8 Tools to Help You Find the Right Domain Name

Name Boy is a free tool that lets you enter a primary word and a secondary word, and then Name Boy finds available domain names that are relevant to those words. It presents results for .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, and .tv extensions. And (of course) they make it easy to buy the domain names that you want. I’ve tried this tool a few times and it seems to work pretty well.

Instant Domain Search is a pretty crazy tool that shows you domain name availability as you type. That’s right, as you type each letter it shows if the name you are entering is available. Again, you can purchase domain names easily.

DomainsBot is the domain name search engine. Enter a word or phrase and it will quickly find available domains for you. It also lists domain names that are currently registered but for sale, in case you want to bid.

Domain Hacks is a resource for using an alternative method to finding a domain name. Can’t find the right domain name with the keywords you want? Domain Hacks will come up with some creative options.

Bust A Name lets you enter any number of words, select a few settings, and produces results of available domains. You can choose 2 or 3 word combinations, different extensions, suffixes, and prefixes. Bust A Name also produces results pretty quickly.

Domain Check. No fancy tools here, just a check for availability and information about who owns the domain name if it is registered.

Domain Surfer is a tool that’s new to me (I just found it doing some research for this post), but it seems to be pretty useful. Enter a few keywords and it very quickly provides a pretty large list of results.

Just Dropped
provides a search for domain names that have recently become available after being dropped by their owners. I’m not sure how well it works, you have to create a login to use the search, which I didn’t do.

DomainZaar is software that helps you find expired domains (it costs $57). It contains several of the features of the other tools on this list.

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55 Responses

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  • parenting tips, August 23, 2007

    I *love* the instant domain search tool. It’s incredibly useful for brainstorming domain names.

  • Jim Etch, August 24, 2007

    Personally I think BustAName is my favorite. It has the instant search that instantdomainsearch has, but it also has the “word combiner” thing, and usually that helps me find the best most useful domains. The sorting options on the combined words are really helpful too.

  • p shah, August 24, 2007

    thanks for the domain searching list, very useful information.

  • FENICLE, August 24, 2007

    Excellent reference!!! Thanks!

  • Vandelay Design, August 25, 2007

    Parenting Tips, Jim, p shah, and Fenicle,
    Thanks for reading and for all of your valuable feedback.

  • Sly from Slyvisions.com, August 25, 2007

    Nice internet tools there. Thanks.

    Sly from Slyvisions.com

  • Total SEO, August 26, 2007

    Thanks for this, excellent tool, much appreciated!

  • Vandelay Design, August 26, 2007

    Sly and Total SEO,
    Thanks for reading!

  • Cameron, September 1, 2007

    Great post. This is useful stuff.

  • Vandelay Design, September 2, 2007

    I’m glad it’s useful for you.

  • Columbia, September 5, 2007

    I have to say that finding a new domain name is the hardest thing to do for me. With so many domains already registered and half a Million domains registered every day, its difficult to find the domain name you want.
    I have checked some of the tools you have mentioned and they sure will be helpful for me when I will be looking for new domain next Time, Thanks.

  • Vandelay Design, September 5, 2007

    I agree, domain names are ridiculously hard to find. It seems like everything that’s not 100 letters long is taken. Thanks for your feedback!

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  • Kurzmeldung, December 13, 2007

    Thanks for the list. I will give http://www.domainsbot.com a try.

  • Domain Name Generator, December 29, 2007

    You could also try http://www.domainnamesoup.com to generate domain names.

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  • Chicago, May 20, 2008

    A good man would prefer to be defeated than to defeat injustice by evil means.

  • Chelsy Davy, December 27, 2008

    Thanks man that’s really helpful

  • Gene, February 2, 2009

    You should add nameboy (http://www.nameboy.com/) to the list it’s always one of the first place I got to find the name for the site. Nice list.

  • design guru, March 4, 2009

    Thanks for the tips, I love finding out about new tricks

  • 4design, May 26, 2009

    Could you suggest any additional services for the selection of free domain names using 2-3 keywords? It would be very convenient. From your list of services, some unfamiliar to me, try them. Thank you for your article!

  • Auction Typos, June 23, 2009

    Thanks for passing on these useful tools, this will help me alot.

  • Phil Barnhart, July 5, 2009

    Unfortunately, sometimes those harmless-looking, perfectly-named domains may have a checkered past. Before picking up a domain name that may be banned or blocked due to previously delivering malware, trojans, or porn, you need to do a background check.

    There is a free Domain Background Check cheat sheet at http://siteriver.com/domaintest.php – just enter the domain name you are researching and over a dozen links are created to domain check, anti-malware, and other tools. You can quickly check if your domain name is ready for business or is still on parole.

  • Robert, July 23, 2009

    Great tools. Your readers might be interested in this new domain names search tool – http://www.seetop10.com.

  • Online Entrepreneur, August 15, 2009

    Thanks a lot for the resources, its very helpful

  • James, November 24, 2009

    Wow….. Maybe I should take a look at these sites for myself…

  • Rachel S, February 28, 2010

    Great Resource! I am adding your blog to my favorites, given my interest in finding domain names. One of the sites that helped me find great name suggestions was http://www.squadhelp.com. I got 400+ domain name suggestions in 2 days for just $50. They engage people across the world who submit ideas – and the best idea wins the award amount. It sure beats the time and energy I would have spent myself to come up with names. You might want to check them out

  • Download Photoshop, March 3, 2010

    Useful advice, but I recommend all the same to pick a domain name based on your keywords, such as type of keyword1-keyword2.com!

  • Sidd, July 14, 2010

    Just what I was looking for. Thanks.

  • Divyang, December 9, 2010

    Bustaname is my personal favorite. There are some more services out there about which I came to know when I read this article about getting cool website name.


  • Dickyp, January 24, 2011

    We just launched Rewordious to tackle the problem of finding the right (… and available) domain name.