With the .com, .org and .net domain name space being so incredibly crowded, it's become more typical for entrepreneurs to use domain hacks to end up with a short, memorable URL. Coming up with creative domain hacks, or showing the availability of top level domains, is exactly the need that Domainr fulfills.
Domainr is the brainchild of San Francisco Bay area developers Eric Case and Randy Reddig, who teamed up with Cameron Walters to bring their project to fruition. Eric and Randy were discussing domain hacks one day in the spring of 2008 when one thing led to another. They immediately started writing a program that relied on the list of top-level domains that they found at Wikipedia, pairing it with Java Script to parse words in real time. The program automatically displayed domain names that could be separated in interesting and memorable ways.
Domain hacks are becoming more of a necessity as the majority of worthwhile .com, .org and .net URLS are taken. The domain hack makes it possible to break up a word in new and original ways. For instance, if a baker in Philadelphia decides that he wants to start a website for his business, he might want to register the "JoesBakery.com" domain name. Unfortunately, he finds that this domain is already taken. However, if Joe used a service like Domainr, he would also discover a number of domain hacks like joes.ba/kery, jo.es/bakery and .jo/esbakery. Similarly, he would find that joesbakery.us, joesbakery.io and joesbakery.co are also available.
By giving users results beyond the typical .com and .net domain name spaces, Domainr makes it easy to find a URL that is short, memorable and on point. Joe the baker won't be forced to choose a domain that is only tangentially related to his business name, making it easier for his customers to find him online.
When a user types a potential domain name into the search box on Domainr, he is presented with a list of possibilities that begin with .com, .net and .org configurations before moving on to other options. Frequently, the most popular top-level domains are already taken. Domainr allows users to click on selections that are marked as taken or for sale so that they can obtain information about the current owner of the domain.
Presently, Domainr returns results from 1,737 top-level domains. This includes 164 internationalized domain names, or IDNs, and non-Latin top-level domains. Accordingly, it is possible for users to choose from an impressive variety of extensions to get precisely what they need to adequately support their business.
When a domain is for sale, Domainr provides a handy "Make an Offer" button. Clicking this button takes the user directly to DomainAgents.com where they can place an offer for their desired domain. Currently, the minimum offer is $199. DomainAgents then establishes a connection between the owner and the potential buyer so that they can negotiate for the domain and perhaps reach an agreement. After escrow is completed, the domain is transferred to the new owner. DomainAgents asks buyers to purchase a $19.95 credit at their website in order to substantiate the seriousness of their offer and to cover costs incurred by DomainAgents. The domain owner receives $10 for entering into negotiations with a potential buyer.
If a particular domain is taken but not for sale, it is still possible to make an offer for it through the same process. Helpfully, Domainr provides WHOIS information regarding the current owner of the domain. This contains valuable data regarding the owner, their registrar, the date of last update and the date that the domain was created. All of this information may prove useful when entering into negotiations for a purchase.
When a domain is shown as available in the results from Domainr, the user can immediately begin the process of purchasing and registering the domain name. Domainr provides instant access to a number of companies that can register the domain. Well-known providers like Google Domains, GoDaddy, Bluehost and Namecheap are available. Additionally, Domainr's creators have forged relationships with certain registrars to provide discounts to its customers. The most notable of these may be iWantMyName. Users who choose this option receive a five percent discount for being a Domainr customer. Customers pay between $15 and $50 for one year of domain registration and DNS hosting with iWantMyName.
Front running is frowned upon and discouraged by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, a nonprofit organization that oversees namespace procedures. Domainr is an accredited registrar of ICANN, and they uphold and support all of that organization's efforts.
Unlike other domain name generators, Domainr does not combine the user's keyword with other nouns, verbs or adjectives to create a new and unique URL. Instead, it sticks with the keyword as entered by the user, presenting it with a number of different extensions so that customers can pick the one that works best for them. The "Favorites" page on Domainr is a fun place to gain inspiration from what other users have created.
Although Eric Case and the other originators of Domainr envisioned the service being used mainly by developers and designers, it is perfectly user-friendly, which means that the ordinary person can navigate the website with ease. Partnerships with various domain registrars and the development of Domainr apps for iPhone and Android make this domain name generator particularly useful for on-the-go entrepreneurs.