10 Tools For Finding, Registering And Managing Domain Names

Advertisement

A domain name is the starting point for our online brands and identities, be it for a company, online application or a personal website. Some of us may own only one domain for a portfolio site or blog, whilst others have to manage domain names for clients or all kinds of projects. But even if you do not yet have a personal domain, as the Web becomes more pervasive in our lives, finding yourself a real home on the web becomes more of a neccessity.

Of course, social web services like Facebook, Twitter, etc. do indeed offer usernames, but only domains give us full ownership and control over branding and ultimately how we express ourselves online.

Many of the traditional sites that offer domain names are poorly organised, hard to navigate and covered in spammy ads. In this article we will have a look at a number of smart and user-centric domain tools which help you to find, register and manage domain names, other than the usual domain registrars or webhosting companies.

You may also be interested in the following articles:

1. Domainr – domain search engine

The popular Domainr244 service comes as easy and clean as it gets. They call themselves a “domain name search engine” and solely focus on the domain search experience. Searching for a domain name is very intuitive and fast indeed. If you found a name you can choose from a list of registrars where you can register the respective domain.

Apart from the standard .COM, .NET & .ORG domains, Domainr’s strength is surely the ability to find domain hacks with exotic country code top-level domain extensions e.g. burri.to (.TO – Tonga), lifestrea.ms (.MS – Montserrat) or cli.gs (South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands).

Domainr makes the domain search process fun and is probably the easiest tool to find creative domain names in 2009.

Screenshot Domainr5

2. Domaintyper – search & generate names

Domaintyper256 is another simple search tool for checking domain name availability and generating domain hacks but offers some nifty extras on top. One of them is a Web 2.0 Domain Name Generator that generates available names such as sixtor.com, snapsink.com, skafire.com, 6graph.com, threeserv.com or atomslot.com. These names can be registered through links to various registrars. The second highlight is the DomainTyper iPhone application which brings the search and recommendation feature to your iPhone so you can check domain names on the go.

Domaintyper is a well executed little project. Especially the domain name generator can be addictive.

Screenshot Domaintyper7

3. Domain Pigeon – find available names

Domain Pigeon268‘s approach is different to the search tools mentioned before. It automatically generates lists of available domains as well as Twitter names. The names are displayed in different colors, depending on how many people have showed interest in a certain term. The darker the color the more popular the name. You can also order the lists by length, popularity and show only domains or Twitter usernames. Examples of generated domain names are ablebo.com, meliori.com, minecafe.com or shopshost.com.

Domain Pigeon is an ideal source of inspiration for domains and short available Twitter names.

Screenshot Domain Pigeon9

4. Namethis – collaborative naming tool

Namethis2710 cannot only be used for domains but also for names in general. Instead of spending hours and hours in brainstorming sessions you just have to describe a project or product and receive name suggestions by the Namethis community. The service costs a fee of $99 which is distributed to the members that suggested the top three naming ideas.

The Namethis community is a good resource to get ideas for your product or website.

Screenshot Namethis11

5. Rage Domainer – Mac software

RAGE Software’s Domainer12 is a well designed Mac application for managing and tracking domain names. You can enter domains that you own along with some additional information or any other site you would like to monitor. It also shows domain-related data such as Page Rank, the amount of incoming Links, bookmarks on Delicious and Digg stories to a particular domain. Other useful features are syncing renewal dates with iCal, Smart Groups for organising and import / export of lists.

Domainer costs $39.95 USD and is the most advanced domain management solution for your Mac.

Screenshot Domainer Mac Software13

6. iWantMyName DomainApp – iPhone app

DomainApp2814 is a free application from domain management service iWantMyName that lets you search and register domains directly from your iPhone. Like their website, the application is very clean, user-friendly and intuitive. The domain search covers many international domain extensions and results can be saved as bookmarks for future reference. To register domain names you need an account with iWantMyName and connect the application via a remote key.

The application is a valuable companion for brainstorming sessions, client meetings or the occasional fun domain registration.

Screenshot iWantMyName DomainApp15

7. Tweetname – register domains via Twitter

As the name Tweetname2916 suggests, it is a service that offers domain name registration via Twitter. All you need is an account on their site and send a direct message with the name you want to the @tweetname Twitter account. You will get an instant reply whether the domain registration was successful or the name is already taken.

With Tweetname domain registration has never been more ubiquitous having hundreds of Twitter clients around. Whether you want to rely on Twitter for a domain registration is another question though.

Screenshot Tweetname17

8. Domain Punch – Windows software

Windows users find a domain portfolio software with Domain Punch Professional18. Besides the portfolio management options, it also includes website monitoring options such as ping or an HTTP home page check and sends an email when the status of a domain changes. You can also save the login details to different domain registrars and login with a single click. Extensive filtering options, a domain name generator and availability checker are useful functions as well.

Domain Punch Professional is the most feature rich software for domain portfolio management.

Screenshot Domainpunch Windows Software19

9. DNZoom – online portfolio manager

A hosted domain management solution offers the all-in-one tool DNZoom3220. You can sign up for a free account and manage domains in a secure and automated way through an online interface even if they are registered with multiple domain registrars. Should you not use a domain, you have also the possibility to connect it to a parking company and earn some money. Domains can be organised in folders, categories and the domain detail view gives you additional data such as Alexa Stats, or whois information. An included domain suggestion tool where you can enter keywords and register domains complete the offering of DNZoom.

DNZoom seems to be more targeted at Domainers but its domain management functions are also suited for the general domain administrator.

Screenshot DNZoom21

10. Domain Portfolio Manager – PHP script

The Domain Portfolio Manager3322 is a classic PHP / MySQL application for your own web space or server. It offers basic domain portfolio management functionality which should be enough for most users. Domains can be imported from CSV or text files, put in different categories defined by the user and lists are completely searchable. A showcase feature also allows you to sell domain names.

This web application has all features to keep track of your domains and is very practical for company intranets.

Screenshot Domain Portfolio Manager23

Tool Overview

Find domain names with:

Register domains via:

Manage your portfolio using:

↑ Back to topShare on Twitter

Timo Reitnauer is a domain industry expert and has been working for domain registrars in Germany, Australia and New Zealand since 2002. You should follow Timo on Twitter here. http://twitter.com/treitnauer

  1. 1

    domaintyper is a really nice one, never heard of it before.

    -1
  2. 2

    Hey there, nice list of useful tools, but maybe you should consider including domainbots.com and whois.sc as well. =]

    Regards,
    Felix

    0
  3. 3

    Domaintyper is a nice “string” generator only. It gives you a lot of useless (as in “impossible to register”) variants, eg.: desi.gn. Guinea only alows .***.gn domains, such as .com.gn

    0
  4. 4

    I’ve always loved domai.nr …it’s fast and to the point….

    gotta try other tools in here….great list….

    0
  5. 5

    Extremely impressed with Domain Punch – AWESOME. Thanks for this article, I have been looking for something like this for a long time.

    0
  6. 6

    You could also try dotomator and wordoid for domain name ideas.

    0
  7. 7

    I like some of the suggestions, but I’ve found that once you start using some of these services looking for a particular domain name, some of the ‘big boys’ can detect this and go grab it before you’ve made up your mind and you end up having to buy it from them for a bigger amount……or am I just paranoid!

    0
  8. 8

    impressive, i was never beyond godaddy, the links r good but just thinking that who is the mastermind behind the idea of del.icio.us

    0
  9. 9

    Great post, great read.

    Unfortunately, DNZoom got through your “fact-checking” screen. According to their site on 08.24.09, they’re down for what could be understood as an indefinite time period.

    0
  10. 10

    Thanks for the kind words!

    -Eric (from Domainr)

    0
  11. 11

    whatever you do, never use network solutions to search for domain names. They will buy your domain as soon as you search for it. I experienced this more then once. bad, bad, bad company!

    0
  12. 12
  13. 13

    Good List, thanks for the article. Cheers

    0
  14. 14

    Domain kiting. Domain tasting. Many of these domain tools sell your search results to third party registrars that steal the domain. Don’t use them. Icann is introducing new fees to stop this practice of domain tasting, but that is not resolved completely. Basically a registrar can register a domain for free for a 5 day grace period. The steal the domain (millions of them daily) and attempt to resell them to the interested party at a markup. For now, the only place to do clean research is internic whois.

    -1
  15. 15

    I think Domain Punch is an awesome piece of Domain Management Software. I purchased it about a year ago and have run it under Linux Wine from day 1. So although it says it is a Windows Program, but it works fine under Linux as well. Just a heads-up for any Linux users out there wanting a Domain Management Software.

    0
  16. 16

    Thanks for this; I’m formally a big fan of your weblog.

    0

↑ Back to top