I know, I know… it’s pretty widely understood that good, available domain names are nearly impossible to find these days. I guess I just didn’t realize how bad the situation was until I started looking for one myself. I’m currently spending a lot of my time learning Ruby on Rails, and I finally decided on an application I wanted to build. I’m creating it mostly to learn the entire process of Rails development — from designing models and database tables to actually deploying a production application on a web server. But just because I’m doing it for the learning experience doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t at least think about trying to get people interested in it. I want it to be a real web application, ideally something that a group of people (no matter how small that group may be) would actually use regularly. It would be exciting to see people actually use my application.
The problem is, I’m trying to find a domain name to register and everything has already been taken! I obviously don’t want to have something like agsdaghoiubasdf.com, I take this project seriously enough that I want at least a decent domain name for it — something that will be fairly easy to remember. I don’t want to get into what the application is too much at this point (I’ll talk all about it when I’m ready), but generally it’s going to be a site for debates. I still have a lot of planning to do before I can even get too far along in the project, so I can’t even really say what types of features it will end up having. I did want to get a domain though so I could set up a subversion repository and maybe even start testing different layouts in a few weeks.
Since the site is about debates — at this point it’s centered around two-person debates — I thought it would be cool if the domain name (and thus the application name itself) was something related to dueling. But EVERY good idea I had for a name was already registered. I thought “duelism.com” might be good, but that was taken. I then tried “duellum.com” (the Latin word for “duel”) and that was taken. I even stooped so low as to try “duelr.com” (a rip-off of flickr.com) and that was taken!
Okay, I’ll admit I’ve mainly just been focusing on .com domains, rather than .net or *shudder* one of those other ones, but come on… 99% of people who type in a web address just automatically put a .com at the end. It would be frustrating to have a .net address and have people accidentally type in .com and get to some generic-looking ad search site. Since my app is pretty small and not something that people are going to be lining up to check out, I’m sure less people will be interested just because they’ll type in the .com address, get a different site, get confused and then just give up on it entirely.
I’m going to give it a few more days and hope that I can find a nice .com address that fits my site. If not, I’ll look for a .net address. But I just thought I’d ask, in case anyone else has been in this situation before — what’s the procedure like for buying a domain from one of those domain parking companies (or whatever you call the people that buy up all the domains and then put generic ads on them)? How much do they usually charge for a domain? Does anyone have some experience with this? Leave a comment!