Great Domain Names

Category: Webmaster

Think all of the good ones are taken? Think again. Follow these tips, and use some clever online tools to snag a great domain name for your blog, business or boondoggle...

How To Get a Great Domain Name

Securing the right domain name is a fundamental part of any online venture, whether it's personal or business. Your domain name is the cornerstone of your online identity or brand. Thinking up the perfect domain name is hard. Registering it before someone else does is even harder. Here are some tips for getting the right domain name.

A good domain name is easily pronounced aloud, so that customers can pass it along by word of mouth accurately. Avoid unusual words; words that are spelled multiple ways; hyphens, and other unpronounceable characters. Keep the domain name as short as possible to minimize typing errors. Speak a prospective domain name to friends and ask them to spell it; if they can't, it's the wrong domain name. Or imagine hearing your domain name in a radio commercial, and all the listeners ending up at the wrong website. Fail.
domain names

To help you brainstorm great domain names, there are Web sites such as Bustaname, and InstantDomainSearch. Just enter some words pertaining to your domain name concept, i. e., "jewelry sales," and see what combinations and variations of those words are available as domain names. Some of the tools will add common prefixes and suffixes to help you find a clever variation on your theme. You can flag the names you like to create a short list of candidates; register a great domain name through a domain registrar; or make an offer to the current owner of a domain name.

If the domain name you want is already taken there are two things you can do: wait until the name becomes available or try to buy it from the current owner.

Domain Backordering and Escrow

The waiting game is called "backordering" and domain registrars will help you do it. Over 750,000 registered domain names expire each month. If the current owner of a domain fails to renew its registration during a specified grace period, the name can be snapped up by someone who's placed a backorder request. Domain registrars have different methods of choosing who the lucky winner of an expired great domain name will be. Godaddy.com, DomainMonster.com, eNom.com, and SnapNames.com are some leading providers of backorder services.

The direct approach can get you the Domain name you want faster than backorder, but the price can be high. Generic domain names such as "business.com" generate hundreds or thousands of advertising dollars per day for their owners with virtually no effort, so buying such a name is expensive. But a brand-specific domain name such as "DarlenesBeautyCollege.com" might be sold for under a hundred dollars. You just have to contact the domain owner and start negotiating.

How much you should pay for a domain name is both a rational and emotional decision much like buying a house. The current owner should let you audit the domain's traffic volume to get an objective idea of its revenue-generating value. You should research what similar domain names have sold for in the recent past. You also want to know if there are any pending legal issues, such as copyright or trademark infringement lawsuits, that might cloud the title to the domain.

When you are ready to plunk down serious money for a domain name, it's important to protect yourself against a dishonest seller. Use an escrow service, a neutral party which holds your money until the seller completes the transfer of the domain to your name. But be careful; some crooks suggest "neutral" escrow services that they actually control! One of the authentic escrow services widely used for large transactions is Escrow.com.

Have you scored a great domain name? Tell us your experience -- post a comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Great Domain Names"

Posted by:

Len Hend
22 Feb 2011

How lucky am I - My second name is Hend, not a common name, I was able to register myself and all my children as .....hend.com
then in facebook I registered a page howtopaint and with webpress I registered paintinglessons. So! with a bit of luck there are names available for beginners.


Posted by:

Rohan Wickramasinghe
23 Feb 2011

Thank you for this very interesting article. Incidentally, the word in my email address is that of a very popular indigenous plant, which is easily remembered by Sri Lankan listeners even if they do not happen to have a pen and paper at hand when I mention it to them.

Just recently, at a dinner with colleagues, the question arose as to whether (when registering domain names first commenced) someone with foresight registered a highly desirable domain name, which he/she subsequently sold for a million dollars! Is there any truth in this statement? If so, what was the domain name concerned? Rohan Wickramasinghe, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Posted by:

tp
02 Mar 2011

are there sites that "warehouse" domain names just waiting for someone to inquire.... awhile back i had made up a non existient word/name searched google using the word and came up with nothing. then i went to see if i could register and low and behold the dot com was taken but i could have dot org etc etc.??

EDITOR'S NOTE: There are plenty of domain squatters who buy and sell names. In your case, it would be interesting to see the registration date on the domain you wanted to register.


Posted by:

Business Name Ideas
18 Mar 2011

By all means, creativity of choosing a business domain name is very essential. It is suggested that domain name should matched a brand name. Use any site that you like to come up with domain name ideas. But, when you're ready to buy, choose the registrar that offers the best domain name package and price, not the registrar that has the best domain name suggestions. - Cha (http://www.squadhelp.com)


Posted by:

Jon
21 Jul 2012

when i went to domainers.com google popped up a warning screen stating that the site was known to contain malware.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Looks like that site is no longer trustworthy. I've removed the link.


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