May 18 2011
The web is an inspiring place. It provides the allure of fortune and fame and possibility of freedom from a regular job. People read in the news about those who built web applications and made millions and want to do the same. It seems so easy. And so thousands of people full of creativity and talent have embarked on this online quest for riches. Many have found the road to be a bit harder than expected. The path to the top isn’t the straight shot that they had hoped. But they journey on none the less.
It all starts with an idea. People look at the world around them and see a need and think of a way to address it. The gears start churning and within a few weeks they have the idea laid on paper. I remember one client had huge blue prints with flow charts of her inspiration. All the documents had been prepared and everything was set to go. Then after signing NDAs we asked her what the name was, and she didn’t know. It’s amazing how challenging coming up with a name is. I’ve personally vowed to never start working on a project until the name is established to avoid this very situation.
But coming up with a name can be difficult. You can have brain storming sessions or do words studies. Sometimes clearing your head for a weekend can help or breaking your normal routine. Between reading journals, dictionaries, thesauruses, and any other publication, it’s possible you may still be no closer to finding the right name than when you started. One of the top resources for guidance on branding is, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” by Al and Laura Ries. But you can even read that book you still may find yourself at square one.
Fortunately there are many tools available online to jolt the branding engine into action. One of the premier toolsets for this comes to us via DomainHole. It’s a new site that will help you find the right domain name for your web idea.
DomainHole provides you multiple tools each of which has their own role in helping people find a domain. These include the Expired Domain Search, Name Spinner, Instant Availability Checker, and my personal favorite, the Name Generator. The Instant Availability Checker is the easiest as it’s a standard domain name search tool. But hold on before calling it standard. It’s actually a bit nicer than other domain checkers. As soon as you finish typing the search begins- instantly. The results include the .com domain as well as other major extensions. It’s rather attractive actually with available names in green and taken names in red. DomainHole didn’t go cheap on their designers; the look and feel of the site is pretty slick.
Next is the Name Spinner. Here you can enter a core word you want, say ‘Dragons’. But of course Dragons.com is taken, so you want to find a name that includes that term but adds some flair to it. You can have the spinner add words to the beginning or the end of it and then see if any of them work. The words that are added are selected by a drop down list of categories. Some of these include music or country terms. Other options include adjectives, business lingo- it has a wide variety of types of words to “Spin.” Results might include names such as DragonNotes or DragonPower.
The Expired Domain Search tool provides a number of criteria to filter domains that are reaching or just passed their expiration date. Amongst the options are searching with keywords, length, and the time the domain would expire. And then finally is my favorite tool, the random name generator. Here you select how many characters you like the domain generator to use, and click Generate! The results are easy to look through to determine if you drummed up any good ones.
DomainHole doesn’t actually broker the deal for domains. They simply provide the tools to find the right one for you. If you do elect to purchase one you can do so by clicking on the domain, which brings up the option to navigate out to a variety of different domain registrars. Select your favorite one and it will take you to that site to purchase your new name.
All the features of DomainHole can be used anonymously but registering for an account comes with the benefit of saving domains. It’s quite common to have a number of forerunning domains in mind during one’s search. If you’re logged in you can add them to your favorites and then look at all your final selections later. It’s just one more way DomainHole makes finding a name for your site easier.
The web is the gold rush of the 21st century. Instead of heading west and buying pans and shovels, people brush up on their web development skills and start building their corner on the internet. One of the most important parts about every site is its name. DomainHole provides you all the tools you need too find it.