Before you pick a website name there’s a few things to think about. Like how short could it be? Can you get away with an acronym?

Some quick general rules for picking domain names:

  1. .com is preferred.  Search engines and users will thank you for getting a .com domain.
  2. .net is “okay” but better suited for technical websites and really if the .com version isn’t available it could lead to confusion.  See rule #1.
  3. .me is okay for personal websites but will likely lead to some confusion if you want anyone to remember your website from word of mouth.
  4. .us seems okay but it’s used by a lot of spammers for this same reason.
  5. Consider the misspellings and avoid purposeful misspellings. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Tumblr.
  6. Shorter is better but relevance is more important in a domain name.
  7. Memorable is better.
  8. Easy to say and spell.

Tools for finding domain names

Want a crazy domain name? 

Looking for the shortest of the short domain names? 

  • Char3 has all the recently dropped 3 letter domain names.
  • Char4 has all the recently dropped 4 letter domain names.
  • Char5 has all the recently dropped 5 letter domain names.

Editor’s note (8/23/18): Those sites don’t seem to be working for the domains anymore. Looking for another resource here.

Not sure what you want in a domain name? 

Use the Terminal program on the Mac to search for available domain names.

    • Open terminal and type

whois yourdomainnamethatyouwant.com

You’ll see if there’s a registered domain holder for the domain.

10 More Domain search options:

  1. Lean Domain Search
  2. Name Mesh
  3. Wordoid
  4. Dot-o-mator
  5. NameStation
  6. NXdom
  7. Domainhole
  8. Bustaname
  9. Domainr
  10. Impossibility!

Once you’ve found your new shiny domain name that appears to be available, you’ll want to register it. For the best prices we recommend NameCheap but if you want to use GoDaddy, go for it. GD does have screaming fast DNS servers (if not hosting servers) and they make it easy for you to give permissions to your web developer.

 

domain soup

photo by Amador Loureiro