Finding the right domain name can be a daunting experience. One thing is coming up with a catchy name, another is to actually find it available. Here are five tools to make your search easier.
Finding a domain name is hard
You just found yourself a good name for your new website, you go to a registrar and simply buy your domain.
Quick and painless, that is the ideal scenario. Unfortunately, most often than not the process is not so easy.
Because of this, an apparently easy task just got more difficult. You essentially have two choices: choose a different domain extension or change name.
Top five tools to find your domain name
Sometimes, coming up with a name is a creative effort, which can be considered an art. Other times, you already have one (your business, your brand, your own name).
Whatever the case, the problems come when you want to turn that name into a domain.
When registering a domain, many people just search the name they have in mind on registrars such as GoDaddy and NameCheap. If it’s not available, they just go along with one of the suggestions, which usually are just different domain extensions.
I find it this approach very limiting, as you have to search names one by one and suggested alternatives are bad.
A smarter approach is to simply let go of those more popular websites. While there are literally a ton of tools to assist you in your domain search, these are the five I like the most. After you find your perfect name, simply go back to your favourite registrar.
Top choice: LeanDomainSearch
LeanDomainSearch does one thing, but it does it extremely well: it suggests you all .com available domain containing your chosen keyword + another word. Very useful are the filtering options. It’s the best tool when you want a .com domain made of two words.
BustAName is the second-best domain name generator when there is a single keyword you absolutely want in your name. It works best when prefixes or suffixes are what you want (such as -ey, -ly, -ety, -in, …). Filtering options by name length and natural/unnatural name work great. By default, it shows only available domains. It can also suggest random names, which is good if you need inspiration. It also supports a few more TLDs.
NameStall is a name generator which lets you choose groups of words to combine with your keyword. Options include the most popular words, adjectives, verbs, numbers, concepts, industries, hobbies and many more. It shows both taken and available domains; unfortunately, you have only a limited number of free searches per day.
Different from the other name generators, NameMesh allows you to specify multiple keywords. If you bother reading the instructions, you can also use some powerful commands in the search query that will return pretty good suggestions. Generated names are divided into 8 categories and include new TLDs.
If you prefer to use one of the new TLDs, InstantDomainSearch is a good tool. It shows you a full list of domain extensions available for your keyword, which can be useful if you want to make the extension a part of the name itself (such as Hide.Me). Unfortunately, the name generator is subpar.
Domain extension (TLD)
The domain extension (or TLD, top-level domain) can be as important as the domain name itself. While “technically” it does not have an influence in site ranking and SEO (only at the very beginning new TLDs had an effect), in practice it does.
Indeed, the domain extension plays a role on the reputation of your website directly in the visitors’ minds. More traditional TLDs are connected to a certain level of reputation and trustworthyness, while only some of the newer ones have these benefits.
There’s no way around it: traditional domain extensions (.com, .net, .org) are still the most common and preferred ones. The .com TLD alone is used by more than 43% of all websites… meaning so many are taken already!
Country-code TLDs (.it, .co.uk, .es, .us, …) can be preferred for geo-targeted traffic and to signal your country of origin. Industry-specific TLDs (.industry, .food, .marketing, …) are a good choice to clearly communicate your business area. Both of them generally have a good reputation.
Some of the newer domains, on the other hand, have a totally negative reputation, as they are highly connected to shady websites, spam and scams (for example .gdn, .cloud, .zip, .work, .men, .click and many others).
Alessandro De Vecchi
Marketing, web, and anything-tech enthusiast.
Newbie blogger, spends his nights studying, testing, creating content and job hunting.
Gray and blue are his favourite colours. Loves minimalism.