This page was once hosted at NNTS.ORG Choosing Good Domain Names
Variously known as "No Name is Too Strange" or "No Name is Too Shitty"
That is, it is better to have a strange domain name than no domain name at all

This site presents some guidelines for choosing a good domain name.

Keep It Short:
It is often a tradeoff between having your domain name descriptive and having it short. Ideally you would have domain name that is both descriptive of your service and short enough that it can be used in conversation easily. Shorter names tend to be more professional, easier to spell, and more memorable. They also look nicer on printed materials and advertisements.

Avoid Unnatural Spellings:
With many good domain names already taken, many people are using "creative" ways of getting the domain names they want. Many domain names use numbers to represent words such as 2 for "TO" and 4 for "FOR" or the letter Z in the place of an S. Names like can make your domain name more difficult to remember or, worse, send your visitor to your competitor at By choosing a domain name that is easy to spell, you'll maximize the number of repeat visitors to your site.  It is better to use no numbers or misspellings.

You should be able to say the name and others will know exactly how to spell it:
Thus, avoid names like,, which will have to be "explained."  There probably was never a better name than

Use a Dot-Com Extension:
The shortage of memorable dot-com domains has led to the creation of dozens of other extensions. However, nothing will replace the brand name associated with a dot-com domain name. Similar to the 1-800 toll free numbers, dot-com will always be the most well known extension and the first place people will look for a name they remember. Most importantly, the reason companies usually register with a non dot-com name is that the dot-com is already taken. Now do you really want to run the risk of advertising and promoting your web site only to send a large portion of your clients to your competitor's site?    .com is universally recognized and remembered - the "Beverly Hills" of extensions. The new extensions such as .biz etc will take a few years to be accepted.

What makes a good domain name?
A good domain name should be easy to remember (would you remember it accurately if you heard it on the radio?) , easy to spell, and preferably short. The name of your company is always a good choice. If your desired domain name is already taken, you can search if the .net or .org variation is available. You may also use hyphens to create unique domain names.   As generic as possible, but related (resale value, trademarks etc.)  Small companies should consider having the same name for the product or service as for the company.  See for other business guidelines.  Make the first letter as close to "a" as possible if you want to be on the top of some lists.  No doubling up of letters - e.g. developmenttools can be confusing.

What characters are allowed?
.Com, .net, and .org domain names must meet these requirements: They cannot exceed 67 characters, including the characters in the suffix (63 characters plus the 4 character .xyz). Only letters, numbers, or hyphens are permitted. A domain name may not begin or end with a hyphen. These requirements are  part of the regulatory standards that .com, .net and .org domain names must follow

Avoid ambiguous names - reflect on these actual unfortunate combinations...

Conduct a memory sanity test...
After you select a possible domain name, it is a good idea to ask about five to ten people to try to remember the name from your oral description... ask them to write it down for you ten minutes later.  If you don't score at least 80%, and preferably 100%, think about acquiring a different domain name.

Thanks to these sources for some of the above ideas:
Peter Wightman

Where to resister your domain name?
Try and for starters... and, see for more ideas.

Go to the How to Make a Website page