Author: Christopher Johnson
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.
You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
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.
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