What’s in a domain?
When building your new website or blog – having the best possible domain is a key factor that adds to your success. When selecting a domain, people generally will take the following factors into account :
- Easy to remember.
- Standardized spelling (except for this whole Web 2.0 thing).
- Keyword rich (though this generally only applies to professional marketers).
- Represents and creates an image of your site or product.
It is well known that dot.com is the gold standard in domains with everything else coming after. However with all of the crazy TLDs out there, it is possible to create cool blends in order to gain branding. Look at Last.fm or current.tv if you need to know more.
So the actual act of finding that domain is a perilous process to be sure. You could go to a registrar and keep typing in names and searching until you come up with a match. OR you could use one of these great tools and get creative.
This one is my personal favorite and I use it to quick check any domain I think of on the fly. It will search out domain availability as fast as you can type for .com . net and .org
It’s great for brainstorming sessions where you need to check lots of domains within a short period. Even better, it has quick links to whois and other information for quick lookup.
Similar to this is Domize which lists out less character spellings of the search as well and has an iPhone app.
A very strange and very useful service that creates a constant stream of available domain names that you can sort via certain criteria. Great for explorations and getting new ideas as it incorporates various TLD’s in its creations.
This is a very useful brainstorming application which lets you type in a word or phrase and it searches related and synonyms. You can get some pretty good filtering and suggestions if you turn off “for sale” in the search results.
Previously covered in detail on MakeuseOf, BustaName allows you to combine various words, prefixes and suffixes and check domains on the fly to find that perfect match.
For those that don’t know, a Domain hack is using either sub-domains or unusual TLD to create a word out of the domain. Probably the most famous domain hack was del.icio.us which was actually registered as the domain www.icio.us and then added a subdomain. This tool by Xona allows you to search for a word or domain and it will recommend various hacks to get you to where you need to go.
Old hands will have their preferred register of choice, but others won’t know where to go to register that obscure TLD from Micronesia. Who to use is your preference, but I like the Moniker registration as they have over 140 TLD’s ready to search and register with just a few clicks.
Finding that perfect domain is like sifting through an antique store looking for that Van Gogh. It is there and can be found. Remember that the value of a domain is not in how much it is appraised at, but rather what you can do with it.
To that end, we would like to ask our readers if there are other cool domain search tools out there that we have missed. Leave your answers in the comments section!