In part one we looked at the basics of how our imaginary friend Joe Bloggs the plumber could find a great domain for his business. We considered using the brand he already had (Joe Bloggs Plumbing Limited), using associated keywords, hyphens, and other extensions. Now assuming that none of that has worked for him, its time to look at the world of domain name generators.
Domain name generators come in several guises but are essentially an easy way to generate lots of combinations and permutations of potential names quickly. The market place for these generators has grown and we now find generators in use by most registrars during the process of looking up a domains availability. If you need some additional features we've put together a list of some of the best. There are a great many to chose from, so here are few:
First on the list is my new favourite and current top pick is www.Domainr.com. Domainr provides a different spin on name generation. Instead of just the usual synonym and related keyword generation, you can find short URLs. For example, a search on the word 'plumbing' brings back www.plumbi.ng and www.plum.bi/ng (where the /ng would be a folder on your server. This is a relatively new spin on the name generating concept and can be very useful As with most services of this type you are shown which of the names generated are still available (although I have had a few false-positives with Domainr).
Next up is www.NameStation.com which offer a far wider array of methods. What's nice about namestation is that it allows you to specify the min and max length, prove a prefix or suffix and also target other languages. You can also select from a very long list of extensions including most of the popular country level names. The results are generally good although as with any generator you need to be patient and play with the keywords you are entering. On the down side namestation do impose a query limit without paying for their pro plan, so don't go wasting those searches!
An old favourite is www.NameBoy.com which looks old school these days but you can still get some good results out of the site. You're presented with the option to enter a primary ans secondary keyword. Name Boy takes those inputs and runs combinations against the most popular TLDs. You can also check against hyphenated names. It has to be said that many of the results aren't great for common words but if you're willing to play around with you keyword choices you can find available names. In our search for Joe Bloggs Plumbing I ran with 'plumbing' and 'specialist' and Name Boy brought back results including variations on 'expert'.
Here is a list of other competing services. They all have their good and bad days depending on the specific industry you're in and how well set up the database is to generate meaningful alternatives in that area. Give a few of them a go and you will quickly find your own favourites.
Hopefully this post has been another useful post for you. In the next part of this series we will look at the after-market and negotiating a great price. Thanks for reading.