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Everyone wants a vanity URL. Today, a custom domain name based on your identity can be quite difficult to get hold of. But it’s not all over yet. You just have to bring out a sheet of paper and brainstorm a few creative domain name ideas that might be still available.
Before looking into domain names, you should evaluate web hosting options. We recommend WP Engine for WordPress sites because it’s reliable, secure, and frees you up to focus on your content. For non-managed web hosting, check out InMotion Hosting and Bluehost. Use these links for discounted hosting plans!
Once that’s squared away, use the simple methods below to find a personal domain name that you like (and that you can register).
Why You Should Get a Personal Domain Name?
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way and first answer what is a domain name. Yes, that’s the thing you enter in the address bar to go to a website. Now, isn’t it easier to type a name can easily recall rather than falling back on a bookmark? Or, try to recollect if it was “johndoe.com” or “johndoe.wordpress.com”?
Easy of recollection is just of the reasons to find cool domain names that reflect your personality or your online work. Here are a few more:
- Your personal domain name is your calling card online.
- You can use the name for social branding across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Benefit from a personalized email address like email@example.com instead of a less unique Gmail address.
- Get the trust of your readers with a personalized blog domain name even if it is attached to a free web host.
- Getting a custom domain name is easy and cheap.
The only difficult part is thinking of creative domain name ideas that reflect you and your work online. Let’s get to it.
1. Use a Domain Name Tool or Two
Top-level domains get taken up with shocking speed. Even the most bizarre combinations of names and words (like “BarackObamaIsYourNewBicycle”) get registered on a regular basis.
You can still manage to finalize a domain with the help of tools like Domai.nr, which generates interesting combinations of names based on keywords you submit. The site also shows whether a particular domain is available for purchase.
Also, use a tool like NameChk or KnowEm to see if the domain name you have set your mind upon is available as a username on some of the most common social websites like Facebook or Twitter. That will help you use the same name across the Web and keep your identity consistent.
2. Take the Help of a Thesaurus
A dictionary or thesaurus can help you out when English isn’t your strong suit. A thesaurus can help to not only get the spelling right but also help you find lesser-known synonyms of the name you want to go with.
Try the excellent Thesaurus.com or even a reverse dictionary like OneLook to brainstorm a list of words you can play around with. The Visual Thesaurus is paid but the free search limit just might be enough to come up with a valuable related word.
Here’s an offbeat tip. Use ScrabbleFinder to find words that end with a specific set of alphabets. The Scrabble cheat engine allows the use of wildcards and also lists the words by length.
You can use it to come up with creative combinations, especially if you are looking for domain names with non-traditional gTLDs.
3. Think of a Brandable Blog Domain Name Idea
A brandable domain name may not have any meaning. But ensure that it is fairly short and readable. If it’s easy to memorize, that’s a bonus. You can take inspiration from names like “Google”, “Uber”, and “Yahoo” that have no connection to what they actually do.
Artificial intelligence can help you generate catchy brandable domain names. These are easy on the ears and easier to type in the address bar. Be specific with keywords to create the right ones.
Pick tools like Namelix which uses AI. Others like Domainglo and Brandroot have their own search methods. Another site called DomainWheel uses rhymes to come up with creative words close to the one you enter.
Experiment with different combinations like Firstname, Lastname, Nickname, FirstinitialLastname, FirstnameLastinitial, NicknameLastname, NicknameLastinitial, etc.
Combine your name or an actual word with short unrelated word.
Leave out the quirky spellings, unnecessary multiple letters, etc. Such tweaks do seem to work for various companies and services (For example, IFTTT.com), but when used with personal domains, they only increase ambiguity and confusion.
4. Buy a Cheap Expired Domain Name
Expired domain names are re-released after a grace period. Different registrars have different rules but the ballpark figure is around 75 days. Buying one of these domains can work to your advantage if the original domain was popular and generated much traffic when it was in use.
There are also other domains that are advertised for sale. These can turn out to be expensive, but if you spend some time doing your research, you can find a fair deal on them. The important thing is to stay alert for opportunities that have a chance of giving you a nice, workable URL.
Here’s how you can spot and buy an expired domain name at the cheapest price.
5. Get Creative With the Right Domain Extension
The .com top level domain still rules the SEO game. But with more than a billion websites, it is getting overcrowded and just too difficult to find a name that’s unique.
When the price of a domain name is a factor, you can do a lot with the other top level domain extensions. The non-traditional extensions are being used in clever ways by many startups and brands now.
Here are a few well-known examples:
Do check for existing trademarks before you settle on a name because it can lead to copyright problems in the future.
A Good Domain Name Is Important, But…
Don’t focus too much on getting that one SEO rich keyword. A creative domain name that is memorable is more valuable than a boring keyword heavy name any day.
Also, Google started de-ranking EMDs (Exact Match Domain Names) back in 2012. Google’s algorithms are powerful machine learning beasts that weed out spammy sites if they cannot deliver content that the user wants.
Instead of fretting over it, get a domain name you can be proud of and then direct your efforts toward putting up an appealing website and follow it up with interesting content. Building your own brand can take time, but it will pay off in the long run. And then, netizens will trace it back to you even without the help of the right domain name.
Keep these strategies in play and keep searching for the right domain name with these unusual domain name search tools.