Random tld (top level domain) sculpture near Bristol Harbour, by Querkmachine
I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking of improbable businesses and trying to register domain names. That, of course, is the most important part of a business. The thing is that the vast majority of .com names are used or squatted on for thousands of dollars. Something obviously has to give. People have got around by using country domains (like bit.ly, registered in Libya) or other tricks. Now they’re opening up the .com space for anybody with a ton of money.
Getting .indi, however, would cost $185,000 just for the application. I think it’s for people looking to resell, or huge corporates. At some point I wonder whether this naming trick will be outdated, but for now it does matter. So what’s a layman to do? Here are a few sites I use for idle speculation.
This is the best curated domain reseller. They pick cool domains (eazly.com, brightclient.com) and give them cool logos. The catch is that the domains cost at least $500, going up to the thousands. They at least deliver value, unlike domain squatters who do nothing but squat. Definitely the best site to browse, but I wouldn’t buy unless I had a serious business plan.
This site is great for finding short URLs, bit.ly or del.ico.us estyle. You give it a desirable name and it chops it up in multiple ways.
Nameboy chops and guesses more conventionally. Give it one or two words and it’ll try to find something usable. Again, usable at a glance.
Sri Lankan domains are overpriced and underserviced, but useful and more generally available. Our NIC is linked above. The application process is not instant and, last I checked, involves HORROR paperwork or faxes or something draconian.
Finally, for nikang, vanilla lookups I use whois.sc. It isn’t especially awesome but it’s just what I’ve been using.
GoDaddy is probably the most prominent domain registrar. They’re cheap but they suck suck suck. The whole business model is built on constantly upselling to try and confuse newbies into buying something new. I try to avoid it. Personally, I have a Rackspace CloudSites account and handle all new domains there. That doesn’t make sense if you’re not already a customer.
So, happy window shopping.