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Inspiration for a short domain name

Since you cannot use the home/base URL of your company (e.g. www.youtube.com, www.mtv.com, or www.adidas.com) for your branded URL shortener you need to think of a new short domain (e.g. youtu.be), a subdomain (e.g. at.mtv.com) or a combination of both (e.g. a.did.as).

It may take some creativity to come up with the right short domain or subdomain for your company. In this blog we will try to give you some tips in order to create the most effective short and subdomain. In general, we advice to keep your domain short enough to be effective as a URL shortener. Furthermore, you might consider the following tips:

  1. Replace: You might consider to use letters or numbers instead of words. For instance, "2" can be used for the "to" sound and “4” can be used for the “for” sound in a name.
  2. Use initials: You can use your companies initials for one or more words. Though it’s also worth considering leaving the most recognizable part of your business name spelled out. Examples: Dropbox uses db.tt or Electonics Arts uses o.ea.com.
  3. Cut back or shorten: Use common abbreviations to shorten your brand name or just chop off some letters of your name. Examples: Salesforce.com uses Sforce.co and Starbucks Coffee uses Sbux.co.
  4. Delete vowels: This is an easy and effective way to reduce the length of your business name while still making it easy to understand for your audience. However, we don’t recommend to remove vowels at the beginning of words. Examples: Amazon uses Amzn.com and Microsoft uses msft.it.
  5. Alternate extensions: Besides the business extensions (e.g. .com or .biz) or your country code (e.g. .nl, .fr or .de) you can consider using an more uncommon extension such as .to, .li, .as or .co. You can find a list of country code Top Level Domans (ccTLD) on Wikipedia. These extensions are easy to obtain and generic enough for most branded short domains. Examples: Dell uses Dell.to and United Airline uses UAfly.co.
  6. Alternate extension code ingenuity: You can also use these alternate extension codes to form your company name. By using the characters before and after the dot you can form a shortened similar sounding version of your name. For example, .es, the country code for the Spain, is good for plural names ending with "-es", such as Thetim.es or Itun.es. And, for instance, the country code of Soa Tome and Principe, .st, is very useful for brand name ending with “st” or “ste” sound, such as Kickstarter (kick.st) or Lacoste (Loca.st). This ingenuity with words and extension codes can create some clever domains.
  7. Alternatives for brand names: The domain for the URL shortener can also be formed from product names, slangs, common word in your industry, etc. Examples: General Electric use invent.ge New Belgium uses find.beer and Netflix used movi.es.
  8. Subdomains: Using a subdomain of your companies URL is the easiest and cheapest way to create a branded short domain. We only recommend this method if you a short base domain URL such as EA.com, MTV.com or KPN.com. You can use short subdomain to create a domain for the URL shortener, such as to., 2., at. or on. Examples. Electronic Arts uses o.ea.com and MTV uses at.mtv.com
  9. Online domain search tools: On the internet you can find some great tool for coming up with a good domain for the URL shortener. We recommend the following extensive domain search tools: iwantmyname.com and domainr.com. After entering your company name these websites will suggest variations of your brand name using numerous alternate extensions and other methods mentioned here. If you are interested in a domain, the tools even link you to where you can purchase the domains. However, we do recommend to also search yourself for the best place to purchase your preferred domain name.
  10. Combinations: You can combine one or more of the methods above. Example: Adidas uses a.did.as and Groupon uses gr.pn.
  11. Browse our inspiration list: The list of domain names used by other companies will very likely give you inspiration for your own domain.

Once you've found a domain which meet your requirement, you will need to register it. Many extensions are available from known domain registrar companies, such as Amazon.com and Godaddy. If your extension is not available, you will need to search for a registrar who handles the domain extension in question. As said before, you can use iwantmyname.com or domainr.com to find registrars for many domain extensions. We recommend namecheap.com for buying your domain.

Some countries place restrictions on who can register domains with its country extension. Moreover some countries restrict what content can be used on their country extension, so if you intend in shortening content that might be in violation of these laws, you'll need to find another extension. You can find more information about the restrictions by clicking on the preferred extension on Wikipedia.

Feel free to contact us for domain name suggestion or if you need any help with registering your domain.

November 11, 2015 - Cusli

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