Now that you have decided about creating your website, it is time for one of the hardest decisions you will probably have to make: choosing a domain name. Many of the more desirable and easy names have been taken. However, there are tools out there that will help you to find a domain name for your website, and in some instances, some of these tools will help you to generate a domain name. Here are the steps that I would suggest you use to find a domain name for your website.
Step 1: Decide on the Nature of Your Product or Service
Choose a name that closely represents the type of product or service that you are offering. The main reason for this is that your customers or supporters will be able to remember you more easily. When people are searching they will be more likely to remember your good or service.
Step 2: Consider Copyright Issues
Make sure that the name you are choosing does not contain words that are protected by copyright. For example, your domain name cannot contain the words “Facebook” or the word “Microsoft”. Those guys have deep pockets and they will probably have their lawyers telling you to cease and desist or turn the domain name over to them. Remember the case Facebook vs. Lamebook? How about Facebook vs. Teachbook? Well, TeachBook dropped the name and was renamed TeachQuest. Just because the site had “-book” in its name, and they marketed the site as a “Facebook for Teachers”. You get the point, if you don’t want to waste your precious time and money in litigation, stay clear.
Step 3: Make Your Domain Name Easy?
You are out of luck, and all the good names are taken. But there are ways that you may be able to pick up a good domain name. There are applications out there that will help you choose a domain name that has not been purchased or are expired. Remember, there are some companies out there that purchase hundreds, if not thousands, of domain names on a daily basis. So if you come up with a good name-purchase it right away.
Step 4: Decide if Your Name Will Rank
If you choose a really popular name it may be a little difficult for your site to rank high when people start searching online. Therefore, it is best to select a name that is easy to spell, easy to say, and is not too common. On the other hand, you may choose a phrase, that is if that phrase goes along with your mission. One example is the phrase, “Google Keyword Tool”. Google obviously does not mind that website using its name because that entire website is promoting Google services and it is not pretending to be a Google affiliate.
Here are a few websites to help you find and generate a domain name:
Panabee is very easy to use. You simply enter a 2 word phrase, and the tool will try to generate possible domain names for you.
Bustaname is my personal favorite website to use when I am brainstorming domain names. There are many ways to customize the type of name you would like to generate. For example, if you want your domain to end with “brooks”, you select for it to end with “brooks” and then you select how many letters you want your domain name to have. Obviously, you will want to choose a good name.
NameBoy allows you to simply add a primary and a secondary word, and they will work their name generation magic. Also, if you create an account name at NameBoy you will be able to save your preferred generated domain name for later purchase.
NameStation has taken the name generation business to a whole new level. First you will need to create an account with them to start playing around generating your name. You may even create a naming contest if you wish.
Domain Name is not too dissimilar to regular domain name registrars. When you enter the domain that you want it will quickly supply you with alternatives to the name for which you are searching.
With Domize’s name generator system you will enter the domain name that you want, and it will quickly decipher the word. It also tells you what parts are available. This is a very good system for when you are brainstorming.
StuckDomain will allow you to search for expired domain names.
There are some really good books out there on managing domain names that you may want to look into. Also, remember I stated earlier that there are many people who will buy and hold domain names and are hoping to cash-in on the best offer. Therefore, if you are going to be buying a domain name, it is always good to know what other people out there are doing.