Finding a good domain name that is available is hard and it keeps getting harder. Every time I try to search for a domain I do the same steps, so I’ve decided to document my process and hopefully it will help some people finding a good name for their website.
I usually search/register my domain names through godaddy.com because they are cheap and provide free DNS hosting.
Ok here’s the things I do…
List all the words that are pertinent to the website you want to create.
Use A Thesaurus
Some words are very common and even the most bizarre combinations will already be taken, in that case synonyms are your friend. Use a thesaurus to find alternative to words you like.
Research the most popular similar website, and avoid using a name that is too close the existing popular websites. It will be hard to establish a brand if it’s too close to your competitors.
Keep It Short
Short domain name are in short supplies, since most single words have already been registered. So you can probably forget on finding a single word domain (under 6 letters). So here’s a few things to do to keep it short.
Combine Multiple Words
Try to find a list of words that pertain to your future website and try to combine them to make something unique. I’ve built a list of three letter words that can be used in domain name search. Some good words to use when combine are adjectives, colors, numbers.
Invent A New Word
Still can’t find a good combination of words it’s probably time to invent your own word. The best way is to take one of the words that you searched with and add a suffix to a word you liked but wasn’t available.
Not just .com
If you plan on getting most traffic through inbound links or search engines then getting the .com might not be that important. So consider using alternative domain extensions. And even use them as suffixes like .us, .ly, .ca. For the famous bit.ly domain and the original delicious originally had del.icio.us as a domain.
Shorten Some Words
If you combine more thatn two words or some of the combined words are too long. You ca use the first letter of some of the words or remove letters in a given word. Flickr.com is a good example.
Things to avoid
Avoid words that have the same sound but can be spelled differently. For example to, two and too all sound the same but are spelled differently.
Numbers and dashes are permitted in domain names, but I personally think they should be avoided since it’s uncommon and can lead to confusion with the equivalent domain without the dashes. For example if you want hot-coffee.com and hotcoffee.com already exists your users might confuse the two.
Weird Word Combinations
Make sure the words that make up your domain don’t can’t be interpreted other than what you intend. For example if you had a store called king of sofas and you wanted sofaking.com if might lead to confusion.
Once you’ve found a great domain, give it a day or two and make sure you still like it then. Also talk to your family and friends see what they think of your new awesome domain.
There is probably lots more in the science of finding great domain names . But this is the gist of how I do it. Feel free to comment if you think I missed anything.