Hunting for good domains for the various website ideas that pop into my head has become a bit of a hobby. Yes, it is sad. But it provides hours of (frustrating) entertainment and a nice sense of achievement when a pearl is finally found. If you are new to this you’ll find out a couple of things pretty quickly…
- Unless it is a completely new phrase/word, the domain you first think of is definitely gone, and
- Most of the time it is just redirecting to a domain parking page.
You can always attempt to purchase a parked domain, but my preference is to try and find an unreserved one. If that is the goal and if you want to find a short domain without hyphens that relates clearly to the purpose of your hypothetical site, you’ll need to get creative. To that end, three tools I’ve come to frequently use in my hunts are:
- The Wikipedia list of top-level country domains
- CrosswordSolver.org (enter the top level domain in the last two or three boxes to find words that end with that)
The thesaurus is great for coming up with alternative general phrases for the same site concept, while the top-level domain (TLD) list and crossword solver help discover possible domain hacks. The .com has been the TLD of choice for many years because is so well known. However, as fewer reasonable .com domains are available and more and more people are exposed to links modified by URL shorteners (e.g., bit.ly, fb.me, is.gd, goo.gl and soon t.co), it is becoming more acceptable to use uncommon TLDs in domains. You’d be surprised at the meaningful, short domains you can come up with when you broaden your horizons beyond the .com. I’ve managed to find a couple recently that are small enough to minimise the need for external URL shorteners.
Of course, this is all academic if you never actually get around to building something at the domain!
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