7 Creative Ways to Get the Perfect Domain Name

internet

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

domainr

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

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

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

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

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

domainlookup

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

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.

What domain name tips or experiences do you have?  Tell us in the comments!

406 Replies to “7 Creative Ways to Get the Perfect Domain Name”

  1. Just a heads up on the domai.nr website: This site does exactly what it says it will do. In fact I located a domain name with the ‘.nr’ ending that was available and I followed a link to register that name. After filling out and submitting a form (with no pricing for the process seen anywhere), I received an email saying the name chosen had been submitted for registration and that I should wire $500.00 US to a bank in Australia. “Whoa!” says me and I promptly emailed them back canceling my submission sighting the abnormally high industry pricing for a domain name. Anyone else gone through this?

  2. Thanks Rajeev and A Dawn.

    @Geakz – domain names are different in pricing around the world. Basic .com domains may cost 10 bucks, but even in Malaysia it costs USD40 for a .my domain.

    I did a quick search on Nauru (.nr domain) and prices ranged all the way from USD200 to Euro 500 – so while the price on Domai.nr is high, I don’t think it is a rip off by any means.

    Domai.nr may not provide you the best deals, but as a domain discovery service, it works well. My recommendation would be to use Domai.nr to find the domain name, and then go shopping around for the best price/service.

  3. Hi James. Just a follow up to my earlier post, as I received an email back from the Australian registrar. They pointed me to the following URL for their pricing: http://www.cenpac.net.nr/dns/index.html They assumed I had been pointed to that page.
    My initial point still stands; that a pricing link does not appear on every page of their site. They assumed I would follow a certain navigation route which would bring me to said pricing. But http://domai.nr sent me to a *different* registration page, circumnavigating the cost of goods. Pricing aside, would you not agree that the basics of an e-commerce site would be a common header showing a FAQ’s page, site map and prominent links to pricing? Something obviously missing here.
    There of course is no obligation for me to purchase the domain name and I was told it was deleted.
    [This was not attempt to underscore another one of your excellent, resourceful articles, just an effort to point out my journey once I hyper-linked myself away from your site!]

    And by the way, the domain name I was attempting to register? “nobrai.nr” Irony at it’s best *and* it’s still available!

  4. @Geakz: Agree. It would be better to make the pricing more prominent especially since most Internet users would not be knowledgeable about buying anything outside the usual .com/.net/.org domains.

    ps. That is an excellent pick for a domain :)

  5. @Geaks:

    Thanks for your comments”we had the same initial trepidation when we originally registered our .nr domain name with the folks in Nauru. We’re working with them”as well as a bunch of other registrars”to improve the user experience.

    Showing pricing information for each TLD/SLD is something we’d like to do.

  6. Thanks for the kind words, and for the linkage! (I’m one of the folks behind Domainr.)

    Agreed about the .nr reg process – it’s probably one of the most un-user-friendly experiences I’ve ever had on the web. Wiring $ to Australia then sending a followup email was a tad frightening, but it all worked out – we heard back from them in < 24 hours.

    Get in touch with us via email or GetSatisfaction if you’ve got any questions/ideas for Domainr, we’d love to hear from you!

    Cheers,
    -Eric

  7. If it helps guys, i post daily dropped and available to register domains on my blog DnDizzy.com. They are in in categories such as Geo, English Dictionary, German Dictionary, Hot Picks etc etc but the best thing is……..I do it for FREE. No Membership or nothing and if they are still available you get them for regfee.

  8. Does anybody know of a service that allows you to be notified when a certain domain name becomes available? I need this in order to re-purchase a domain that I accidentally let expire, and now it is in the 32-40 day holding period in which nobody can purchase it. I won’t to know the minute it becomes available so I can buy it before anybody else snags it. I have yet to find a service that does what I described. Thanks.

  9. @Eric & Randy – thanks for the clarification
    @Zen: Useful resource – thanks!
    @Craig: That sounds
    @Calvyn: Slow internet connection would definitely affect instantdomain search as it relies on AJAX to do real time searching
    @Cpby: Most registrars would have that service. I’ve seen sites like Godaddy.com offer that up.

  10. Coby try putting a backorder on the domain at Snapnames.com, namejet.com and Pool.com. It costs nothing and you only pay if they get the domain for you. . . yes godaddy and others do this but those 3 have the best success rates. Do all 3 too . If you do it at 1 and not the others the likelihood is that one of the others will get the domain and you’re out of luck.

  11. Try Wordoid.com, they make up words and see if the domain is taken and how many times the name is found in Google. Good tool if you are looking for an unused brand name.

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