How to buy an emoji domain

emoji of transport and buildings and nature set pack icons
(Image credit: Shutterstock/OlenaSitni)

If you’re searching for a cute and catchy domain name that’ll make your website stand out in the crowd, you might be considering buying an emoji domain from a quality domain registrar – as you should, they’re coming top in the charts today.

It’s no secret that the choice of a domain name can help make or break a small to mid-sized business (SMB) and turn a personal blogging site into a rising star or let it fall into obscurity.   

A domain name is your site’s address, but it’s much more than that – it can be the first thing to strike someone's eye of your site, which makes it as important as your logo and brand name.  

Having a too wordy uniform resource locator (URL) may raise a couple of red flags and if it’s hard to remember to boot – your site’s fate is sealed, most of your would-be customers will steer clear of it.

So, your best bet is to keep it short, sweet, and somewhat catchy - and what’s a better way to make something simple to remember than to use something most of use in day-to-day communication, professional and personal alike? By sticking an emoji in it, of course. 

What is an emoji domain? 

An emoji domain is a domain name with an emoji or multiple emoji in it – it’s as simple as that.

With the first one created in 2001, emoji domains aren’t exactly new kids on the block. However, with the rise of smartphones, we’ve seen a serious spike in their popularity in the last couple of years. Some heavy-hitting companies such as Coca-Cola have experimented with emoji domains as part of their marketing campaigns as well.  

With over 2,600 unique emojis you can combine with text out there, the number of possibilities seem endless.  

How does an emoji domain differ from a regular domain? 

While emoji domains have been with us for quite 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 yet understandable. It’s because more than a couple of phishing sites have been spotted on emoji domains raising red flags for many domain registrars.  

What’s more, since emoji domains aren’t supported across all browsers, applications, and social media, if you wish to register one you’ll have to do it twice: first in an image form and then in a text format which is called Punycode – with regular domain, there’s no need for this.

For instance, if you want to use a shocked emoji for some reason (“😮”), after being converted 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 severely limited, with .ws, .st, and .fm being the only available extensions for a long time, if you don’t create a surprisingly unique combination of emoji – the domain you want could be already taken.

Registering an emoji domain is also a bit trickier than a regular domain, so we’ll cover that in detail a little bit later.

What are the benefits of buying an emoji domain? 

Despite drawbacks, owning an emoji domain comes with a bunch of benefits as well, so we’ll take a look at the top 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 that don’t even share the same language.

They’re all over the map from social media sites to customer support platforms intertwined in almost all aspects of our day-to-day lives – and they’re here to stay. 

2. They’ll help you connect with the younger generation

If you’re trying to get your site to speak the language of the new generation, upping your game with emojis might be a smart place to start. Unlike their predecessors, today’s generation grew up with emojis we now know and love – they’re their second language and they use them all the time. 

So, if you feel like something’s lost in translation while you’re trying to speak their language, try using emojis. 

3. They can step up your marketing strategy

Emojis can be seen all over the place from your great-grandmother’s Facebook account and your niece's latest TikTok video to best-selling clothing brands and billboards – they’re showing to the world they’re inventive, imaginative, and inexpensive marketing tools.  

Being easy to remember, emoji domains can benefit all types and sizes of businesses, start-ups, and booming businesses alike – and they’re best for subscription-based businesses trying to stay in touch with their customers, particularly if they’re targeting the digital nomads.  

Where do 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 have to convert your selected emoji to Punycode or choose the easiest path and pick out a register that does – your options include i❤.ws, dotFM, and Register.TO.  

Steps to buying an emoji domain for your business

In a nutshell, as suggested in the chapter above, if you want an emoji domain you’ll have to buy it from an emoji-specific domain registrar, or a regular domain registrar that supports emoji domains (for instance, Namecheap domain registration service). 

The simplest way is to go with an emoji-specific domain registrar, type the domain you want to register in the domain lookup box (don’t forget to pick out an emoji or emojis), and check its availability. If it’s available for use, you’ll be able to purchase it right away and for a pocket-friendly price to boot – it’s should be around $5 per year. However, if it isn’t, you’ll be prompted to pick out one of the suggestions.

If you took the hard path, copy the emoji or emojis you wish to use and go to Punycode converter, where you’ll paste it into the box and tap into “Convert to Punycode”. 

Once the conversion to ASCII is complete you’ll get a baffling bunch of characters you’ll want to save somewhere – the best thing about it is that you can mix multiple emojis any way you want and even combine them with ASCII - that is, any numbers, English letters, and special characters. 

The next step is to go to the domain registrar you wish to use and paste your preferred combination (Punycode alone or combined with ASCII) into the domain lookup box, check for availability, and finally, register your newfangled domain – and that’s about it.


Emojis are an easy yet effective way to add emotion and humanize your domain name while making it more memorable and thus more efficient as a marketing tool.

The only thing you have to do is to work out Punycode (which is super simple) and register your emoji domain like any other.

However, before getting started, bear in mind that not all browsers, apps, and social media sites will display your domain as you’ve envisioned. Also, there are a lot of look-alikes among emojis out there which might make some unfortunate web users mix up your site with others.

Mirza Bahic is a freelance tech journalist and blogger from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past four years, Mirza has been ghostwriting for a number of tech start-ups from various industries, including cloud, retail and B2B technology.