Tour

Finding an available domain name for your website can be a long frustrating process that makes you want to tear your hair out. Lean Domain Search can help you find a great one in a fraction of the time.

Generating domain names

One of the most common ways to come up with domain names is to combine two or more words together with one of the words being directly related to the purpose of your website or business. Examples include PasteBin, PlatinumBarbers, Github, BusinessWeek, BackBlaze, VentureBeat, ExtremeTech, SalesForce, SurveyMonkey, and countless others.

Lean Domain Search's domain name generator specializes in coming up with domain names just like these.

Prefixes and suffixes

A prefix is a word that comes before another word; a suffix is a word that comes after another word. When you perform a search using our keyword search tool Lean Domain Search will pair your search term with prefixes and suffixes to generate domain names. For example, if you search for "flower", Lean Domain Search will pair it with the prefix my+ (the plus sign means your search term comes after it) to generate the domain name myflower and the suffix +online to generate floweronline.

Lean Domain Search does this for thousands of prefixes and suffixes to generate a wide variety of domain names for you to browse and choose from:

It also checks the availability of the exact match domain name for your search term. The exact match domain name is the version without any prefixes or suffixes applied to it. Normally this won't be available, but if it is it will be listed before everything else:

.COMs and only .COMs

After Lean Domain Search generates a list of domain names, it checks to see whether the that domain name's .com is available. In the previous example it generated myflower so it would check to see whether myflower.com is available. In the actual search results it does not show the .com in the domain name because that's the only Top Level Domain (TLD) that it checks.

Why doesn't it check .net, .org, .name, .me, .io, .co, etc? When most nontechnical people think about the internet they associates websites with .com domain names. If you say your business is called My Flower then they will assume you own MyFlower.com because that's what they're used to. If you use MyFlower.net then you'll likely lose customers who try to go to MyFlower.com and can't find you. Because most people and organizations use .com it can be hard to find good ones that are still available which is why we built Lean Domain Search.

When you do find a .com that you like, you should register the .net and .org version of your domain name as well that way no one can buy them and set up websites on those domain names. You'll pay a little bit more to own all three domain names instead of just one, but it's generally worth the peace of mind, especially if you're going to be using your website for a business. You could also buy the .co, .io, and the other versions, though these are not as popular so it's less likely someone would register them.

Numbers, hyphens, and other no-nos

If you try to search for something that contains a number, hyphen, or any other special character Lean Domain Search will let you know that it can't perform the search:

You shouldn't use numbers in your domain name because customers won't remember whether you want them to spell out the number of not. Consider a website like 8aweek.com. If you hear someone say "eight a week dot com" do they mean 8aweek.com or eightaweek.com? If you're the owner, do you want to constantly be saying "eight a week dot com… that's ee i gee eych tee ah week dot com" every time you tell someone the name of your website?

Similarly, we don't allow you to search for hyphens because it would also tends to confuse your visitors. My-Flower.com might be available, but most of your customers will assume you own MyFlower.com which will hurt their chances of finding you. Also, you don't want to constantly be saying "my dash flowers dot com" everytime you tell someone the name of your website.

Check out our Guide to Picking a Domain Name for more tips on picking a great domain name.

Browsing the search results

Sorting and filtering

Lean Domain Search makes it easy to sort and filter the available search results so that you can quickly find a great domain name.

You can sort by popularity (which is the default), by length, or alphabetically. The way we determined popularity is by looking at all of the prefixes and suffixes and figuring out which are used the most often in domain names other people have registered. For example, my+ is the most common which means that if you pick any word or phrase — flower, hosting, sports, etc — then the corresponding myflower.com, myhosting.com, mysports.com is more likely to be registered than any other prefix/suffix combination. For more information check out our Calculating the 5,000 Most Frequently Used Domain Name Prefixes and Suffixes article.

You can also filter the results so that you only see the domain names that start or end with your search term, which comes in handy for a lot of search terms.

You can mix and match the sorting and filtering. For example, you can filter by starts with search term and sort the results by length:

Confirming a search result is still available

In order to keep Lean Domain search fast we cache the search results which means that when you perform a search those results are saved so that the next time you or someone else searches for the exact same term we don't have to calculate the results again. Because domain names are constantly being registered through Lean Domain Search and other sites, sometimes an available domain name is registered between when the search results are cached and when you perform your search. Because of this at any given time about 5% — or 1 in 20 — of the available search results is no longer available for you to register.

The good news is that all you have to do to confirm that a domain name is still available is to simply click on the domain name. That will bring up a small window which checks that the domain name is still available:

It will also check whether whether or not the Twitter name is still available.

When a domain name is actually registered

If you click on a domain name and it turns out to be registered Lean Domain Search will let you know and turn the search result pink:

Lean Domain Search then remembers that this domain name is registered and will no longer show it in future search results for you or any other user. In this way the search results are constantly getting more accurate.

Keeping track of your favorites

If one of the search results appeals to you then you can mark it as a favorite so that you can keep track of it.

To mark it as a favorite, click the star next to the domain name in the window that confirms it is still available to register:

Note how the search result turns yellow when you add it as a favorite.

Accessing your favorites

At any time you can click on the Favorites link at the top of the page to view all of your favorites:

Sharing the results

On the left hand column of both the search results and your favorites page you'll see a Copy List to Clipboard link which will create a list of all the available search results or favorites and place it on your clipboard:

You can then paste the list into other software so you can share the results with others:

Checking the availability of a domain name that isn't listed

Often times you'll be browsing the results and think of some variation that you'd like to check the availability of.

On the right hand side of the search results you'll see an Availability Checker section that we built just for that purpose. You can type in any domain name and we'll check whether it's still available (spaces are ignored):

Browsing the registered results

If you're interested to see which of the domain names we checked were already registered you can scroll to the end of the list of available results and click Show Registered:

You can click on any of the results to be shown a link which you can click to take you to that site:

Odds and Ends

Staying up to date on Lean Domain Search

There are two primary ways to stay updated on the progress we're making at Lean Domain Search:

1. Subscribe to our blog

We post all of significant updates to our blog. You can subscribe to the blog's feed by clicking the link on the right hand side of the blog page:

2. Follow us on Twitter

Lean Domain Search does not have an official Twitter account, though you can follow me (@mhmazur) to get updates about what's in the development pipeline.

If you really love Lean Domain Search you can do all three! :)

Have any questions, feedback, or suggestions? Let us know.

Lean Domain Search has come a long way since it launched in January 2012 and it's only as good as it is now because people like you have submitted bug reports, suggestions, and feedback along the way. If you have any questions or just want to say hi, please drop me a note: matt@leandomainsearch.com.

Happy hunting!