6 tips and tricks for registering emoji domain names

Yes, emoji domains are a real thing!

And what a week it’s been since finding out about how to register and use emoji domain names to promote business and personal brands.

If you’re like me then you are likely amazed with the emoji craze making it’s way into every aspect of lives.

From texting to emails to billboards to the web… are you of emojis yet?

Many companies are using emojis to position their brand in hopes of generating and converting more qualified sales.

If you’re thinking emoji domain names to be an option for your company or personal brand, please consider and keep the following in mind when registering emoji domain names:

Focus on .ws and .to extensions

Most of you will attempt to register a .com emoji name not realizing that .ws and .to extensions are the ones to use.

If you’re not familiar with .ws as an extension, this extension is a country code top level domain for Western Samoa.

As for .to extension, it is the country code top level domain for Tonga, yet it is often referenced by Toronto and Tokyo.

For now, both are the go-to extensions to use when registering emoji domains.

But as with everything in this life, that’ll likely change in the future with more tlds, domain extensions, supporting emoji domain names.

Get comfortable with punycode

To achieve domain name registration using emojis, you’re not actually registering the icon per se. You’re really registering an ordered special set of ASCII characters: Punycode.

Punycode is a special encoding must be used to convert Unicode characters into ASCII characters.

Okay, so what does all that mean in English? Don’t fret or flip out just yet.

Simply put, use websites like Punycoder.com and Name.com’s Punycode converter to determine what .ws domain you should register.

If you use Mac, you can simply access the emoji keyboard using Control+Command+Space. If you use Windows, then I recommend viewing these emoji keyboard guides.

Also, feel free to view, review, copy, and paste emojis from GetEmoji.com.

Technical hits and misses with everyday emoji domain use

kickstart commerce emoji urlBe aware that you could likely run into technical issues when using emoji domains as your primary web address.

Inconveniences, such as sending and receiving email, domain forwarding, and website hosting, vary with each domain registrar and web hosting provider.

Early adopters need to really keep this in mind! I’m certain it’ll all work out in the end, but some time may need to pass before we’re all in the clear.

For instance, I had to enter http://xn--gq8hef.ws into my Twitter profile’s website field instead of the link in the image.

You’ll likely experience this with a few browsers and devices until things are normalized in the emoji domain name world (likely soon).

Keep your thought and phrase short

Although it may seem like it, emoji domain name registration is not the time or place to play a complicated game of Pictionary or Charades.

When thinking of phrases to register, I recommend staying short and simple. Try your hardest and do your best to not include more than 3 distinct emojis when register emoji domain names (when and where it makes sense).

For instance, is it 🍆.ws or 🍳🌱.ws?  Obviously the first one is eggplant, but could the second be too, or is it a stretch?

Think of trying to communicate that you’re an “Ears, Nose, and Throat Doctor”.  That could be four (👂👃👅👱) different icons.  See, it can truly get out of hand and go south, and real quick too!

It’s proven time and time again that the human mind doesn’t do well with decision making when given more than 3 options. I don’t know who quoted such a thing, but it sure fits this situation.

Aim for uniqueness

Of course, you could slap any emoji combination together and call it whatever you would like. I encourage you to not do this though. Keep your emoji domain names simple and within context of generalized views and understanding.

Also, aim to use unique emojis when brainstorming registrations for domain names.

For example, there are many times of smiley faces (😀, 😄,😃) that could end up being confused by the user if they don’t remember which was used in your emoji domain name.

For more ideas, review EmojiTracker.com for which emojis are frequently used.

Stake your claim in multiplicity

Something to always keep in your forethought when considering registering emoji domain names is the fact that different emojis can mean the same thing.

Certainly register the most highly preferred emoji domain that best fits business or industry context, but don’t forget to also register those of lesser context.

Many businesses fail when it comes to defensive domain registrations in general, so don’t become an emoji domain victim by not defensively registering same-meaning options.

For instance, I registered 🍳🌮.ws (breakfast taco) and 🍳🌯.ws (breakfast burrito).  But there is also a literal egg emoji too.  Unfortunately, the same .ws emoji domains were already registered using the literal egg emoji.  Nevertheless, when in doubt, register all emoji domain name similarities.

How to register an emoji domain name

Although emoji domain names are quite inexpensive to register via GoDaddy and a bit more expensive at Register.to, take your time and plan out your strategy.

Don’t blow it all on emoji domains, but do register what makes sense for you and your business.

If you need help, I’m inviting you to watch my quick video with how to register emoji domain names and read my latest post.


Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.