Author: Sunil Tanna
Regardless of whether you are starting a new business, or planning to expand an existing one by creating a new web site, it can be quite hard to find a suitable domain name that somebody else has not already registered. The reality is that most obvious domain names, the ones that are likely to occur to you at the beginning of your search for a suitable available name, have been registered long ago. Some people attribute this to squatting or parked domains, but that's not really the case – the reality is that in virtually every possible area of business or interest, there are simply orders of magnitude more people interested in owning web sites than there are obvious domain names.
So what is the answer? Does this mean that you are doomed at the outset in any search for a good available domain name? Actually, and surprisingly to many people the answer is no. The solution is actually right in front of you – you need to be a little more inventive and stop equating “obvious” with “good”. Consider for example, yahoo.com, google.com, slashdot.org, or hotmail.com. All have been incredibly successful, but none have obvious names considering the type of services that theyoffer. Indeed, some people might argue that one of the reason s why these sites have been successful is their unusual names are memorable, and have helped them establish a unique brand identity.
So how can you find a unique or interesting name? Obviously, you might want to get your thinking cap on, and a little help from a thesaurus might be of use too, but the best answer is to use online tools to help you. There are many web sites that offer domain name suggestion tools, and they are all generally free to use. Simply enter one or more keywords, and see what they come up with – while not every suggestion will be great, these tools can help you find some real gems.
Finally I should emphasize, that domain name suggestion tools while helpful do not remove all the work. Don't switch off your brain! You still need to critically evaluate each suggestion (don't fall into the trap of dismissing every suggestion out of hand, and overlooking the few really good suggestions, just because most of the suggestions are unsuitable for your needs), and you still need to come up with good ideas and a range of different keywords to enter into these tools in the first places.
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