How Many TLDs and Domain Variations Do I Really Need?
I started a business last year and got the .com version of its name. I also got the .net, .org, .info, .biz, and .us versions. I realized that the company name could be misspelled several ways. Wanting to avoid any risk of a competitor pulling traffic away or confusing my potential clients, I registered every misspelling I could think of in those 6 top level domains (.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, and .us). By the time I was done, I had spent nearly US$500, and need to pay that every year to maintain the names (all of which just redirect to the correctly spelled .com name).
So my question is, "Am I being overly paranoid or should I really be this diligent?". The company is a small web design company - I'm the only real employee, subcontracting some work to freelancers as necessary. My web site *is* my store and the only place potential clients can find out about me and get information.
It's not likely that someone would *purposely* try to get similar domain names to dilute my traffic (at least until I got really big and successful, at which point I could just hire an army of attorneys, right?). But from a business perspective, just how much do I have to protect myself and try to avoid problems before they occur. With the economy the way it is, I would sure like to avoid spending all that money just to sit on a lot of extra domain names.
Arguably it's a bit of both, I think registering misspellings is going a bit over the top as you could technically acuse the copycat of cybersquatting / typosquatting and have their website taken down fairly easily through ICANN's dispute policy, what might help is instead of those mispellings if you invested in getting your brand trademarked as you would then have the grounds to fire off against people trying to clone your brand on other TLD's (though keeping the ones you own are a good idea just for people who don't know what to type).
i wouldn't say you are being paranoid, you are just trying to rule out the possibility of any loss to your client. However, mispelling should not bother you cos misspelled events are much lesser compared to the proper ones. Just watch for an year and analyze what are people trying to spell out the doamin. One year analyze is enough for you to decide next years strategy.