Your domain name is vital to your unique identity as it represents your brand online. Choosing the best website address for your business is a big decision- it impacts your branding, search engine ranking, and social media marketing.
25 Ways to Come Up With Domain Name Ideas
By Mia Brigette on April 4, 2017 | Sales & Marketing, Starting a Business
Do you need help coming up with the perfect domain name for your business? We asked the pros how they were able to come up with their unique names. Hopefully their anecdotes will help you come up with your domain name ideas.
1. My domain name allowed me to expand on my product and service.
Ellen Cagnassola, Owner, SweetSoaps.com
I was a stay at home mom looking to build a business to allow me to stay home and raise my kids with a flexible work schedule. Making glycerin soap with my then 3 year old daughter, I remarked to her that it looks like candy. Then, I decided then that it should be called Sweet Soaps. That soap company progressed for 15 years and I then turned it into a social media company using the tagline “marketing that cleans up”.
Pick a domain that allows you to expand on a product or service that is not too specific.
Here at Fit Small Business we created a business name generator to help you come up with the perfect name for your business.
2. I looked up synonyms in order to get a dotcom.
Brad Hines, Owner, NerdPlaythings.com
When I opened up my e-commerce store, I had my heart set on anything quirky that described that I sold educational and brainy toys. Using a domain with anything but dotcom (ex: .net, .org, .co) was out of the question since people tend to assume a domain has a dotcom ending, and I didn’t want to drive traffic to the wrong website.
NerdToys.com was my first choice, but was way too expensive. I instead looked up synonyms for toys and found playthings. I secured NerdPlaythings.com for $8 and haven’t looked back.
This article answers the question: What makes a great domain name?
3. We made sure our domain name will not be associated with inappropriate or spam content.
Andrew and Karen Strikis, Travel Writers, ForkandFoot.com
Our very first website was named on a whim. We couldn’t believe it when our readers started reporting that their spam filters were blocking them due to ‘inappropriate content’- but when we looked more closely, we realised our choice of domain name was very poor. Join an ‘s’ to the word ‘tripping and you got ‘stripping’!
Our second attempt has been far more successful, and it all came back to one key question: what’s our passion?
The answer was: tasting the world, one step at a time.
A brainstorming session then commenced, writing down every word we could think of related to food and exploration. With time, we were drawn towards two words in particular- ‘fork’ and ‘foot’. Join them together and we had our perfect domain name!
Check out these 25 tips from the pros for choosing your domain name.
4. I decided to use my name because my businesses are personal.
Hunt Ethridge, HuntforAdvice.com, HuntandGatherJC.com
So my name is Hunt. It’s a unique name and it’s also a verb and a noun, so it can come into play and help me brand myself. I know that having the right name for your business/URL is extremely important. It needs to be unique yet easy to remember, and easily understandable.
So for my first company, a dating and relationship company, I was back and forth between “HuntForAnswers” or “HuntForAdvice.” I decided on HuntForAdvice because, honestly, do any of us really have the answers? Over the last 10 years, it has gotten a lot of positive feedback and is easy to remember for people.
When I started another company, a salvage/refurbishing/furniture making company, I wanted to come up with another catchy URL/biz name. At first, I didn’t want to use my name as I thought I might be using it too much or run the risk of appearing egotistical. I played with many names, but most were already taken or too obscure. Finally, I circled back and decided to use my name as it is me and I do want people to remember it. So I finally settled on HuntAndGatherJC (JC = Jersey City).
Again, it has been easy for people to remember, it’s catchy and others seem to like it. My businesses are personal, so I came to the conclusion that it was okay to use myself in the names.
5. Our CEO listened to what our clients were saying and played to their connotations.
Sean Martin, Growth Marketing Manager, DirectiveConsulting.com
Our CEO has a great story about how he started our business and first purchased our domain name. While finishing up his Masters, he was doing some one-off consultation work for local businesses to start growing his own portfolio.
In discussing the results with his first client, he was told that his approach went directly for the money. I suppose he started mulling this over for a few days because soon after, the domain name Directiveconsulting.com was purchased and our company was born.
My advice would be simple – instead of focusing on the message or abstract idea you want to represent, try listening to what your clients are saying about you and play to their connotations. That’s who you want to impress anyways, am I right?
6. I wanted something people would remember.
Shaun Eli Breidbart, Comedian & Executive Director, BrainChampagne.com
Most people in my business (stand-up comedy) simply have their name dot com. But with my name (Shaun Eli) people would probably misspell it. Anyway, it’s not memorable.
I wanted something people would remember. Having a rhyme helps. And since I like Champagne, I think of my comedy as a premium product and consider stand-up comedy, in general, a pleasure for the mind- I came up with BrainChampagne.com.
People remember it. I’ve had people come up to me on the street and say, “Are you Brain Champagne?” Because they remember my url way more than my name.
7. I bought an intriguing domain name.
Jason Klamm, Founder / Director, StolenDress.com
I created StolenDress.com in 2003 almost on a dare. Now, 14 years later, we’ve produced two feature films (with a third coming out in 2017), two books and we are a burgeoning podcast network.
While living with eight roommates in North Hollywood, California in 2003, a friend, Chad, said, “You should buy stolendress.com. Because it would be funny”. And the tagline could be- did we steal yours?
Based on his whim, and with little money in my pocket, I decided to buy StolenDress.com, and it soon became the home for all of my productions. It has hosted numerous shows and films, and we continue to churn out fun, mostly comedic, projects.
8. I chose a name that communicated my vision.
Shel Horowitz, The Transformpreneur & Author, GoingBeyondSustainability.com
When my tenth book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, came out last year, I needed to come up with something that showed how mere sustainability (keeping things the same) isn’t good enough. I wanted to have people know immediately that they could use their businesses to make things better.
I work with business leaders to develop and market profitable products and services that turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. This goes far beyond sustainability, and thus the name, GoingBeyondSustainability.com.
9. I picked a domain name with my desired keywords in it.
Ben Fremer, Founder, BestLocalSEOTools.com
After working with dozens of small businesses as an SEO consultant over the years and seeing how domains with keywords in them made such a huge impact on who ranks and who doesn’t, I picked a domain name with my desired search keywords in it.
I named the company Best Local SEO Tools, somewhat based on domain availability, but also so that when people link to my company by name, it is going to have my target keywords in the link anchor text, which makes such links 20x stronger from a SEO perspective!
These are such big factors that, as a consultant, I often found myself recommending new domain names and even rebranding for small businesses, especially if they were just starting out.
10. I bought a popular domain name and built my business from there.
Jeffrey Reynolds, Ph.D, President & CEO, AmericanFlags.com
At AmericanFlags.com, our domain actually drove creation of the business. I was a domain name investor and won the URL in an Ebay auction about a month after 9/11. The second highest bidder congratulated me on outbidding him and shared with me that he had a warehouse full of American flags, but no dedicated channel through which to sell them.
I, of course, had no flags and demand have skyrocketed, given our nation’s pride, patriotism and resolve. I quickly incorporated the business, set up a site and I funneled him dropship orders until his supply ran out. AmericanFlags.com was profitable about three hours after going live.
Having a premium domain gave us instant credibility and brand recognition, despite being brand new to the space, which made supplier negotiations easier. It boost our SEO and helps drive our marketing efforts. We get a fair amount of direct navigation traffic where visitors simply type in ‘american flags’ and that traffic converts at a rate that’s four times that of any other channel.
11. I used alliteration to make my domain name stick.
Joe Gillard, Founder, HistoryHustle.com
When I had to come up with a domain name for my history website, I thought hard about it. I recalled reading about the power of alliteration in a name, and decided it must say history and must be an alliteration. So I created a huge list of names that included HistoryHits, HistoryHero, HistoryHooray, etc.
Then, I emailed my girlfriend and told her to pick the one she truly loved. When I heard back, I was pleased to see that her favorite one was the exact same as mine! So I immediately went to GoDaddy and purchased HistoryHustle.com.
When choosing a domain, I think about how easy it will be to remember and say to someone. An alliteration such as HistoryHustle.com sticks.
12. I connected it to my personal experience.
Chris Brantner, Founder, SleepZoo.com
Well, I have kids, and my kids have friends over…and frankly, well, it’s a bit of a zoo around here sometimes! And sleep is something extremely important to me. I need my 8 hours, and I need to sleep on something that won’t destroy my back.
So when it came time to buy a new mattress- after much research, I learned how much easier it is to purchase online. I decided to start a sleep site to help people do exactly that – save money and get the best mattress, as easy as possible. Combine sleep with the zoo of my house and you have SleepZoo.com!
13. I included a unique prefix.
Giuseppe Veracini, Owner, VeraCover.com
Vera Cover is a fully automatic inflatable car cover protection against harsh weather, vandalism and anti-theft device.
First of all, I needed a unique name to get .com domain- and I wanted it to cater to the international audience. So I started with garage, shelter, protection and decided on ‘cover’.
That was perfect for my project, but COVER.com was already taken.
I tried different prefixes and finally I came up with Vera for two reasons: my surname is VERACINI so I can put some of myself inside my project, and the meaning of the name Vera (faith, true).
14. I included a term commonly used in my industry.
Emily Supiot, Photographer and Blogger, CozyClicks.com
When I came up with my domain name, I knew that I wanted it to be something that would stick. I wanted to start branding my business from the beginning and wanted a name that I liked and wouldn’t change in years to come. I also wanted it to have some personal meaning to me and have a flair of creativity.
My own name was a little too personal and not really creative, so I trashed that idea right away. In the end, I decided to use a nickname of my youngest daughter along with a word commonly used in my industry (click = photography industry). Using alteration for a creative feel, I choose Cozy Clicks for the name of my photography company.
15. I created a visual image with my domain name.
Janice Rosenthal, Owner, GardenofEssences.com
I have a passion for essential oils, because they are extracted from the Creator’s flower petals, fruit skins, herbs, roots, leaves, tree bark, seeds, and berries. I am inspired by the fact that the Creator designed an essential oil for every ailment under the sun.
Recently, I started an online aromatherapy store. The domain name of my store, came to me fairly easily, because every time I have been massaged, I have felt as if I was floating in a garden of flowers, filled with exquisite aromas.
This is why I named my site Garden of Essences.
16. My nickname is my perfect domain name.
C.L. Fornari, Horticulturalist and Garden Communicator, GardenLady.com
I didn’t come up with my domain name, my readers and listeners did! In the mid 1990’s, I wrote my first book about gardening. This was soon followed by an opportunity to host a live radio program on WXTK. Subsequent books resulted in TV appearances and pretty soon, I began to be recognized in the grocery store and gas station.
“You’re The Garden Lady,” people would say. So when it was time to get a URL, it was clear to me that GardenLady.com was my first choice. I needed a URL that was both memorable and could be a good umbrella for all of my activities.
17. I tapped into a positive emotion.
Linda Nagamine, Founder and Head Designer, JoyfulKeyper.com
Everyday for over twenty years, I started my mornings searching for keys. Where (the heck) are my keys? I’ve now wasted 5, 10, sometimes 15 minutes searching for keys- time I cannot ever get back AND I’m LATE for work, or an appointment, or an important business meeting!
Joyful Keyper was created to solve my constant searching for misplaced keys. It works for me (and others) because it’s simple, effective, and allows you to start each day joyful instead of awful. Hence, a fantastic product name and domain name.
18. I gave my domain name a distinct personality.
Dan Gudema, Founder, StartupPOP.com
I was running startup pitch events in order to get leads for sales for a software company in South Florida. Eventually, the owner of the software company and I parted ways. I needed a name that would get people’s attention and still somehow say we are a startup pitch event company.
We wanted something that was interesting and easy to remember. My wife and business partner is an artist and I am a writer and we love art history. That’s when my wife Linda and I came up with the name StartupPOP.com. The name had a pop culture feel to it and that has driven our site design.
19. My domain name describes what I do.
Julie Pech, Owner, TheChocolateTherapist.com
I own a chocolate shop where we make all-natural, handcrafted chocolate and serve gourmet coffee.
Our website name The Chocolate Therapist, came from the name of a book I wrote about the health benefits of chocolate of the same title. I originally wanted to call the book Chocolate Therapy- but after researching the name, I discovered someone in Australia had the site at the time, so I went with The Chocolate Therapist.
Over the years I’ve become known as The Chocolate Therapist. I guess someone has to do it!
20. I included a playful element – and it’s a great conversation starter.
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, MavensandMoguls.com
When I started the firm, I jokingly referred to the women as the Marketing Mavens & the guys as the Marketing Moguls & for short I called them Mavens & Moguls as a working name but never expected it would stick.
I did research over e-mail with prospective clients, referrers, media, etc., and tested around 100 names. Mavens & Moguls was one choice on the list and to my great delight, it came out as a clear winner. It has helped us be memorable and stand out from the pack.
Names contribute to your brand and in our case, I think it has been a major plus. Maven is Yiddish for expert and a Mogul is someone of rank, power or distinction in a specified area. I like the alliteration and I think it sets us apart from other consulting firms. It shows a little personality and attitude, and implies we do not take ourselves too seriously.
21. I just kept it simple.
Richard Storm, Photographer, NYPhotoNY.com
I’m a photographer based in NYC. I quit my job in 2013 to follow this passion full time and since I’m a native New Yorker, I combined that with becoming a new me and also shooting people at their best.
Everyone wants a New You right? So that’s how NYPhotoNY.com happened. It stands for New You Photo New York. Four years later, I stuck with the name and it has gone over pretty well with clients. Most people feel like when they start a photography business, it’s “their name photography”- I didn’t want to be like everyone else because I’m not.
My advice is to roll it around and talk to other people about your name. Bounce it off others, write it down, and keep it simple.
22. I turned my own name into a verb and used it as my unique domain name.
Lori Cheek, Founder & CEO, Cheekd.com
I’m Lori Cheek, an NYC based architect turned entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Cheekd– a newly launched hyperspeed Bluetooth mobile dating app that removes the “missed” from “missed connections”.
Growing up with the last name Cheek was kind of a pain, but it finally came in handy. For weeks, I was racking my brain about the verb that was going to finish the statement, “You’ve been _________.” And then one day it hit me in the head, “You’ve been Cheekd!”
23. I brainstormed and used real words.
Victor Perl, Founder, Superhirer.com
I thought if my readers could get one superpower by reading my blog, what would it be?
The answer was more hours each day, by outsourcing tasks. So after trying some other names where the .com was not available, I came up with Superhirer.com and a superhero-themed design for my website.
24. I send a message with my domain name.
Richard Newall, Technical Director, Dreambooth.co.uk
Dreambooth provides interactive photo booths for every type of event- from corporate occasions to weddings and parties.
The vision we had when we started this business venture was to create photo booths that would be adaptable to any event imaginable– the booth of our clients’ dreams. With booths like our Magic Mirror, which allows guests to sign their name on the mirror and choose from a large range of animations and features, they help to transport guests into a fantasy world; and it was this ideology that gave us the inspiration for our business and domain name – Dreambooth.
Analyse and evaluate exactly what message you are trying to convey to your customers. Also, collect a wide variety of relevant words- invest in a thesaurus and make a large list of words that are related to your business.
25. I used contrasts to capture attention.
Leah Recor, Founder, LittleLegacies.org
I run a nonprofit organization, sitting one-on-one with children battling illnesses and helping them write about themselves. They are, in essence, writing legacies. They are leaving behind letters and messages for their friends and families.
These are small children, young souls, taking on big issues often thought to be “adult” issues. My company, Little Legacies, was named based on the stark contrast of these children taking on monumental loads and burdens. ‘Legacies’ being often associated with life’s messages and works left behind by adults and ‘little’ referring to a child’s shortened timeline and smaller stature.
Your domain or company name should help people understand what it is you do; it should be easy to remember and spell; and it should not be confused with another company.
Over To You
Do you have your own quirky, fun, and personal story on how you came up with your domain name? Did reading these domain name ideas inspire you in your quest for your perfect domain name? Share your story in the comments below!
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, it’s time to create your website! Learn how to create a website with WordPress in under 30 minutes.
About the Author
Mia is a business writer, specializing in marketing and productivity, for FitSmallBusiness.com. She is an ex-purchaser who loves closing deals, generating new ideas and sharing positive energy with the people around her.