As the internet keeps growing and with new sites popping up everyday it is becoming increasingly hard to find the elusive ‘perfect domain name' for you business, blog, service, or product. While it's becoming harder it is still not impossible to find an available good, great, or perfect domain name to register for only $10 to build your website with.
Here are some tools I use for finding domain names. Some might use other domain finding tool, but overall I have found these are the sites and tools I always keep coming back to use when I need a new domain name.
LeanDomainSearch – Probably one of the easiest and most helpful tools I have seen on the web for finding a good available domain name. Lean Domain Search is super easy to use and straightforward. All you do is type in a word or a few words that you want to use in a domain name. It will generate a list of available .COM domains using those keywords highlighted in green. Hover over and click one of the domains and it will tell you if that domain is in fact still available and if the Twitter handle for the domain is available (Twitter handles must be less than 20 words or characters though). I have used Lean Domain Search many times and have found some great gems through it. Of course a lot of domains it will spin out may not make sense or will just be plain weird word combinations. Still this is worth a shot if you have been having trouble searching or narrowing down a perfect domain name. There is also a new brandable domain generator too, which helps you find short brandable domains. These are not necessarily grammatically correct but would be good if you are a startup or want a catchy memorable domain name. You can use Lean Domain Search for free but it does limit your searches to 150. To see the full list of 5,000 domains you can pay $79 for two months or $199 per year ($16.58 a month). Probably worth every penny but I have never paid for the service.
UPDATE: Lean Domain Search is now completely free to use. In addition the developer, Matt Mazur, let Automattic acquire Lean Domain Search. This means the company behind WordPress now owns the domain generator. Also something to be aware of is before the Automattic acquisition Matt shutdown the brandable domains and domain name trends section he use to have on the website.
ExpiredDomains.net – One of the best and most comprehensive domain finding sites out there I have found. This site searches expiring domains that are in the process of deleting from the domain registry and deleted domains. You can really narrow down specifics of a domain name like no other tool or site I have seen. For instance if you want to find a domain with the word “tech” you can select whether you want it in the front, back, or anywhere in the domain. It lets you select domain extensions, character length, pagerank, , DMOZ entry, different languages, and whole lot more. One thing you should keep in mind is that it searches expiring domain lists and there are a lot of junk domains that people buy and drop. The best way to utilize ExpiredDomains.net is to really drill down what words you are looking for and to use specific search criteria to narrow down results. Get to narrow though and you search won't turn up any domains. ExpiredDomains.net also lets you search through GoDaddy Auctions, NameJet PreRelease and Auctions, Pool Marketplace and Dynadot. This makes it very valuable all around domain finding tool. You will have to sing-up for an account, but considering how useful it is I wouldn't worry about it.
NameChk – This is not technically a domain finding tool, but it is extremely useful. It lets you see what social media handles are available for certain words. So if owned the domain “example.com” I could try to see if “example” is available on social media bookmarking and networking sites. Since consistency is important on the internet it is a good idea to see if that domain name you want to use has a Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. handles locked up or if they are all available.
WhoisRequest.org – My favorite Whois tool. It will tell you how many times a domain nameservers have been changed, when, and how many times a domain was dropped, if ever. If the domain was never registered before it will also tell you that. The data goes back to 2002 which should be far enough back for most people. Most services that let you see a domain's history you have to pay for but WhoisRequest is completely free. Making it a great tool in my webkit.
FYI Lean Domain Search and ExpiredDomains.net make money when you click through to a domain name registrar and buy a name. They seem to prefer GoDaddy but I recommend using NameSilo as I have never had a problem with them. Read my NameSilo Review to get an idea about their services. They provide free privacy and easy domain registration and management.
If I find any other domain finding tools or sites that lets you zero in on that perfect domain name you are looking for, I will be sure to let all my readers know. Remember it is possible nowadays to get a that perfect domain name, you are just going to have to spend time finding it.
Know someone who needs to find the “perfect domain name” and can't? If so, please share this article with them so they don't need to be tearing their hair out.
Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!