Before you can launch a new website, company or e-commerce store - you need to find an available domain name.
Unfortunately, it takes more than a few minutes to think of a fitting domain name. There are a lot of steps involved in the process. But you don't have to do it on your own.
We've put together a guide to help you find the best short domain names for your website.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the address that users enter into their browser when visiting your website. Think of it as the name of your website followed by a TLD such as .com, .net, .org, .host, etc. For example, if someone wanted to find our website, they would type servermania.com into their browser and end up on our homepage.
The purpose of a domain name is to convert a word or phrase that is easily memorable to humans and connect it to an IP address. For instance, servermania.com currently points to the A record 22.214.171.124. Instead of forcing humans to memorize these numbers to reach our site, we have this easy to remember domain name.
Understanding Domain Names
A domain name is purchased from a domain name registrar like Hover or Enom. Domain names aren't a permanent piece of property that a company can own. A company has the right to use the domain as long as they pay the yearly renewal fees for it, otherwise it will expire and become available for another user to purchase.
The domain name registry is the company that operates the Top Level Domain. For example, Verisign operates the .COM and .NET registries. They are responsible for maintaining the TLD and working with domain registrars to sell domains to registrants.
Parts of a Domain Name
There are two main parts of a domain name, and they are known as the top-level domain and the mid-level domains.
The top-level domain is the extension at the end of the domain that follows the mid-level domain.
Again, we'll look at our example, servermania.com. The mid-level domain is servermania, and the top-level domain is .COM.
There are two primary types of TLDs: gTLDs and ccTLDs. gTLDs are the generic TLDs like .COM or .Hosting. ccTLDs are country code TLDs such as .us, .ca, or .be.
The hardest part of creating your own domain name is coming up with the right mid-level domain.
Creating Short Domain Names
Your domain name needs to represent your entire brand, which puts a lot of pressure on a few short words. That's why it's so hard and takes so long to think up the perfect domain name.
To get you started, here are a few things your domain name must be.
It has to be something that isn't already copyrighted or being used by another company. You don't want a domain too similar to another domain as users may mistakenly end up in the wrong website.
If people can't remember it, they won't return to your site. And what's the point if no one remembers it? This means avoiding too many words, dashes, or numbers.
Short domain names are the best way to go. If your domain name is too complicated, people will have a hard time remembering it and typing it.
Easy to Spell
Is your domain name something someone can hear once and know how to spell? If you can't figure out how to spell your domain name just by listening to it, you've got problems.
This is maybe the hardest part. Your domain name also has to be meaningful to your brand.
Short Domain Names: Helpful Tools
Fortunately, you don't have to create your domain name on your own. There are a lot of tools out there that will help you brainstorm relevant ideas. Here's a list of our top seven picks.
This tool lets you choose a word to start with, like a noun, verb, or adjective, and will add to that word to create domain names. The best part is, all the domain names it comes up with are available.
2. Bust a Name
You can filter for keywords, choose if you want the keyword in the front or in the back, set a character limit, and choose how natural you want your domain name to sound. If you need some inspiration, you can also search for random domain names.
If you have a general domain name idea already, this tool will build off your idea and suggest other variations of it. This lets you find a great domain name based off an idea you already like.
If you have no idea where to start, this tool lets you pick a category for the beginning and the ending of your domain name. You'll end up with a long list of names related to the categories you chose.
5. Lean Domain Search
Again, all you need is a single word to start. Lean Domain Search will create name options by sticking other popular words to the front and back of your word.
6. Domain Puzzler
With this tool, you can enter multiple keywords at the same time (rather than the one or two keywords other tools allow) and search for ideas. It will take your keywords and combine them into different domain names.
This tool basically does all your brainstorming for you. Like Namemesh, this tool will create dozens of variations of your domain name idea, but it will also tell you the availability of those names.
Stick with Short Domain Names
Remember, regardless of the brainstorming tool you use, stick with a short domain name. Short names are easy to remember and usually easy to spell. Long names are more likely to be confusing or misunderstood.
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