Generic Domain Finder isn’t always the best tool when you’re searching for domain names. In fact, there is a great ecosystem of wonderful tools that may be useful to the domain name investor. Here are a couple that we think are great.
As you type domain availability tools
These tools started coming out about 5 years ago, and just caught fire, because they solved a problem that every one was having. Usually, when you’re searching for a domain name, the first choice, or the most obvious choice you want is already taken. At that point, you want to start quickly iterating on the name – maybe adding a suffix, maybe changing the name slightly. If you have to wait for a web page to load each time, it can be really slow. It’s much better if you can see the availability of the name as you type – and it makes your brainstorming much much more effective.
As far as I know, the first such tool was Instant Domain Search. It hasn’t changed very much since it was released, but based on it’s Alexa ranking, it’s still widely popular.
Shortly after I started using Instant Domain Search, a friend introduced me to Domize. Domize is basically Instant Domain Search on steroids. It lets you pick from 30 different TLDs, including .INFO, .CO.UK, and .CO. Additionally, the entire site is SSL secured. That means, there’s less chance of a hacker stealing your names as you are typing them into the site.
Another great as you type service is NameNinja. This one is probably the most interesting for generic domain investors, as it combines instant availability checking with Google Suggest. I think I should just redirect Generic Domain Finder Instant to Name Ninja, because they’ve really done such a nice job with the tool.
Made up domain name finder
Since almost all real words have been taken already, there’s been a trend towards making up domain names. Generally, the made up domain names combine a real word root with a prefix or a suffix to make a pronounceable, relatively short domain name. It’s natural that tools would be created to help people generate these kinds of names, because it’s really hard to think up these names yourself.
My absolute favorite domain name generator service is called Wordoid. The homepage gives some suggested domain names, and tells you if the .COM is available or not. It also tells you how many search results the term has in Google. If the number is low or 0, that’s a great sign. That means you can start your own brand, without worrying that someone has already trademarked it. Wordoid also lets you include a root word to include in all of the keywords it suggests to you. That can be useful if you have a core idea for the domain name you want to use, but are looking for some variations on that name. Generally all of the suggestions of Wordoid are pronounceable, which is important for a brand name.
Finally, another very interesting service for finding made up domain names is called Picky Domains. This is the only one on the list that’s not free – but for the service that they provide, it’s not actually very expensive at all. For $50, they will have an army of people good at thinking up creative domain names, think about your business idea, and propose names to you. The list of domain names that have been picked up through the service is actually quite interesting.
We’re always on the lookout for great tools that help online entrepreneurs and domain investors find great domain names. If there are any that should be on this list or a future listing, please contact us and let us know!