or: The pain in choosing a domain name
Imagine this: You have a great idea and you already have a great name for your product or website. You make a concept and create great looking logo. Then when you finally check for suitable domain names you realize, there none left. The most recognizable .com-domains are also the ones that are the hardest to get. Short and memorable names are almost impossible to find. You could consider buying your desired name, but unless you have deep pockets, it is probably not worth considering. Especially if you are just starting-up and want to test an idea.
- Side note: Porno.com sold for $8,888,888 in 2015.
How can you mitigate such situations and what are creative ways around the problem that lets you choose unique names?
#1: Start with the domain name in mind.
When a website is vital to the function of your business, then there is no other way around it but to start with the domain name itself. When considering a name or brand, check always for the available domain. If it’s not, then you are out of luck and you move on to the next possible candidate. There is little point in trying to obtain an already registered domain. Negotiations with the owner might take long and will hinder your progress. So don’t place that much importance to the name and move on to the really important things.
That happened to me, I wanted to create a travel website with the name “travelbee”. Only after I created a logo for it I checked for available domain names. Huge mistake… Now I am back to zero.
#2: Avoid the “Unusual name”, therefore the “I don’t like bias”
Granted, I have no idea how to name it. But the point is this: When you think of a name and it just doesn’t sound right. In comparison established names for companies such as google and amazon just sounds so fitting. But they aren’t. I would even argue that these are not even that amazing names, apart from being short. Because we are so used to hearing these names that often, we make a connection in our mind and these names become good sounding names. We hear and read them everywhere. And the same goes for your possible not such nice sounding name. If everyone would use it, then it wouldn’t be such a bad name after all.
So consider even unusual names, they might become less so, if once established and often in used. Don’t forget #1.
#3: Consider the “non-traditional” options
COM-Domains are the most popular and have the most trustworthiness attached. Does it always have to end with com? There are many new domain names you could consider. Granted dot-pizza is probably not the best choice for a book store. But there are many other options you can consider. Domain names from other countries become more and more popular. Few have restrictions on the locality of the business and most are open to any individual or business worldwide. Some of my favorites are:
- .IO or .tech – is commonly used for tech startups.
- .LY – a popular ending for an English word. Take a commonly word and attach a ly and you have a nicely sounding name with domain. Isn’t that nicely?
- .BY – This is also a common English word and could be used with some creativity. Cited.by?
These are by far not all the options.
#4: Don’t focus on the name that much, you can always rebrand.
Having a great name is …. Great. Don’t get stuck though. Focus on the most important things. The name is usually not as important as you think. Not deciding for a name quickly is always a good excuse to stall the work until a good name comes up. Move along to the core of the project. And if you are truly unsatisfied with the name, it’s always possible to change it. Your users or costumers can adapt quick. And when you decide to change it, you have at least made some progress and gathered some valuable experience in doing so. Unlike the other person, who is still thinking of that perfect name.
So don’t get stuck and check out my Recommended Reads for some inspiration along the way.