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18 Comments

Branding: Using exotic domain extensions like .blog, .guide, .academy

Hey IH! I'm wondering how you all are coming up with names and specifically domain names to use. Do you stick with .com, .io, .dev etc., or do you try to find more exotic combinations like crisp.chat, remove.bg or coin.fyi?

These names are often shorter than .com and could be an interested aspect of overall branding. I noticed it's becoming more popular to use .blog, .guide, .academy etc, especially for less serious or small projects.

I was astonished there isn’t a good website to search across all new domain extensions (there are over 1000), or even useful list. So I’m working on a faster search, categorisation & price comparison of domain extensions at domain.garden. So far I’ve had positive feedback from communities that professionally buy & sell domain names.

How are you all brainstorming product names & domain names, and do you see this as a problem at all?

Edit: wording

  1. 3

    domain.garden has an awesome user experience! Good job

    1. 1

      Ha, thank you :) Hope this can be useful.

  2. 2

    I love wacky TLDs, and I think they work especially well if the whole domain is the whole name of the startup. Here are 3 cool examples:

    https://cloak.ist (disclaimer: that's my startup)
    https://frame.work (amazing modular laptop)
    https://magic.link (hassle-free auth solution)

    So I recommend jumping in there and taking a while to explore some of the cool new TLDs available.

    1. 1

      Those are great examples :D

      For Cloakist (great name), I imagine you started with searching Thesaurus for "mask" etc? How did you land on .ist? I don't imagine that extension turns up easily.

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        I think we'd come across Todoist and knew about the existence of .ist from that. And yes, exactly - it was a thesaurus job.

        We were really happy to get cloak.ist - felt like seeing as we were going to be in the domain space, it'd be sweet to have a good one. I assume you feel the same way about domain.garden, which is really nice!

  3. 2

    I think .blog domain zone is perfect for blog projects even if it's one character longer than 'com' :) here is my own example: https://seacat.blog

    For searching and picking up the domain name I usually use 2 tools:

    1. 1

      Yes I think .blog is great & quite popular, for example tim.blog for the Tim Ferriss show.

      Thank you for sharing the links. The expanded Namecheap search works fairly well, do you often use that instead of taking the suggested domain zones?

      For the name generator, I see it appends and prepends words to the search term. I've seen similar projects recently that list available one-word domains. What do you primarily use this tool for? Coming up with new ideas or finding a name for an existing idea?

      BTW, all the best with your blog and the language learning & video creation projects! A lot from your first post resonated with me.

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        The expanded Namecheap search works fairly well, do you often use that instead of taking the suggested domain zones?

        My usual algorithm is :

        1. See if there are any popular domain zones like .com or .io available
        2. If not, trying to look for more exotic zone
        3. Browse them by group makes the task easier and remove unwanted domain zones from my view

        I've seen similar projects recently that list available one-word domains. What do you primarily use this tool for? Coming up with new ideas or finding a name for an existing idea?

        For both. Sometimes it's really hard to find an available domain, so I use this tool to figure out which options I have, it also gives some ideas for naming.

        BTW, all the best with your blog and the language learning & video creation projects! A lot from your first post resonated with me.

        Thank you very much! I'm documenting my journey in details so you may find more interesting posts in the future. Good luck with your project too!

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          I see, thank you very much for sharing. Is there anything in your naming algorithm that you would like to be better, or is this working well enough?

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            I would like to have a tool to be able:

            • to combine words
            • to combine them with available domain zones.

            I.e. to have a tool like a cross between those two I mentioned.

            Not sure if I'd pay for it though.

  4. 2

    Love this site! Super easy to use and I love that it shows you the prices at every domain registrar (I always use Namecheap but it's nice to see them all side-by-side). I'll definitely be using this every time I need a new domain.

    1. 1

      Yeah I also really like Namecheap, it just doesn't have all of the domain extensions.

  5. 1

    Do these back-end domain names affect Google's inclusion?

    1. 1

      Do you mean regarding SEO? I believe global domain extensions like .blog, .guide, .dev etc are all equivalent for search engine ranking, but country-specific extensions may be targeted differently.

      See https://www.indiehackers.com/post/domain-name-extension-impact-on-results-7322d816f8 and https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2015/07/googles-handling-of-new-top-level

  6. 1

    I use NameCheap, they have all new extensions.

    I had several different non .com domains (.life, .deals, .marketing etc) but left them to die because projects were temporary, small, not worth of their renew price trap. They sell you domain for 2 usd to 9 usd first year, and you can renew it for 49 usd or more next year. Scam trap.

    1. 1

      True, that's unfortunately how a lot of the domain registries make money (including Namecheap). Constant "sales" for new registration and high margins for renewals (you do see how much it will cost up front though).

      Still, did you get value out of this? If you only got domains for temporary projects, low first year prices seem great.

      1. 1

        I didn't even started to work on most of those domains, just bought them thinking on some idea and left them to die. One that worked well is with .tours but corona killed that, too, and I have footed another 49 usd bill for nothing.

        Btw price is clear only on first renewal. For example, I've made a site for a friend with a .tattoo several years ago, price was increasing every year (9 to 19, 19 to 29, 29 to 39) so he finally bought .com domain for fixed 11 usd price. It's a shady practice to increase prices like that, there is no reason for creating prices out of nothing knowing that if someone is building a business on it have to pay for it more just because is "exotic" for a while.

        Also to think about - many people even after X years don't understand that those domains exist, they still try to type .com (website.academy.com) and not getting to live site.

  7. 1

    Thanks to domain.garden I snagged a great domain for a future project I have in early planning - thanks Peter! Love the tool

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