The most difficult part of launching a website is finding a suitable domain name.
Ultimately, there are two ways to come up with domain names:
- Do it yourself
- Hire someone
There are many Domain name generators in the market.
I have shortlisted 9+1 here (it’s 9+1 because 9 are DIY tools and 1 is…well…just go through the article and you will know ;)).
It should go without saying, I have tried all 9+1 options and will show you which worked best for me (and hopefully will for you).
My Testing Approach:
I judged each tool based on following criteria:
- No. of combinations it generated for a given word
- No. of options they give for domain registration
- Ease of registering a domain
From there I’ll show you the gist of the product, and give you some pros and cons.
I’ll start with the most unique one–our “+1” of the list:
Squadhelp is a bit different from the rest—which is why we’ve separated it accordingly.
Using Squadhelp, you can get experts to find domain names for you at a surprisingly nominal price.
Whereas traditionally you’d hire one person, with Squadhelp you’ll get domain name suggestions from lot of branding experts.
It opens up a ton of possible names that aren’t simply random or lucky guesses.
This is because Squadhelp not only uses experts, but involves competition between them: you post a “contest” that describes your project (using a Squadhelp template), and the Squadhelp community will then compete to find the best domain name they can.
Names are automatically checked for availability, and you will give feedback to the submissions to improve their quality, up until you finally find the name you want.
It sounds like a pretty smart solution typical of the internet—but it sounds a little too good to be true.
It makes one wonder if Squadhelp is actually a feasible option.
So it’s a good thing I tested it out.
My client wanted to find a good domain name and so, on his behalf, I got a chance to test Squadhelp’s service.
For his domain name search, can you imagine how many domain name suggestions we got? A whopping 293. That’s right: a single contest got us nearly 300 ideas to choose from.
But were there any good ones?
It should go without saying that many of the suggestions were not ideal for my client.
At the end of the day though, sheer probability—of hundreds of thought-out suggestions—wins.
My client was very happy with the end result. Again, not because of the number of entries itself, but because the number ensured he found a good idea.
As you can see from the image above, 65 participants brainstormed his domain name, which is incredible.
If you try to hire a branding expert or firm these days, you can expect a wide range of prices, from $30 on the cheap side to $3000 on the upper end.
But let’s assume you manage to get a consultant for $30.
How much would it cost to hire 65 of them?
Around $2000 ($1950 to be exact).
But guess what I ended up paying at Squadhelp for this? Just $200!
Outwardly it might sound like more than the cheapest consultant, but you’re getting dozens of them.
Of course, you won’t always get 63 branding experts to work on your contest, but you’re still getting a great deal.
And now, for the rest of the options!
Panabee works best if you give two words to come up with suggestions. And sure enough, I gave my favorite two words: “Hosting Pill” to see the combinations.
- Brand Consultant Approach:
It creates some of the most interesting combinations by “dropping first letter”, “merging vowels”, “spell backwards”, etc. This is usually what those costly brand consultants do when they try to come up with a name.
- Most TLDs searched:
It searched more than 500 Top Level Domains (TLD) to check availability. And that included Country Extension search (.us, .in, .uk, etc.) & Topic Extension Search (.bike, .church, etc.)
Complete list of TLDs it searched is here
- App Store Search:
Probably the most unique feature of all the domain generators I have seen – the ability to search App store (Apple, Google) for apps with similar names.
BUT, the feature was not working when I checked it (4th May 2018) – twice.
- Can’t use on a mobile:
Major drawback if you are mobile person – it is just too difficult to use on mobile. I am really surprised to see such a good site not being mobile responsive.
(Right now this site has been disabled and will come back soon.)
AgileDomainSearch has a very simple interface.
Just type in the word to search and let it do the rest:
I searched for the word “blogger” and it gave me some good combinations, like bloggerdigital:
Once you like a word, you can save it as Favorites.
And when you are ready to purchase, just click on it and it will check for Social Media Accounts availability. I really like this feature – what a time saver.
- Simple Interface:
It’s so simple, distraction free (no ads!)
- Popularity Index:
Checking their popularity index page is a good place to see what other users are searching for.
DomainWheel is created by developers of Themeisle.com
With DomainWheel I searched for the term “blogger” and it showed me around 16 domain ideas.
While the results were not that impressive, what I really liked was something which was below this table
It helped me find words which sounds like the “blogger” or which rhymed like “blogger”. This can help in creating some unique brand names.
Once I selected an available domain to register, it just took me to Bluehost for domain registration.
- Ability to find words which sounds or rhymes like the search word.
- Straight forward process for domain registration.
- Searches only limited TLDs. Country specific TLD search not possible.
FlameDomain searches for domain name from around 300+ TLDs.
It has these categories on the left side based on which you can sort the generated domain names.
Once you add domain to the cart, you have to checkout from their site. It does not redirect you to well known domain registrars.
Overall, I did not find this tool useful at all, because all it does is just find available TLDs for the word that I entered (“blogger”, in my case). It did not generate any combinations of words.
- It searches from 300+ fancy TLDs
- You can filter the results based on the listed categories.
- Does not generate word combinations to create unique names
- Poor site design (see below screenshot)
I was really impressed by the time it took to search domains on InstantDomainSearch.
It was INSTANT just like their name – “InstantDomainSearch”.
I searched for the term “Blogger” but it was not available. So I changed it to “blogger666” and it showed available.
What I really like was the options you get when you are searching for any domain.
See below popup. It appears when you click on the Green circle.
You have the option to visit the site, appraise the domain name, search in google, find out how that site looked using archive.org. It also showed me if there are FB, Twitter and Pinterest names available for this word. I like it.
And once I clicked “Buy” it just directed me to Godaddy.
- Very fast – almost instant results.
- It searches in 350+ TLDs
- It generates some really good combinations of words.
- It offers lot of options in terms of what you want to do with particular word you searched for
- It also has an iOS app for searching the domains.
- None. Yes. No cons.
Namemesh generates domain name in 8 different “categories” namely:
I tested the site by entering the words “blogger blue” and it did generated lot of domain names.
Here’s the screenshot of how it looked:
And once you click on a particular term, it shows a popup which checks for that term’s availability on Facebook & Twitter.
Clicking on the word directed me to Godaddy (which was selected as domain registrar, we can change it to others as well)
Oh, btw, Namemesh gives you choice of domain registrars to register the new domain:
- Generates good variety of domain names
- Gives number of choice for Domain registrars
Iwantmyname’s interface is quite simple and straightforward.
I tried to search for the words “Blogger Design” as shown below:
And it did throw some interesting options. The search results came fast.
It also searched in Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), which is something I have not seen in any other domain name generators.
Once you select a domain and add it to the cart, it checks out from their site. They don’t seem to direct to popular domain registrars.
- Fast Search
- Searches in Internationalized Domain Names
- If you already hold domains in popular domain registrars like Godaddy, Namecheap, then having domains registered in this, is not convenient.
Namestall have different types of domain name generator tools, including:
- Domain Name Generator Tool
- Domain name Suggestion Tool
- 3 & 4 letter domain search tool
- High Paying Keywords Search
For the scope of this article, I will just review Domain Name Generator Tool.
I searched for the word “blogger” in it and it showed me the results as given below:
Good thing about Namestall is – not only did it offer me options to register domain, it also gave me option to register domain + hosting – that was really nice and convenient.
- One of the most comprehensive site related to Domain name search and generation
- Contains lot of tools to search and come up with the right domain name
- The only site I reviewed so far who gives option for Domain with Web hosting.
- Lot of distracting ads on the site
- Site design is outdated
Even with such a cool name, Nameboy still has a primitive web interface.
I did my search by entering “Blogger” and “design” on the home page with “Rhyme” checkbox done.
And this is what it showed me:
I did like the grid that was presented. It neatly showed what was available in a simple, yet effective way.
However, I could not see any effect on “Rhyme” checkbox on my result.
And clicking on any of the “Buy” link took me directly to Godaddy.
- I like the table grid format which packed lot of info in such a short space.
- Old site design and horrible colors.
Apart from these, I did check out following domain name generators:
But I did not feel any of the above were worth writing for.
Now, if you remember, at the start of the article, I told you that for coming up with Domain names, you can:
- Do it Yourself
- Hire Someone
All the sites which I discussed above, were all “Do it Yourself” type.
The exception, of course, is our +1 at the very beginning, which is a great way of getting help from others.
So, lesson learnt: if you are looking for a fitting domain name and are willing to spend some money, instead of hiring individual experts, you’ll have a higher chance of finding the right name with SquadHelp.
But if you are just beginning, you can always wait a little before you start spending money by brainstorming some names with:
And if you happen to discover some good domain name generators that I didn’t cover, please mention them below.
Good luck and find the best domain name you can!