The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on April 30, 2009

10 Tips On How To Come Up With A Good (Domain)Name…

10 Tips On How To Come Up With A Good (Domain)Name…
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

domain-namesA good name is very important if you are starting a new project. It helps if you have something cool to refer to and it gets things moving. So one of the first things I do if I start thinking about a new project is the name. And a good name is no good unless you also have a good domainname attached to it.

Often people complain that all the good names are gone online. This is not true. All good names are still available! You just have to know how to find them…

Here is how we come up with names for our projects:

1: Collect a lot of related words

Take a few minutes and just brainstorm and try to come up with a huge list (about 100) of related words. If you get stuck just go to and look up some of the words you came up with and read the descriptions. This will immediately lead to more new words.

2: Get a dictionary and a needle

Take a dictionary, close your eyes and use the needle to go to a page and select a random word. Do this 10 times. Don’t forget to write down the words and read their descriptions. This leads to more words too.

3: Don’t use a browser to check for domainnames

Don’t check for availability by typing a name into your browser. Use and to easily check names for availability and more brainstorming. Nameboy will give you lots of suggestions and alternatives. InstantDomainSearch uses an AJAX interface to check for domainnames instantly. is a new service and great tool for finding names. You can enter several keywords and it will check for combinations of those words with ‘le’, ‘ster’ and other options.

4: Invent your own words

Combine words in original ways. Doing something with email and photography? Try ‘‘ (Still available!)

5: Get inspiration from others

Google and Feedster are good names. So if you want to do something with the name ‘John’ (see tip 6) try ‘’ or ‘’. Just add ‘Le’ and ‘Ster’ to each keyword you came up with and see what that leads to. Popular these days is to add ‘get’ before your product name ( and

6: Buy a second-hand name

All good names are gone? Well yeah, but they aren’t always in use. A lot of great names can be bought secondhand at Sedo or similar domainname collectors. We bought second-hand for a few thousands dollars and always thought it was a great investment. In fact, searching for names at Sedo is a great of coming up with new names. Just enter one buzzword (like ‘RSS’) and Sedo will give you a list of domainnames which contain those characters.

There are more benefits to buying a name this way: If you have an older domain Google will trust you more than if you registered your domain one week ago. got visitors right from the day we went live. A lot of those came from google and other search engines. We now are the first result that pops up if you search for Fleck.

7: Browse a supermarket, library or fishing supplies store

or any place with lots of strange words to get inspiration from. Just browse the aisles and write down all words that are cool, strange or interesting for your business.

8: Translate to Spanish, Greek and Latin

Get some of the related words and translate them into spanish, italian, danish, latin and greek. will do it for any word you look up. Just scroll down on every page.

9: Rmove some or all vwls

Take your related words and remove all vowels (A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y) and see what you get. If that leaves you with a too short word only remove a few vowels and try again. Examples: ‘Exmpls’, ‘Etctra’ and ‘Cmputr’

10: Call your mother

Seriously! When you are thinking about your business you often are blinded by technology and company slang. Explain your business to an outsider and ask them what a good name would be. Try you mother and your crocery clerk and the homeless guy asking you for spare change.

My mother came up with several names for several business including the name for my personal holding Bomega and I asked here if she knew a good name and without thinking twice she said “‘Bo’ for Boris and ‘Mega’ for the amount of money you will make becomes ‘BoMega'”.

I rest my case…