The Effective Strategy For Choosing Right Domain Names

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Naming is linguistic design, and a good domain name is an important part of the overall design of a website. A name plays a prominent role when people discover, remember, think about, talk about, search for, or navigate to a website. It establishes a theme for the branding of a website before people even visit it for the first time.

Coming up with a good domain name requires a combination of strategy, imagination and good linguistic design practice.

You’ll find some basic pieces of advice all over the Web, and it’s worth mentioning those right away. Ideally, your domain name should be:

  • Short
  • Catchy and memorable,
  • Easy to pronounce,
  • Easy to spell,
  • Not too similar to competing domain names,
  • Not a violation of someone else’s trademark.

These are all good rules of thumb. But they lack specifics. These are really criteria to use to evaluate ideas for names after you’ve thought of them. To come up with a name in the first place, you need to know what type of name is best for you. And before you can answer that question, you have to answer two others: one about your resources, and the other about your Web strategy.

Two Questions

The first question is easy: Are you willing and able to spend lots of money on your domain name? If not, you can forget about a .com domain that’s a single real word, like Twitter.com or Amazon.com. They’re all registered, many by domain speculators, and buying one will cost a lot. You’ll need to look for a different kind of name. Real words on .net and .org domains are pretty hard to come by, too.

Word Map1
Image from the Visual Thesaurus2, Copyright © 1998-2009 Thinkmap, Inc. All rights reserved.

The other question is a strategic one and takes more thought: How do you plan to get traffic to your website? Answering this question can help you avoid a lot of confusion about what makes for a good name. Some views on this issue directly contradict others. For example, Rob Monster, CEO of Monster Venture Partners, believes that Google.com and Yahoo.com are “lousy domain names” and that podcast.com and slideshow.com are great ones. Marketing guru Seth Godin advises against real words like these and in favor of unique made-up names like Squidoo.com (his company).

So, what’s going on here? These two views correspond to different strategies for getting Web traffic. Monster is interested in what we might call a “discoverable” domain name. That’s a name that can be found by someone who doesn’t know about your website but is doing web searches on keywords and phrases related to a specific topic, or by typing those words and phrases directly into the navigation bar of the browser. Discoverable names are generically descriptive.

The type of name that Godin is talking about is a “brandable” domain name. A brandable name establishes a distinct identity and communicates indirectly to evoke interesting ideas and feelings. Some brandable names, like Squidoo, provide a unique character string unlikely to be found anywhere except in documents that mention that particular website. That means people who know the name of the website can easily use a search engine to navigate there. Godin makes good use of this advantage, though it may not be a significant source of traffic. A unique character string also makes it possible for mentions of your website to dominate top search results for your name. That helps establish credibility, which may be considerably more important.

Discoverable Or Brandable?

So, do you need a discoverable name or a brandable name? If you intend to rely primarily on organic search results for a specific topic, you might want a discoverable name… but not necessarily. Even if your website has a brandable name, it can still rank well in search engine results for keywords and phrases as long as it’s full of relevant content. Discoverable names are only necessary for people counting on “type-in” traffic.

Domainsbot3
Domains Bot64, a search engine that is geared specifically towards finding a domain name. It works best if you’re looking for a compound-word domain rather than an invented word.

Discoverable names are real words and phrases. If you don’t have the budget to buy a single real-word domain, then you’ll need to go for a phrase. Common phrases are often registered as well, so it can take time to find one. The trick to a discoverable name is not to be clever but to think of a phrase that other people would likely think of as well and would type in a search engine or navigation bar. The catch is that you have to find one that hasn’t yet been registered. Instant Domain Search5 and Domains Bot64 are great tools for checking the availability of domain names and suggest available alternative names.

If your marketing plans involve paid search listings and buzz generated by prominent mentions of your website, then you will almost certainly want a brandable name. A brandable name is distinctive, evocative and memorable.

Strategies For Brandable Names

So how do you come up with a brandable name? It takes some creativity. You sometimes hear people, including marketing people, say that a name should be an “empty vessel,” so that it can get all its meaning from other forms of branding. That’s not the most productive way to think when coming up with a name. Most great website names are connected to the purpose of the website in an indirect and interesting way. Often they use sensory images or tap into people’s personal experience in some way.

Some names are metaphors. PageFlakes, for example, uses the unexpected flake metaphor to help people understand something about how to use the website: you drag little boxes of content around, and they stick in the places you drop them, like flakes. Smashing Magazine is based on a word used in an enthusiastic appraisal of a performance, outfit, or design — “That looks smashing!” — but it also evokes the idea of being physically clobbered. That metaphor is brought to the foreground by the tagline: “We smash you with the information that makes your life easier. Really.”

7
Image credit: eBoy8.

How do you come up with a metaphor? First, you have to have a clear understanding of what makes your website special and interesting. Then you have to find a simpler concept that helps people understand that concept by analogy, usually by imagined sensory experiences. The sensory information used in metaphors makes them vivid and memorable. There’s no algorithm for finding a metaphor, but it often involves thinking visually, which should come naturally to Web designers.

Some names have indirect connections to a website’s purpose but not through a metaphor. Flickr.com, for example, relates to photography through the concept of light that’s implicit in the word “flicker.”

Putting Names Together

Because you won’t be looking for a single-word name (unless you have big bucks to spend), you’ll have to build your name out of pieces. There are several different ways to do that:

  • Compound
    Example: YouTube
    Two whole words, often two nouns, stuck together. Don’t let anyone tell you that this kind of name is a “fad” and will go away. This has been the most common way to coin new English words as well as to create new names, and that’s unlikely to change in the next few hundred years.
  • Phrase
    Example: Six Apart
    Words put together according to normal grammatical rules. Phrase names can be similar to compounds, but have a different pattern of syllabic emphasis. In compounds, the emphasis goes on the first word, the way we emphasize “white” in “the Whitehouse.” In phrases, the emphasis often goes on the second word, the way we emphasize “house” in “a white house.”
  • Blend
    Examples: Microsoft, Farecast
    A blend combines a part of a word with another word or word part. The name Microsoft combines the “micro” part of “microcomputer” with the “soft” part of “software.” When blends involve a surprising overlap in sound between the two words, they’re a form of wordplay. Farecast is like that. It combines the words “fare” and “forecast,” and “fare” resembles the first syllable of “forecast.” When you create this kind of blend, be sure to avoid awkwordplay: don’t pile up consonants in ugly ways (like in the name Syncplicity), and don’t use important words to replace syllables that aren’t emphasized (the way the names Mapufacture and Carticipate do).
  • Tweaked word
    Examples: Flickr, Zune
    Sometimes you can find a good domain name that’s basically a real word, but changed in some small way. It might have a modified spelling, like Flickr, or it might have a changed or added sound, like Zune (from “tune”) and iPhone.
  • Affixed word
    Example: Friendster
    Some names are new words created by sticking a prefix or suffix onto an existing word. Friendster, for example, is “friend” with the suffix -ster attached. Biznik is “biz” with the Yiddish-derived suffix -nik (as in “beatnik”).
  • Made-up name
    Examples: Etsy, Odeo
    Sometimes you can find a name that is, or seems to be, completely made up. For example, Etsy is an online hand-made goods marketplace, and Odeo is an online music website.

When building a name out of pieces, be sure that both pieces contribute something interesting. The name LibraryThing fails in this respect. LiftPort, the name of a company that wants to build an elevator to outer space, is not much better. The words “lift” and “port” have very similar meanings; both relate to moving things around. Neither relates to what makes this company really exciting, outer space.

Linguistic Design Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines on linguistic design that you can use in your quest for a name:

Meaning

Be specific:

  • Good: 37signals
  • Bad: LibraryThing

Appeal to the senses in appropriate ways:

  • Good: Twitter
  • Bad: BookGoo

Make every piece count:

  • Good: YouTube
  • Bad: LiftPort

If you use a metaphor, make sure it’s enlightening:

  • Good: PageFlakes
  • Bad: Fairtilizer (how is fertilizer related to music?)

Sound

Keep groups of consonants simple and appealing:

  • Good: Biznik
  • Bad: Sclipo

Preserve the natural syllabic emphasis of words:

  • Good: Farecast
  • Bad: Carticipate

Use sound to support your meaning:

  • Good: Etsy (a short sound for a hand-made goods marketplace)
  • Bad: Syncplicity (an awkward blend for an application that’s supposed to sync your computers seamlessly)

Conclusion

If you’re a Web designer, you know that the design process isn’t unfettered creativity. Rather, it involves elegant, creative solutions to specific problems. Naming is no different. Forget the cliche of the crazy adverstising or marketing genius who’s struck by the perfect idea as if by lightning. Approach the naming process in a strategic, rational way, and look for elegant solutions to your particular naming challenge. Even as domain names become scarcer and scarcer, with the right strategy and enough attention to linguistic design principles, building a great name is still possible.

Resources

  • Instant Domain Search9
    Checks the availability of domain names in real time as you type, and provides links to popular registrars.
  • ThinkMap Visual Thesaurus10
    Shows words linked to synonyms and other related words in interactive maps made of nodes and links. Paid membership required after a brief free trial period.
  • Visuwords11
    A free visual thesaurus based on Princeton’s WordNet database.
  • Visual Dictionary12
    Online version of the Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary. You can look at images to learn the names of things.
  • Name Types13
    Types of names in more detail, with lots of examples.

Related posts

You may be interested in the following related posts:

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.visualthesaurus.com
  2. 2 http://www.visualthesaurus.com
  3. 3 http://www.domainsbot.com/
  4. 4 http://www.domainsbot.com/
  5. 5 http://instantdomainsearch.com/
  6. 6 http://www.domainsbot.com/
  7. 7 http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/
  8. 8 http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/
  9. 9 http://www.instantdomainsearch.com
  10. 10 http://www.visualthesaurus.com
  11. 11 http://www.visuwords.com
  12. 12 http://visual.merriam-webster.com/index.php
  13. 13 http://www.thenameinspector.com/10-name-types/
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/06/28/domain-tools-and-articles-about-domain-names/

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Christopher Johnson is a naming and verbal branding consultant from Seattle, WA, USA. He has a PhD in linguistics and writes about names and language on his blog The Name Inspector.

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  1. 1

    Sigh, if only every good name wasn’t taken.
    You’ve ruined creativity on the internet. You know who you are…

    2
  2. 2

    Andrew Philpott

    May 2, 2009 6:21 am

    Great article. I’m trying to think of a domain name right now. This was really helpful!

    1
  3. 3

    Whilst you make a lot of very worthwhile and completely valid points; I think some of the examples you have used are somewhat subjective. You seem to dislike the name “Syncplicity” whilst I think it is a great name for that particular company.

    -1
  4. 4

    Nice article, would have liked to see http://domai.nr/ and Domain Hacks mentioned!

    0
  5. 5

    This is a fabulous post. The only cavil I have is that “monster.com” is not a discoverable name. Monster is a job hunting site. It’s hard for me to imagine how anyone who didn’t know the Monster brand would somehow discover them as a result of any sort of rational search. In fact, it’s one of the greatest empty vessel names in the history of the Net.

    1
  6. 6

    An informative post.The problem is that most of the likeable and catchy domain names
    have already been simply registered,for the sake of reselling it for considerable amounts.

    0
  7. 7

    The Name Inspector

    May 2, 2009 7:47 am

    Thanks Seth. I agree, Monster.com is not a discoverable name. That should read “Monster is interested in,,,”, meaning Rob Monster, CEO of Monster Venture Partners.

    0
  8. 8

    Darwin Santos

    May 2, 2009 7:53 am

    Awesome article, a good domain name translates into a lot of good things, such as, a good layout, a good customer experience, great look and feel on the website, etc etc.

    0
  9. 9

    syncplicity isnt such a bad name… Maybe you can tell us on what base you made all those choices..

    1
  10. 10

    Davey Struijk

    May 2, 2009 8:10 am

    Nice article. I still need to think of a domain name for a new website, hope this will help.

    1
  11. 11

    The Name Inspector

    May 2, 2009 8:15 am

    A couple of you objected to my use of Syncplicity as an example of a bad name. The major flaw is the complex and awkward consonant cluster “ncpl”, which is kind of hard to pronounce for English speakers and which gives the name a sound that is not at all smooth and seamless (which would be the appropriate sound, given the meaning of this name).

    1
  12. 12

    very subjective and full of personal opinions, but a nice discussion nonetheless

    1
  13. 13

    Scott is dead right. With the ways things are at the moment, and .com being the most obvious choice for a internationally targeted website its near impossible to find anything suitable! You now need to be very creative and pretty much make up words.

    Just this week I had the same problem. Every name idea I had come up with was taken as a .com – the most annoying thing is that the domains arent even being used! This is what really grinds my gears! (shaking fist at parked domains)

    Good tips nonetheless! :)

    You may want to check out this fun little tool: http://www.dotomator.com/web20.html

    :)

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  14. 14

    You forgot to add foreign word names (latin words for instance).
    Nice article nevertheless.

    0
  15. 15

    awesome post.

    0
  16. 16

    Very interesting post, lots of good useful information about domains, I’m working on purchasing a few new domain names and this new information will definitely come in handy.

    ——————————————————-

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  17. 17

    I really agree that a name should evoke something intentional. Especially when you’re starting something new, as in a business, or an event, you want to evoke something in the minds of everyone who hears it. It’s well worth spending the extra time to get it right (and it does take a lot of time, in my experience).

    Here’s an example: a few weeks ago, we noticed that less than 50 people had bothered to upload videos to their profiles (out of 28k members) on Biznik. That’s a huge missed opportunity for small business people to tell their stories. So we dreamed up an event that would have 12 video cameras rolling all night, with the idea that each attendee would get up to 10 minutes of camera time to tell their story. Afterward they’d get their edited 3-5 minute clip to use on YouTube, Facebook, Biznik or social media of their choice. Later we got the bright idea to take the best interviews and cut them into a short film that would tell a big story about entrepreneurship.

    Coming up with the right name for this event was crucial. It had to convey some meaning, be short, and memorable. We did a brainstorming session with our entire team plus two consultants, and we came up with a single word: “shine.”

    It conveyed the idea – small business people often feel invisible, and this was their night to “shine.” The idea of being filmed implies shining, as in “you are the star tonight.”

    With four days to go until SHINE on May 6, the event has attracted more RSVPs than any other event we’ve ever done – 545 at last count. I think choosing the right name was a big part of that success. Words matter!

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  18. 18

    Fantastic article SM!
    I was lucky to have had a lightning moment back in November which struck me with a gorgeous name I won’t name here, and each time I visit my website, I am so happy with it. I’ve managed to develop a whole branding around it, the logo and overall concept. I was reading the magazine “Wallpaper” at Barnes and Nobles and I caught a paragraph title that spelled a beautiful two word phrase. It is both discoverable and brandable at the same time- yes, it is possible. I rushed quickly back home to see if it was available and it was.
    I would suggest for people looking for good names to read a lot and while reading think of the words as potential domain names even if they don’t make much sense.
    Also recently I discovered the co.cc registrar- and was able to register three domains completely free of charge. Many are still available. One of mine is:
    thinkof.co.cc but I haven’t thought of a concept for the website yet.

    Thanks SM for this very valuable post.

    -1
  19. 19

    Short but interesting.

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  20. 20

    Don’t let “this domain is already taken” stop you. You’d be surprised how many names, great names, can be had for just a couple, few hundred dollars. And isn’t the perfect name for your new venture worth at least asking?

    No, you’re not going to get something like Home.com for a couple hundred, but short, meaningful and catchy names… it happens every day.

    1
  21. 21

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    May 2, 2009 1:11 pm

    Why pay a couple of hundred, if they are worth $2 .. but get charged $10 for a new one. No, I won’t pay a couple of hundred. I will just come up with a better name.

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  22. 22

    If I ever come up with a good idea and seek funding I now know not to go to Monster Venture Partners. Thanks for helping me figure that much out, SM.

    0
  23. 23

    If you are talking about something that will also be a brand or product name, having a unique name is very important in the age of Google. For example, as a programmer I often need to Google for help on working with Access and Sybase databases. Whenever I search for how to do something with a Sybase database, I can be sure that that is what I get. When I search for how to do something with an Access database, I get all kinds of links about other database types where the word “access” appears in the page someplace. Same thing for searching for Red Hat versus Ubuntu or Word vs WordPerfect. If you want to be easily found on a web search, have a unique spelling.

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  24. 24

    Any article about domains names is incomplete without informing your readership about the dodgy ways of some domain registrars.

    If I put days of research and thought into a domain name and then do a search for it at Network Solutions.. but don’t buy it immediately .. it could well be lost to me forever.

    The same goes for these third party whois front services you recommend. Can they be trusted?

    0
  25. 25

    Timo Reitnauer

    May 2, 2009 2:49 pm

    Being a domain registrar, branding our service with the right name was crucial. We have chosen the phrase approach for our iWantMyName platform. It was a bit of luck though. The domain was registered for a couple of years but became available in 2008. So even if you might not be able to get a domain now, you can get it at a later point in time sometimes.

    One thing you don’t mention in your article is branding a company or product with country code top-level domains such as .TV (example justin.tv, ustream.tv), .FM (last.fm, blip.fm) or .IO (drop.io or soup.io). It doesn’t have to be the generic .COM.

    If you already know that you’ll only offer services in one specific market, the respective country extension makes perfect sense as well. The German market is a good example: you’ve got 80 million people that are very happy with a .DE domain name.

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  26. 26

    The Name Inspector

    May 2, 2009 2:50 pm

    Mark, I can’t tell you about DomainsBot–including that here was an editorial decision–but I’ve used InstantDomainSearch a lot, I’ve identified many great domains with it, and I’ve never seen them get mysteriously registered if I don’t snap them up right away.

    0
  27. 27

    Great article. One thing I noticed that no one mentioned is the use of alternate TLDs. Using a TLD that very few people are using allows you to be much more creative – think delicio.us, drop.io, etc. Some of those domains cost a little bit more than the dotcom but because it isn’t a .com, you can register it and you your name becomes more memorable.

    0
  28. 28

    Great post.

    0
  29. 29

    NoDomainsForSale

    May 2, 2009 11:34 pm

    People who complain that good names do not remain for fresh registration should take a look at the incredible selection available for reasonable prices on the secondary markets.

    Businesses do not shy away from spending money on a sign for their building, print ads and other marketing that has limited exposure.

    Investing in a good domain name is the best investment any business can make.

    0
  30. 30

    Great Article, Another great benefit which you right choice of name can provide is better potential in search engine ranking. Good SEO strategy always starts from the domain name.

    0
  31. 31

    Carl - Web Courses Bangkok

    May 3, 2009 8:54 am

    Hay, I always use http://www.Who.is and its domain name tool, gives some great ideas.

    0
  32. 32
  33. 33

    I’m actually a LibraryThing user and was surprised to see it listed twice as being a bad name example. When I read 37signals, I was unsure of what it is– I’ve even used BaseCamp before, and didn’t recognize the name or what it stood for. As compared to LibraryThing, which lets you keep an online library database, I’m not sure why 37signals serves as a better name. I may be nitpicking, but I think this is a really great topic to cover, and I’m interested in your opinion on the matter.

    1
  34. 34

    “Linguistic Design Guidelines”

    I was not aware that examples = guidelines.

    Interesting article if only for the link to visual thesaurus.

    0
  35. 35

    The Name Inspector

    May 3, 2009 8:30 pm

    Josh, the guidelines aren’t the examples, they’re the statements like “Appeal to the senses in appropriate ways” and “Preserve the natural syllabic emphasis of words”. The examples are there to help people understand the guidelines by seeing them in action.

    0
  36. 36

    The Name Inspector

    May 3, 2009 8:39 pm

    Sarah, I understand that my choice of 37signals might seem odd, since its meaning is kind of enigmatic. But once you discover the meaning–it refers to the number of unexplained, potentially intelligent signals from outer space–you can’t get it out of your mind because it’s so specific, so information-rich. The name LibraryThing, on the other hand, certainly succeeds in making a connection to libraries, but the word “thing” doesn’t add any more specific meaning. It’s kind of a missed opportunity.

    0
  37. 37

    This is awesome. Domain strategy from a branding perspective, with a focus on creating new domain names. By this you focus it on new products and services pretty much, or at least the ones where you are free to renaming and re-branding. Some of these might not work in established markets.

    There are some more key factors to finding a domain name.
    1. Product or service or information offered. Graphics accelerator? Or stick to video card?
    2. Target group and their understanding of offered item and their use of lingo.
    3. How does it translate into other languages and countries. (Had one company with a German abbreviation ‘tit’. Completely harmless and really good for their visitor number, just not the target group or conversion rate ….
    4. What are likely misspellings, and do you want to get these domains too?
    5. Check with patents, trademarks etc.
    6. Check which top level domains are available.

    1
  38. 38

    http://www.bustaname.com/
    is another good one I use all the time. It adds up the words and sees if they are available.

    0
  39. 39

    Great article, thanks!

    0
  40. 40

    What do you think of “webhab.com” Web design and marketing firm for improving business websites. Like a rehabilitation clinic for websites, specializing in web design, redesign, etc…interested in your thoughts…like a rehab

    1
  41. 41

    very nice and detailed articles… thumbs up

    0
  42. 42

    What do you think, is «Head Cache» a good or bad name for design studio?

    0
  43. 43

    Nice atricle…I am trying this with Arabic and English words together.

    0
  44. 44

    I have to second what Mark wrote, one of the biggest problems my clients have run into is using domain name search sites that monitor what you’re looking for. They will sell these search terms to people, who buy them up as soon as they can in hopes you will buy it from them. Please be careful where you search for open domains. Personally I’ve found that godaddy.com is the biggest culprit.

    0
  45. 45

    too subjective, Whatever website that is popular, is it said to be a good name? sometimes, it is totally not related to the products or service provided. 37signals does not make any sense to me when compared to librarything which is obviously about books. You had me for the Putting name together part but not for the comparison.

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  46. 46

    I think the “thing” in LibraryThing is comparable to to the “ster” in Friendster and “nik” is Biznik.

    Really, all three are just tacking on something random to the end of a common word.
    Which I don’t think is a bad idea, gotta make it searchable.

    0
  47. 47

    Anyone know good places on the net for many people brainstorming new company names according to a short description? (I can pay) I dislike crowdsourcing, but in this field it might come in handy..

    (doesnt have to be available .com name)

    0
  48. 48

    ‘Twitter.com’ is an odd example of a web domain name you can ‘forget about’ if you’re looking at a single word .com. Of course it is taken, but it’s hardly the kind of domain people would fight over, pre-twitter days. Good examples would be things like ‘3d.com’, ‘vodka.com’, things that actually mean something :p

    Single, made-up words have never been too hard to register :p

    0
  49. 49

    Guys, quick question:

    What’s your opinion on using ‘the’ on the front of a domain, if you can’t get the domain without it?

    Also, there’s a beer for anyone that can come up with an awesome .com available domain that has ‘fashion’ or ‘style’ in the title! (it’s a fashion rating site).

    0
  50. 50

    Fuad Ahasan Chowdhury

    May 5, 2009 6:03 am

    It’s really an interesting and useful topic. I expect a bit more details in this topic. :)

    0
  51. 51

    Fantastic post

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  52. 52

    The Name Inspector

    May 5, 2009 10:12 am

    Nathan, “twitter” is a real English word. I don’t know if people would have fought over it before Twitter.com, but it’s not made up and it does mean something. It’s extremely hard now to find any real English word that’s not registered as a .com domain name, whether it represents a big product category (like vodka.com) or not.

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  53. 53

    There were plans last year to lessen the prominence of the .com suffix by allowing any three letter combination instead, such as .abc, .ant or whatever. I’ve not heard anything since though.

    More ruminations at… icouldntgetagooddotcomdomainsoiwentforthisoneinstead.com

    0
  54. 54

    yeah, what happened to that plan? was supposed to cost $10k for your very own tld (http://www.mysite.mytld/) – not much info on ICANN for it lately.

    0
  55. 55

    @milan and @KarlS Be careful recommending buying a domain hack. Is it Deli.cio.us or deli.cio.us or some other variation ? They can cause chaos later down the road. Make sure your domain name passes the “radio test” too. Imagine telling someone how to type that domain out over the phone or on the radio in an advertisement. Delicious also owns the Delicious.com domain, and I’m sure buying it AFTER they became successful cost them much more than if they bought it beforehand.

    I get the concept. . . “you don’t have to use .com” , but in the global internet economy the default of most users is .com . Just ask Dick Cheney who sent millions of people to FactCheck.com when he meant to say FactCheck.org . DOH!!

    @Mark Simpson and @adrianne . Front-running domains has all been squashed by new. ICANN rules

    And the recent NSI Front Running Settlement cost them a $1million. These 2 fairly recent developments should deter most from front running in a blatant manner like this again.

    If anyone wants some tips on how to buy domains like a pro they should also read Jamie Siminoff’s (PhoneTag.com) post at the Four Hour Work week blog.

    Great read Christopher. Adding a new blog to my reader. :)

    0
  56. 56

    Водоподготовка

    May 6, 2009 4:03 am

    with Russian domain names all easier.

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  57. 57

    What do you think about Graphiclancer? It’s combined from “Graphic” & “Freelancer”

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  58. 58

    Meaning
    Be specific:
    * Good: 37signals
    * Bad: LibraryThing

    Huh? I’ve never understood the meaning of ’37Signals’ , I always think of a person manically doing semaphore whenever I see that domain name. IE – lots of confusing overlaid ‘signals’, rather than one clear signal.

    In what way does that domain have any meaning at all, other than “it’s a number of gestures”, which to my mind does not fit their business in any way.

    If it they were selling a book on body-language it might have some meaning, perhaps.

    1
  59. 59

    Comment #38 listed the best one. BustAName.com IS AWESOME.

    0
  60. 60

    awesome guidelines.

    0
  61. 61

    Jonathan Patterson

    May 21, 2009 7:34 am

    Excellent and poignant read!

    0
  62. 62

    DaBrighterSide

    June 2, 2009 8:21 pm

    Great article! I like it,I learned so much about domain names.

    0
  63. 63

    What about TightPixel.Com ….Is it a good domain name. How much do you think I should sell this domain for?

    0
  64. 64

    Guys if your looking for a domain name with a specific keyword in it you might like this site http://www.easydomainfinder.com.

    -1
  65. 65

    you cover most of the ground with regards to finding an available url, however, you miss some low hanging fruit, like choosing a different extension (.net, .is, .whatever) or even choosing your own extension. i highly suggest you read an article by eli altman, who was just featured in inc magazine on the subject of url searching, over at onthebutton. http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/finding-a-url/

    -1
  66. 66

    I have to break the silence. I must take issue with the following assertion:

    “Be specific:
    Good: 37signals
    Bad: LibraryThing

    Appeal to the senses in appropriate ways:
    Good: Twitter
    Bad: BookGoo”

    I’m sorry but I fail to see how 37Signals specifies anything more than LibraryThing. Also, BookGoo might not appeal to you (nor me for that matter), but I’m sure it appeals to people who like things ghoulish and drippy – goths/teens (or both).

    -1
  67. 67

    I do think that Google was an effective name. The name itself has evolved into a verb that people commonly use these days, it’s even listed in the dictionary. “Just Google it.” Another example would be Tupperware.

    -1
  68. 68

    what do you guys think of inkOperated as a clever name ?

    -1
  69. 69

    Thanx for the valuable information. This was just the thing I was looking for, I really like how it includes the actual curved shape flight paths. keep posting. Will be visiting back soon.

    -1
  70. 70

    I think this article was great but left out an important discussion on a huge new trend in domains names like so

    e.ggtimer.com

    Using subdomains and the domain name to form the domain name.

    It’s another great way to get a catchy name, but is it really viable in the long term, that’s tough to know.

    -1
  71. 71

    Thanks for a great info. It’s so difficult to come up with a good “brandable” domain name. A lot of us don’t have great imagination to come up with one. Maybe visiting sites such as http://www.humandomaingenerator.com/ that offers free help finding the right domain name is an option.

    -1
  72. 72

    how to find a good URL without having a brain hemorrhage: http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/finding-a-url/

    -1
  73. 73

    yes, choosing a domain for your idea is a daunting task. Personally I would rather invest a couple hundred into an effective domain at the aftermarket than opt for a worse hand-registered choice. Another good video about the topic and domain options is at KnowYourOptions.tv

    -1
  74. 74

    Ishwar Bhadarge

    July 28, 2010 1:30 pm

    very nice article for the selecting domain name.

    -1
  75. 75

    Pretty interesting blog post, was a pretty good article to read! thanks

    -1
  76. 76

    What do you think about the name Wisdio.com (wisdio.com)?

    -1
  77. 77

    I just watched this video on YouTube called “How to choose the Best Domain Name” and it was extremely helpful. I thought I would share. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC0oQpv7fPs

    -1
  78. 78

    http://domainjig.com is a domain name search and suggestion tool. It’s a bit like domainsbot (which was mentioned in the article) but is instant, so is easier to play around with.

    -1
  79. 79

    Brian Bordenkircher

    April 19, 2011 2:08 pm

    Wow, very informative and full of information. A bit more information than the following article, but I have also found this article at guidetostart.com useful:

    guidetostart.com/?page_id=4

    0
  80. 80

    Horstel Hollamann

    March 27, 2012 8:10 pm

    Yes, this is an interesting article, but now we have 2012 and I wonder whch of the mentioned
    ” domain search sites” are ( still ) ethical ……. or do I have to register instantly to obtain the domain name??
    I have a new business and can easily think of a great domain name, or two or three, but, how do I search for availability without being robbed??
    Thanks,
    Horstel

    0
  81. 81

    I like the guidelines, Even my brand name is “Pokkisam”. Its a Tamil language word which means Treasure.

    -1
  82. 82

    Rachel Napolitano

    January 22, 2013 8:11 pm

    Is it true that using “The” with a domain name is a lot less desirable? Why is that? From a personal opinion, I wouldn’t use “The” for my domain, but I’m not sure what public opinion is.

    This also helped in my search for a domain name. Short and sweet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyXwO1njp6w

    0
  83. 83

    Thanks
    Your article really helped me out
    i was confused every name i decide was unavailable
    now ive got some available

    0

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