As I prepared my session on web hosting for the 2012 HOW Interactive Design Conference I found that I had to cut some content from the presentation. Given limited time and a broad topic, it was inevitable. But the reality was that I had done a fair amount of research into one particular topic I ended up nuking: domain name search tools. So I figured I would just share these little gems here.
Panabee is one of my favorite tools for hunting down domain names. It quickly tries a huge range of variations on any given bit of text. It tries things like spelling words backwards, replacing key letters for other letters (like swapping “k” for “c”). It also demonstrates some interesting solutions for using non .com domains. It’s a fantastic tool for brainstorming and finding some really creative approaches.
This tool also accepts a text string and produces a range of variations. In particular Domainr focuses on producing the shortest URL possible. It makes use of alternate domain extensions and directory extensions on the domain to make for some interesting URL possibilities. Again, a great brainstorming tool.
Domize is similar to Domainr, although it doesn’t use funky sub-directories to come up with names. What I like about this tool is that it’s crazy fast, and it instantly shows you if a domain is available in multiple extensions. Sometimes you only want to buy domains that you can get all the variants on (.com, .net, etc). The speed of this tool alone makes it a favorite of mine.
Finally, there’s Domains Bot. This handy tool not only shows variations on the keywords you enter, but it also searches for related words. For example, if you enter the word “web,” it has a whole list of other words it tries in its place. Again, this is a fantastic way to rapidly try ideas, come up with variants and ultimately discover names you would never have thought of.
Join me at the HOW Interactive Design Conference—if you can’t make this week’s event, then check out the October 28–31 conference in San Francisco.