domain, so we’ll cover that in detail a bit later.
What are the benefits of buying an emoji domain?
Despite the downsides, owning an emoji domain also has a lot of benefits, so we’ll take a look at the best ones.
1. They transcend the language barrier
Much like the smile that connects the world through a simple yet strong facial expression, an emoji can create a connection between people who don’t even share the same language.
They’re all over the map, from social media sites to customer support platforms, woven into nearly every aspect of our daily lives – and they’re here to stay.
2. They will help you connect with the younger generation
If you’re trying to get your site to speak the next-gen language, upping your game with emojis might be a good place to start. Unlike their predecessors, today’s generation grew up with the emojis we now know and love – they’re their second language and they use them all the time.
So if you feel like something got lost in translation while you’re trying to speak their language, try using emojis.
3. They can boost your marketing strategy
Emojis can be seen everywhere from your great-grandmother’s Facebook account and your niece’s latest TikTok video to top-selling clothing brands and billboards – they show the world that they are. inventive, imaginative and inexpensive marketing tools (opens in a new tab).
Being easy to remember, emoji domains can benefit all types and sizes of businesses, start-ups and growing businesses – and they’re best suited for subscription-based businesses trying to stay in touch with their customers, especially if they target digital nomads.
Where can I register emoji domains?
As of this year, there are 11 top-level domains for which emoji domain registration is possible and they include .cf, .fm, .ga, .gq, .kz, .ml, .st, .tk, .to , . uz and .ws; as well as 14 second-level domains.
Since most of the top domain registrars don’t support emoji domains, you’ll need to convert your selected emoji to Punycode or take the easier path and choose a registry that does – your options include I❤.ws (opens in a new tab), dotFM (opens in a new tab)and Register.TO (opens in a new tab).
Steps to buy an emoji domain for your business
In a nutshell, as suggested in the chapter above, if you want an emoji domain, you’ll need to purchase it from an emoji-specific domain registrar, or a regular domain registrar which supports emoji domains (e.g. Namecheap domain registration (opens in a new tab) service).
The easiest way is to use an emoji-specific domain registrar, enter the domain you want to register in the domain search box (remember to choose an emoji or emojis), and check its availability. If it’s available, you’ll be able to buy it immediately and affordably to get started – it should cost around $5 a year. However, if not, you will be prompted to choose one of the suggestions.
If you took the hard route, copy the emoji(s) you want to use and go to punycode converter (opens in a new tab)where you will paste it in the box and press “Convert to Punycode”.
Once the conversion to ASCII is done, you will get a bunch of confusing characters that you will want to save somewhere – the best thing about it is that you can mix multiple emojis as you like and even combine them with ASCII – that is- that is, all numbers, English letters and special characters.
The next step is to go to the domain registrar you want to use and paste your preferred combination (Punycode alone or combined with ASCII) into the domain search box, check availability and finally register your new domain – And that’s about it.
Emojis are a simple yet effective way to add emotion and humanize your domain name while making it more memorable and therefore more effective as a marketing tool.
The only thing you have to do is work on Punycode (which is super easy) and register your emoji domain like any other.
However, before you begin, keep in mind that not all browsers, apps, and social media sites will display your domain as you imagined. Also, there are many look-alikes among the emojis, which might cause some unhappy internet users to confuse your site with others.