This is a guest post from Natasha Murashev, a former FBI agent turned Googler who is now learning Ruby on Rails and working on her own startup.
It may seem like every single great domain in the world is taken (I mean, how do you describe some of these new startups with ridiculously misspelled or completely made up words as their brand name?), but that is a big misconception. There are plenty of great domains left, just waiting for you to register them. Here is how you find them…
The first part of your domain searching journey should include plain brainstorming. Think of words that describe your product and write these down. These words should be specific enough so people know what your product is about, but also general enough so as your business expands (or if you do a slight pivot) and you start offering new, but related products, your domain name will still work.
‘FeeFighters’ is a great example of a brand name that is both specific and general at the same time. When you come to FeeFighters, you know it is specifically about saving money, but the name is flexible enough where FeeFighters can offer multiple products to help you save money (which they do).
If you have some domain names already in mind, check out domize. Domize is a really quick way to search for available .com, .org, .net, .biz, and .us domains. It has a very clean user interface, and is a lot more fun to work with than most of the domain registrars out there.
If you’ve come up with a few words that work well with your product, but need a little bit more help combining words to come up with a good domain, make sure to check out LeanDomainSearch.com. LeanDomainSearch is a new tool that finds available .com domains with specific key words. It is actually pretty addicting if you’re as obsessed with looking for domains as I am. You’ll be surprised by how many cool .com domains are still available.
If you can’t find the right .com domain for your product, make sure to check out .co domains, which have recently become widely available for purchase. Big Brands such as Twitter (t.co), Overstock.com (o.co), Google (g.co), 500 Startups (500.co), Angel List (angel.co), and many more are already using .co domains.
Web 2.0 Domains
If all else fails, there are always plenty of Web 2.0 domains. Check out Web 2.0 domain generator tools like Dot-o-mator. The only issue with these type of domains is that they’re hard for your users to spell and remember.
You can also check out availability for non .com domains, with endings such as .ly (Lybian) or .am (this is what Instragr.am uses) – you can get pretty creative with these. However, the non .com endings might cost you a lot more and are subjects to the rules and regulations of a different country.
Feel free to share any other domain searching tools that you like and use in the comments!