One of the ideas I’m considering working on is a project to help people find great domain names for their websites.
Before I start (if I start), its important to evaluate the competition. Based on my research, here are the major players and what they bring to the table.
Nameboy – Similar to Bust a Name but without the great interface. I don’t think they offer anything important that Bust a Name doesn’t.
Ajax Whois – My personal favorite – you type in a domain and they will show you which extension are available. Some of the other sites do the same, but I really like Ajax Whois’s clean interface. GoDaddy bought this site from the original owner, Carl Mercier. He might have been the first to use Ajax for domain searches.
123finder – Unlike Ryan’s site, 123finder has long searchable lists of unregistered domain names. You can sort by category, such as “Frequent Words”, “Scrabble Dictionary”, and “Italian Words”. Most of the names listed are garbage and their site is ugly.
PickyDomains – This is clever. You describe what kind of site you’re making and for $50 they find a domain for you. People can suggest domain names too and if it’s chosen, that person gets half of the $50. If you’re not satisified with your results, they’ll refund your money.
DomainsBot -You type keywords and they search their database for matching domains.
MakeWords – Pretty much the same as DomainsBot. It’s amazing how much their cold white and grey interface impacts my desire to search their site. It’s possible they have a much better selection than DomainsBot, but because of their design, I have no desire to play around with it.
Domainology – Type in a keyword and this’ll search for your keyword + various other common words. For the ones you’re interested in, you can then ask it to check the availability of the .com, .net, .org, and other extensions. Ugly site too.
Freshdrop – This is another great site. They compile a list of all the recently expired ‘dropped’ domain names and let you search them using lots of easy to use filters. I think all the listings are auctions, so you have to bid, but most are $10 and it looks like you can find some pretty good domains that way.
Summary: This is a saturated industry, but there’s still room for improvement.