This is Part 3 of 4.
Go to part 1 of 4: What is a Domain? (How to Choose the Perfect Name)
Using Domain Generation Tools for Domain Name Inspiration
Domain name generators, as they are called, are not just for generating domain names. Many of these tools can be used to help brainstorm the name of a business, product, or really anything that needs a name.
Domain generation tools have made some decent strides over the years. If you are looking for inspiration, or just need a quick domain name, these tools can be your hero.
Not all domain generators are equal. The list you will find below is not comprehensive. Now you are going to start leveraging technology to help you begin to think in lateral directions.
Many generators in the wild are simply variations of a theme. However, if I come across any that stand out and aren't on this list I'll add them to the list.
Domain generators are great for inspiring you to think in lateral directions.
Once we humans get on a thought train, it can often be difficult to jump to a different track. The tools listed on this page are just the juice you need to make the leap.
Here are the tools in no particular order.
If you are interested in knowing how I would rank this list, let me know in the comments below. If I get enough interest I might put together a ranked list of what I think are the best domain generators and why.
Just click on the link above and start entering your keywords and click the “Search Domains” button.
This will bring back many potential domains that are available. The domains will typically have words added to the beginning or the end.
Not terribly imaginative, but it works.
Pay attention to the links on the left side of the screen. You can sort by length, popularity, and alphabet.
You can also filter the domains that come back by limiting the results to those that start with your keyword or end with it.
Start by adding a keyword in the search box, then choose if you want variants with the keywords to start with your chosen word, or ends with your chosen word.
Experiment with the drop down that starts out “very natural”.
Finally, choose your ideal domain length. Oh, one thing I should mention, when talking about domain lengths in many cases (and in this case) that’s excluding the domain suffix.
In the “Options” form you can also limit your search to the more popular top-level domain suffixes.
Finally, if you scroll all the way to the bottom you’ll get some other suggestions. If any suit your fancy, then take a moment to jot them down.
Just enter your keywords with or without spaces and click the “Generate Names” button.
This will bring back a bunch of name ideas based on the text you entered. It will also tell you if the .com version of the domain is available. The text displayed will have spaces, understand that if you are using this for a domain that the domain would be without spaces.
Name boy is a bit of a different bird. This one has two forms, you do not need to enter a keyword in the second field, but you can, and should definitely try if you are using multiple keywords.
This one gets pretty creative sometimes and will even come up with some domain suggestions that seem like nonsense.
One of the features nameboy.com has that is interesting is the Rhyme checkbox. Sometimes it rhymes, and sometimes it’s got a funny idea of what it "thinks" rhymes.
"Allow hyphens" is just that, it will allow hyphens to be placed within the proposed domain name.
The results will show you which domains are available as well as any prices if a domain is already owned and is for sale (only for .com and .net).
WARNING: This one has a limited number of uses (about three searches) before it will force you to become a paid member to keep researching. So, make sure you inspect all the options available before you do your first search. Also, changing to another page in the results seems to count as a search, which is pretty silly in my opinion.
This is quite a bit more sophisticated than we’ve seen up to this point. I’d limit the searches to one or two short keyword phrases, but feel free to do whatever seems natural.
I’d keep the word group at 1500 popular last or 1000 top keywords. I’d also make sure .com, .org and .net at the very least are chosen, as well as some other top-level domains if they are relevant to you. Again, do what seems natural.
When you click “Generate Names”, the page will not refresh and you may have to scroll down to see the names that show up.
This one is a little weird. The easiest way to use it is to leave it on “easy” enter one or more keywords separated by commas, check the domain suffixes you want to use, and then click “Search”.
It will take a while and then it will return a list of domains (both available and taken).
Advanced will allow you to enter words in the top and bottom forms and those words will be combined in various ways.
"Magic" must take something beyond muttering abracadabra because I’ve never been able to get Magic to work, so if you know the magic words or gestures to get this to work, let me know what they are.
Page rank will allow you to enter existing domains separated by commas and in theory should give you some information about them including Page Rank (a metric used by Google to gauge authority beyond the scope of this discussion).
However, that does not seem to work very well either. Remember, the idea is not to judge the tools, only to use them to inspire you.
Okay, I’m going to cheat just a little bit regarding my intent to not rate these tools. I like this one quite a bit.
Start by entering a single keyword or a list of keywords separated by commas and clicking the “Generate” button.
The results are going to contain several boxes that are categorized and very easy and intuitive to understand.
By default, it will only show you those domains that are available.
In the picture above you can see under the search box the word try, followed by an example search. Try it. Copy and paste the sample and click “Generate” and you’ll see some pretty powerful results.
Get creative, try different things. This a pretty sophisticated tool. Hey, maybe you should bookmark it.
Rinse and repeat with this one. Enter your keywords into the form field and hit the magnifying glass (or press enter).
One facet of this one is the stuff on the left (the results are on the right). It’s going to list synonyms which will also be used in the results.
You can use the synonyms to get ideas or delete them to eliminate them from consideration in the results.
You can also add your own prefixes and suffixes while limiting the search to specific top-level domains.
The Panabee interface is similar to the Name Mesh interface as far as the results are concerned.
This is another really simple one, just fill out the field and click the “Search” button to start.
It’ll bring back just .com’s to start with, but then you can choose other top-level domains.
Broken hearts mean the domain is taken. Blue hearts mean it’s available.
This one starts out like many of the others, but instead of just returning results it walks you through a wizard-like interface.
Just enter a single keyword into the field, and then click “Get Name Suggestions”.
Next, it’ll allow you to enter an optional supporting word, I’m going to enter the word "Internet".
Finally, it’ll show you similar topics to the words you entered. The green ones are “on” the gray ones are “off”. You can toggle them on or off by clicking on them. Once you’re done, click “Save and Continue”.
Here’s the catch. It’s going to ask you for an email address.
If you want to create an account, go for it. Otherwise, you can use a temporary email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you’re done, clicking the button will get you your results.
A sidebar: I will often use my real email address on sites that I trust even marginally if I think A) that they have something of value I might find interesting and B) I think they will honor an unsubscribe (if I decide they aren't interesting to me).
I feel little guilt using a bogus email for sites that I don't know or have little faith in. However, if I gain trust later and both A and B above are true, I'll typically correct it with my real email address.
Mailinator.com is a great way of doing this (some sites have it blacklisted though) because you can actually use it to retrieve the mail. It should go without saying, never use it with sites that you give your actual private information because that information could be included in the email (which is publicly viewable).
It should go without saying, never use mailinator.com with sites that you give your actual private information to because that information could be included in the email (which is publicly viewable).
This is another simple one, but it’s got a spin that’s kind of cool.
The drop down on the left of the form allows you to choose from word types. Adjectives, verbs, and nouns from 4, 5, and 6 letters long either at the beginning or the end.
Play with it and have fun.
This one is a different sort of engine completely and I’ve included it for those that are at a complete loss of inspiration.
This is good when you’re really stuck because it can at least generate some ideas for you.
You don’t enter any terms for this one, but instead, you choose from a list of options in the first and second drop downs. When you click “Combine” it’ll combine the various words to get many combinations.
Use this to spark some ideas.
They’ve also got a totally random business name generator called the Web 2.0 Name Generator. Clicking the “Generate Name” button will come up with a totally random business name that you can also use for inspiration.
This is another creative way of generating names and coming up with ideas for a domain name, business name, product name, or anywhere you might use a name.
You enter your keyword or phrase into the first field. Then you choose options from the drop downs under the field you typed your keyword(s) in.
Finally, click “Generate Domains” and a grid of names will come in that is typically quite a bit different from the other systems.
This is another one of those tools that can really give you some great ideas regarding domain names for your niche.
This one is nice and simple, enter your keyword(s) and hit “Submit”.
It is named after the phrase "Google alphabet soup" which is sometimes used to describe the autocomplete feature Google uses to help searchers find relevant searches with autocomplete.
It’ll bring up an interface with a bunch of suggestions. If you see one that is close, you click the wizard button and it’ll keep adding words to the name to come up with some that are more likely to be available with each click.
This is another pure generator that can be used to throw some mental fertilizer into the mix to get your mind working.
The cool thing about this one is that you can choose the length, the top-level domain and then play with the template. When you’re done, click the “Generate” button.
Another interesting feature is the character pattern. You just click on one of the “L” buttons (under "Template") and it’ll toggle it to another letter.
- L – All letters
- C – Consanant
- V – Vowels.
It’s an interesting technique, but since you can’t control it anyway, it’s purely for ideas. Unless you get lucky and it generates the perfect name you were looking for.
For this one, you enter up to five keywords and it’ll do the rest.
Then, click “Search”.
The thing I’m not fond of with this one is that it seems to show "available" domain names when they are not actually available.
There is also a “Generate” tab. By clicking on that you can generate random words from a modern, Greek and several other possibilities.
This is another cool one that will get your creative juices flowing. This is another one more for if you get stuck and are looking for inspiration.
If you click on the gear to the right of the text “Generate Domains”, the settings will open up beneath. If you then click on “Niches” (or any of the others), a series of domains will appear in the list if you scroll down.
This one can create some pretty interesting short, brandable domains.
Furthermore, if you click the little arrow next to the domain idea, it’ll take you to a page where it will give you some logo ideas and tell you if the username is available on the top social networks.
You can also place your keywords into the tool by choosing the “Input” button (next to Niches in the picture).
It’s not pretty, but it’s fast. Enter a word, or two, or three and it’ll conflate and conjugate to give you pages of results.
There’s no real magic to this, but if you click on some of the links on this site you’ll get some information which may help as well.
This List is Not Complete
Whew! That's 18 domain generators!
These tools are a great way to get ideas when you are looking for that perfect domain name.
Sometimes, while thinking of domain names we tend to get tunnel vision and tools like these help broaden our thinking to release our inner creativity.
Some of these tools are nothing more than word combinators, while others leverage some pretty sophisticated AI.
Some use your own keywords as a starting point, some are completely random, and others maintain lists of pretty good domains.
If you know of a domain generator that isn't on this list, let me know about it using the comments below.
Next in the Series: Choosing the Perfect Domain Name
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Don't see your favorite domain generator? Let me know and I'll add it to the list.
If you have questions about these domain generators (or others not listed here), let me know.
If you see an error or I've misinterpreted something, let me know that too.
If you just want to say hello, that's okay as well. Just let me know any thoughts you might have.
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