Monday 19 July 2021

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Short domain names are hard to find. But domains don’t have to be short to make great (and memorable!) brands.

Using a bit of creativity, such as alliteration or rhyming, can help you create a domain and brand that’s a bit long in characters but sticks on the brain.


“She sells seashells by the seashore.”

How many times were you told as a kid to say this phrase this three times fast? It’s a tongue twister!

But alliteration can be powerful when used correctly. It doesn’t have to make a tongue twister. Two or three word names in which each word starts with the same letter can be memorable brands.

Select your first word for a domain and then use a tool like WordFinder to find other words that start with the same letter. WordFinder sorts names by length so you can find short words that work well with your primary keyword. 

Make sure to say it out loud to verify there’s an alliteration: some words start with the same letter but the letter is silent. (Think psychology, tsunami, honest, and wrestle.)

Some big brands that use alliteration are Dunkin’ Donuts, PayPal, Best Buy and Chuckee Cheese.

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Two (and even three) word domains can be easy to remember if they rhyme. They sound great, too! 

If you don’t have prior experience writing rap lyrics, the internet has you covered with nifty tools for finding words that rhyme. One excellent resource is Plug in a word and RhymeZone suggests words and phrases that rhyme with the word. Words are sorted by syllables to help you find the shortest matches.

Let’s say you want a domain with the word game in it. Type the word in and you’ll find rhyming words like aim, fame, acclaim and proclaim.

Some major brands use rhyming to improve their catchiness. Examples include Crunch ‘n Munch, Lean Cuisine, and GrubHub.

Common phrases

A three or four word combination is still memorable if it’s a common phrase or idiom. You can even get away with tacking another word onto a long phrase if it’s well known.

Some common three word phrases you’ve probably heard are

◉ Piece of cake (ideas: Piece of Cake catering, Piece of Cake wedding planning)

◉ Break a leg (ideas: Break a Leg casting, Break a Leg production company)

◉ On the ball (ideas: On the Ball events, On the Ball sports training)

◉ Nail on the head (ideas: Nail on the Head construction, Nail on the Head engineering)

Even made-up phrases can be memorable, especially if you add a bit of rhyming to them or make them flow. For example, the Canadian telecom company SaskTel uses the domain name to bring awareness to cyberbullying and cyber safety. 

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Pulling it together

Once you find some prospective brands for your business, it’s time to do a reality check. Before you advance further, see if the domain name is available or at least listed for sale. Use Namecheap’s domain search to find out which extensions the words are available in and domains that are for sale on the domain aftermarket.

If the domain is available for registration or purchase, do a bit more homework before finalizing your name. Here are some things to do:

1. Make sure the name passes the “radio test.” Do people understand what you’re saying and how to spell your domain if you say it out loud? This is important if you’re sharing your website with people who can spread the word on your business, or with prospective customers. Some words can be tricky, and if you decide to get too creative, it will be hard for people to find your site after hearing it by word of mouth.

2. Check for trademarks. Search online trademark databases to see if any companies have trademarked the term for the goods or services you plan to offer. When in doubt, ask a qualified trademark attorney.

3. Consider variations of the name. Think about other ways people might spell the domain, shorten it, or abbreviate it. Try to cover all of your bases by registering other possible versions of your domain.

Coming up with a name is challenging. Hit the dictionary, look up some rhymes, and find a memorable name. If you get stuck or need a break, try to say, “She sells seashells by the seashore” three times fast!



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