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How to choose a website name

Looking for a web domain nameSometimes choosing a name for your venture and website is the most difficult part of getting started.

Here are a couple articles I find helpful in the brainstorming process. The first, “What’s my name, #$%&*?”, lists some specific goals and brainstorming techniques that might help you know your target.

The basic rules are:

  1. Be easy to pronounce and spell.
  2. Make it memorable.
  3. Don’t pigeonhole yourself (Being to specific in the naming of your company or product can hinder growth later.)
  4. Go easy on the numbers.
  5. Don’t use names that could have a negative connotation in other languages
  6. Stay away from negative connotations.
  7. Make sure your name doesn’t alienate any group (race, religion, etc)
  8. Search for existing trademarks on potential names.
  9. Make sure the domain is either available or purchasable in the aftermarket.

The second article, “10 Name Types”, categorizes brand names into different categories and offers pros and cons to each with some great examples. The categories are:

  1. Real words (ex: Amazon)
  2. Compound words (ex: WordPress)
  3. Phrases (ex: StumbleUpon)
  4. Blends (ex: Wikipedia)
  5. Tweaked words (ex: iPhone)
  6. Affixed words (ex: PostSecret)
  7. Made up words (ex: Plaxo)
  8. Puns (ex: Writely)
  9. Names (ex: AskJeeves)
  10. Acronyms (ex: AOL)

Here are a couple tools I like to use when trying to find a domain name for a website:

  • – This gives you feedback as you type on whether a domain name is available or not. The fast feedback lets you run through lots of ideas quickly.
  • – This lets you enter a list of keywords, then it tries combinations of those words to see if the combined terms are available.

Good luck! This is perhaps the toughest part.