Picking a right domain can make or break your blog, or online business (Yes, I realize the irony – This from a guy who has a tech blog called Friedbeef.com). Here are several tools which will aid you in picking out the absolutely best domain names which are available for registration.
1. How to pick the best non-dotcom domain
A ‘dot-com’ is perhaps the top criteria on most people’s lists for picking a domain. True, it often does make the most sense, but as site like del.icio.us will prove, breaking free from convention may sometimes be a good thing. If you do want to go down this road, Domai.nr is the best free tool you can use to search through the world’s registrars to find a creative non-dotcom name.
2. How to let others pick your domain name
Pickydomains is a service which lets its community help you pick the perfect name. Here is how it works. You deposit $50 and give them your specifications. Their contributors then start submitting their domain name suggestions, and when you see that perfect domain, you just register it. If none of their suggestions worked for you – you just get your money back. There is no risk involved.
In many respects, Pickydomains operates on an honor system where it trusts a client not to get a refund, but still register the domain anyway. Judging by some of the high quality domains which are prominently displayed on their front page, it certainly looks like a winner.
3. How to instantly look-up domains
Instant Domain Search helps you find domain names by searching and returning results for .com, .net and .org domain names as you type in real time. A perfect time saver.
4. How to come up with the perfect Web 2.0 domain
Bustaname helps you pick domains by taking the keywords you give it, rearranging them, and giving you a list of available domains which match your keywords. This by itself is useful, but it also has a whole range of customization you can throw in. For example, you can include popular suffixes like ‘-ster’ ala famous sites like Friendster, Dogster, or Jobster, or drop the last vowel ala Flickr to push your site further in the web 2.0 direction.
5. How to turn ideas into domains
Domainsbot is a free automated domain generation engine. Like Bustaname, it generates domains based on the keywords you give it, but not just be rearranging them, but by incorporating keywords related to your own as well. The result? A list of domains which are based on the ideas your keywords inspire.
6. How to lookup domains from any web page
Ever read a phrase online and think: "that would make a great domain name"? Domain Lookup is a free Firefox extension that helps you discover valuable generic domain names while surfing the web.
Just select the text you wish to check and hit the shortcut key. The Domain Lookup extension checks then availability at your favorite registrar in a heartbeat.
7. How to quickly scan through the dictionary for available domains
Attainable.ws is a free service which scans through the entire dictionary to list available domains based on a keyword. The powerful thing about this service is that it gives you access to single dictionary words which are available for registration – an increasingly scarce resource.