The downright staggering reality is that yes, you absolutely can have an emoji domain name! 👍
There are some caveats as to whether you can register a domain name that contains emojis, or is entirely made up of emojis. We’ll explore below.
We’ll also look into why you would choose to have emojis in your domain name, how you buy such a domain and the benefits of having a super-compact emoji-based URL.
What is an Emoji Domain Name?
An emoji domain name or URL is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of having the usual combination of letters (and numbers/symbols), your domain would use the emojis or emoticons that you’re used to using on your phone.
Real Examples of Companies Using Emoji URLs
Many large organizations either currently/permanently use, or have used emoji-based URLs temporarily in marketing campaigns:
Should You Use An Emoji Domain Name?
The answer is that it depends.
We would absolutely not recommend using it as your main domain name, but using it as a redirect/vanity domain name has some definite benefits.
Benefits Of Using It As A Redirect/Vanity Domain Name
Using an emoji domain name, not as your main domain name but as a vanity domain name can be useful under specific conditions for the following reasons:
- Link clicks due to curiosity
- Going viral on social media
- A unique gimmick to promote your site
In general usage, you’re not going to pass out your emoji domain name. But dropping it in your Twitter bio, or a tweet for example will pique curiosity, cause a buzz and perhaps even make your emoji link go viral.
The reason for this is that emoji URLs are massively underused and most people don’t know that it’s even possible. For this reason, they’re a curiosity and draw attention more than a standard link.
Emoji URLs Work Especially Well On Twitter
The Twitter bio and website link natively handle the display of emoji domain links. Most likely due to Twitter’s high level of support of emojis in general.
As you can see above, Kesha (and a few other celebrities) use emojis in their domains, especially on Twitter.
People are used to seeing links to websites in Twitter bios, so much so that they’re often ignored.
With emojis in place of letters, the URL will stand out much more and gain you curiosity clicks.
That being said we suggest you still include your main domain name link, with the emoji domain in brackets after it. This way you get the best of both worlds.
How To Buy An Emoji Domain
Buying an emoji domain is slightly more complicated than buying a standard domain.
The reason for this is that you cannot simply register a domain with emojis in it. You rely on the fact that web browsers will convert an emoji-based link into a plain-text link.
How Emoji URLs Work
Let’s look at an example:
So what’s happening here? Well, the emojis are being converted into what is known as “Punycode”, which is a type of encoding used for IDNs. IDNs are in turn used for domain names with special characters (or emojis in this case).
When you register the domain, you must register the Punycode representation of your emoji sequence, rather than the emojis themselves.
How to determine what Punycode URL you need to register
It’s very simple thanks to Punycoder. You can simply paste in your emoji(s), plus the domain name extension (.ws, .to, .fm, etc.) and you will be shown the domain that you need to register:
In the example above, if you want to register 💰💰💰.ws, then in reality you would need to register xn--ss8haa.ws.
Now you should know what domain you want to register, where do you actually register/buy the emoji domain?
You Are Limited To Which Domain Extension You Can Use
Unfortunately due to ICANN standards, you cannot use emoji domain names with the likes of .com, .org, .net.
Only certain country domain extensions can be used. There are around 15 extensions that you can use but only a handful are suggested as emoji compatibility is not guaranteed long-term for the others. Aim to use one of the following:
Where To Buy Your Emoji Domain
A lot of domain registrars such as Ionos will simply refuse to register such a domain. GoDaddy & 123reg on the other hand do. But to make the process a little easier, we suggest using a resource specifically for registering emoji domains. The easiest place to buy your emoji domain name is from i❤️.ws.
- Use their emoji picker to select the emoji domain name you want.
- You will be shown which domain extensions your domain is available for.
- It will then pass you through to the likes of GoDaddy to buy your brand-new domain.
Be Wary of .ml Domains & FreeNom
One of the options you’ll be shown is a free .ml domain. This sounds great but you will not actually own the domain and as a result, the following could happen:
Freenom can decide that your domain is not attracting enough traffic and revoke it. This will break the link wherever you display it.
Also, there have been reports of Freenom taking back a domain if the traffic is very high. Then it is redirected to a spammy website. In this case, your link on your Twitter profile, for example, will send users to the spam site. This could harm your brand and your credibility.
Choose a Website Host You Trust
Buying the domain is only part of the story. We also suggest that you choose a web host that you trust, that is reliable and that has good uptimes.
Remember, you do not need to use the web host that you registered the domain with. If you choose GoDaddy to buy the domain, you can still host the website & emoji domain on Ionos despite them not allowing you to actually purchase the emoji domain itself from them.
Our experience with Ionos has been brilliant, and in fact Earnologist is hosted with them. You can pay as little as £1 a month (or your country’s currency equivalent) for an Ionos unlimited storage and bandwidth package.
Whichever host you go with, make sure they are reliable, have good reviews online, and are competitive on price.
How Much Do Emoji Domain Names Cost?
The good news is that emoji domains are not more expensive than “normal” domain names.
The price of the domain will depend on which domain extension you choose:
- .ws: $9.99 – $39.99 for 1 year (Depending on if there is a sale on or not)
- .to: $37.99 – $59.99 for 1 year (Depending on if there is a sale on or not)
- .fm: $169.99 – $199.99 for 1 year (Depending on if there is a sale on or not)
- .ml: Free (But remember you don’t technically own the domain name)
Are Emoji Domain Names Worth It?
There is value in emoji domains from a visibility, curiosity, and marketing standpoint. While they should not be used as your main domain name, they can be used as a redirect domain to add to a viral marketing scheme.
It’s also important that your emoji domain name has some relevance to your main domain name.
So for example, for Earnologist we would do something like this:
- Earn: To make money.
- -Ologist: Refers to a branch of knowledge.
So, Earnologist becomes money + knowledge which as an emoji domain would become something like 💰🎓.ws/.to/.fm.
Much like any marketing tactic, the purpose is to get your brand, website, or blog known. If done right, an emoji domain name can be a fantastic marketing device or a way to drive extra traffic to your website.
Can You Make Money With Your Emoji URL?
It’s tough to quantify, but if your emoji domain gets enough eyes on it, that leads to more clicks and traffic through to your site. Just like any marketing tactic such as ads, social media posting, or even guerilla marketing – your results will vary depending on your skill in this area and your overall approach.
If you’re curious, as above you can go for the low-risk option of a .ws domain name for $9.99 a year. Give it a try and see if it turns into a viral money earner for you!
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