How to Find the Best Domain Name

Finding a good domain nameA domain name is what you type in your browser’s address bar when you are visiting a website like “google.com”, “youtube.com”, “facebook.com”,… It is not what appears in the browser, it is just the name. You might think that finding a good domain name for your website is easy at first, but you will discover that its much more complicated than you thought once you dive deeper into the subject. A friend of mince once told me: “Domain names are like women, all the good ones are already taken”.

The purpose of this article is to give you an idea of things to keep in mind and tools that can help you in finding the right domain name. Let’s start with the following list of recommendation rules that you need to keep in mind while making your research, your domain should be:

  1. “.com” since it is the widely known domain extension
  2. Short,  less than 12 characters
  3. Letters only most of the time, no numbers or dashes
  4. Catchy and easy to remember
  5. Easy to spell
  6. It doesn’t have to have a meaning, but should sound well
  7. 2 syllables or 3 syllables max, especially if it is a weird word (google is 2: goo-gle)
  8. If it had a meaning then it should reflect the content of the website in some direct or indirect way (ex: facebook.com)

This doesn’t mean that you have to fulfill all the mentioned rules, but the more rules your domain name adheres to the better. Here are some common strategies that you can follow to find your perfect domain:

  1. Are you lucky? Chances are almost non-existent that the domain you’re thinking of is available and waiting for you to purchase. Give it a shot anyhow, you’ll never know!
  2. Buy an existing domain: If the domain that you want to purchase is already registered under someone else then you can check with the domain owner if he is interested in selling it. There are many companies that purchase domains to resell them for higher rates. However, the domain owner might not be interested in selling it or he might request a very high price. You can use whois.net to get the contact information of the domain owner.
  3. Add a new word to the dictionary: Since most of the words are already taken, it is a good idea to be creative and create your own word, something like “technozoid”, or “google”.
  4. Mix Words: Add two words (not more) together, Something like “facebook”, or “linkedin” but don’t forget the 2-3 syllables rule, you don’t want the domain to be too long either. You can also add prefix & suffix like “the”, “s”, “new” to another word but I don’t encourage it since your domain becomes longer. (did you know that facebook was called thefacebook before!)
  5. Buy an expiring or expired domain: This is probably the best strategy you can follow and where most of the action takes place to snatch a good domain name. Although it will cost you more than what you would pay for an available domain but it is well worth the spending. There is a method called “backorder” which helps you in grabbing a domain as soon as it becomes available after being expired and before someone else purchases it, it is not guaranteed that you will get the domain though, especially if it is a good one where other people might have also backordered it and waiting for it to be available as well. There are companies which specialize in this field and provide services for their clients to grab a domain on their behalf once it is available. You might have to enroll in auctions in case there was someone else who backordered the same domain on the same website which you backordered from. Backordering is much safer than waiting for the domain to expire and try to register it on your own. Don’t forget to clean the domain from any spamming, phishing, or virus blacklisting after you get the domain name because it might have been abused by its previous owner.

There are many tools on the internet that can help you in the process of finding a domain name, here is a list effective ones that I found useful during my researches:

  1. godaddy.com one of the best registrars on the web where you can register your domain, make backorders, host your website, check the availability of up to 500 domains at the same time here, and many other features.
  2. snapnames.com shows you list of domains that will be available soon, it also gives you the option to backorder a domain.
  3. pool.com similar to snapnames.com
  4. scoratic.com has list of recently deleted domains or ones that are going to be deleted on a specific date.
  5. justdropped.com lets you search for deleted domain names that are available for registration, they have a big database of domains and it gets updated by the hour. You need to register to use their website but it is for free.
  6. 7thspace.com similar to justdropped.com, their search engine is basic, but the domain names you find here are more sensible and there is no need to register.
  7. namestation.com is a domain names generator. The domains names given are not that bad and you might really find a good one if you search enough.
  8. who.is besides providing many tools for domain information they have 2 tools that can be very helpful. The first is suggestion tool which suggests “syllable like” or “close meaning” to the domain you provide. The second tool is searching for domains that will expire soon.

Showcase: I have successfully registered hackedin.com by finding it on scoratic.com and backordered it on godaddy.com

Conclusion: One of the most efficient ways to register a good domain name is through searching for domains that are going to expire soon, backorder the domain you liked, and keep your fingers crossed that the domain become yours. Because most (if not all) the good domains are already taken and there are lots of domains that expire on daily basis, your chances are pretty good in catching a good domain name. Imagine it as fishing, you have to throw the hook and be patient to catch a good fish! What do you think is the best way to find a good domain name? (leave a comment below)