When last December I’ve finally decided that I’m ready to jump into the blogging ocean and see for myself whether or not I can swim with the sharks for an extended period of time without being eaten by them for the dessert right after my leap, I was faced with a very challenging dilemma: What domain name should I choose for my blog, and how do I actually call it?

It took me three days and three nights (yes, I was even going through some potential name ideas in my dreams) to finally decide on the name that was still available for the domain registration. I’ve even got my husband involved in thinking with me and helping out with the names. Here’s what I was going through:

1. Decide on the blog’s theme and main purpose

Fortunately I had my husband quizzing me what do I want to blog about? So I had to give it a really good thought and decide for myself what my blog would be all about. But all I could think of were the hundreds of ideas like little birds flying in my head: sharing tips and tricks of trade, talking about the design, my numerous interests in art, science, photogrpahy, books. I had to summarize it all. A place to come for an inspiration, get the creative juices flowing, learn and share the knowledge, how does this sound?

2. Identify your desired audience.

My summary was approved. Now, who is my target audience? Well, that’s easy – people like me, with an inquisitive mind, yearning for knowledge, craving inspiration, passionate about all things new. They may be web designers, artists or programmers, but that’s not necessary – anyone could be interested in the same things I am.

3. Brainstorm possible key phrases, words

From the very beginning I had two major keywords in mind: creative and inspiration. So I was writing down all the possible keyword combinations: CreativeDesign, CreativeThoughts, CreativeSource, BeCreative; InspirationalDesign, InspirationSource, BeInspired.

4. Check the availability of the coveted domains

Now let’s hope nobody else came up with the same names. The next step was to either type out these names in the URLs or check their availability with the domain registrars. What a disappointment – all, absolutely all of those domain names were already registered.

5. Don’t despair, more brainstorming

Now my husband started throwing at me his ideas: CreativeLounge, InspirationLounge, CreativePad – they’re all taken. I tried some more: CreativeBits, CreativeBit. Already registered. My husband offered another one – InspirationPad. Hurrah, it is available, but hmmm… I wanted to try some other ideas.

6. What is your site’s motto?

I knew my blog would have a fair amount of technical information, so I had to make sure that the name reflects the digital nature of the site. I thought about getting inspired to learn, and very quickly this phrase stood up in my mind: Knowledge comes from Inspiration - one bit at a time. Eureka! What better describes the digital world than its smallest measure – BIT. The blog was born – Inspiration Bit. I quickly checked the availability and was thrilled to find out that this time nobody had outsmarted me.

7. There’s no way out

I realized that I should be very happy with the name, because once I start my blog and call it InspirationBit, I can’t go back and rename it later. Once I decide on the theme, I should stick to it, nurture it and be in control. My husband liked the chosen name and the slogan as well.

8. The Monumental Decision

After analyzing the name for another couple of hours, I’ve finally registered my domain and proceeded to my blogging venture. Now, if I could only find a perfect theme for my blog, a temporary one, and later on I’ll design my own interface from scratch. It took me another few days to find this theme and set up the blog.
Now, I’m working on a new design for this blog, but that’s another story.

How did you chose the name for your blog & domain? Did you go through several options, did you get frustrated that your desired domain name is already taken? Or are you the lucky one who knew what you wanted and got it right away?

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19 Insightful Bits in response to “8 Strenuous Steps To Get The Ideal Name”

  1. I decided on Ronalfy.com simply because it was my self-given nickname throughout most of high school and college.

    RAproject.com was a shortening of Reader Appreciation Project. Bes and I decided on this name because we wanted a place to always write about things that help bloggers appreciate readers more, whether it be tips, articles, plugins, or more.

    Bes and I were lucky. Most of the domains we picked were taken. Bes actually registered quite a few that point to RA Project such as ReaderAppreciation.com, ReaderAppreciationProject.com, ReaderAppreciationWeek.com, and a few more. Unfortunately, raw.com was already taken :(

    I can feel your pain about redesigning InspirationBit. RA Project used a theme too, and right now I’m working on a few concepts for a redesign. Redesigning is fun, but it’s time consuming.

  2. Great Post. I wished I had put that much planning into mine. My domain name came from my Ebay Store. All of the names I wanted for my store were all taken. My first choice was Hot Corner because I played third base myself and the word Hot has many uses and implied meanings. Then I tried Double Play, Home Plate, First Base, The Dug Out and on and on. Finally I came to Squeeze Play and it was take also. Then in a haste I settled on Squeeze Play Cards.

    So, since this was the name of my Ebay store it made sense to buy the domain. I put the blog on a subdomain in case I decide to make the domain an E-commerce site before I am done.

    Later, while searching for other blogs about baseball cards I came across the name I wish I had, Stalegum.com If you have ever bought any packs of Topps growing up you know why that name is perfect.

    Anyway, I have two other blog ideas and I am going to try to apply some of your brainstorming ideas to help me pick the next one.

  3. When I started, I chose this name and used the Blogger free service. Then I wanted my own domain. I was lucky from the very beginning, alltipsandtricks.com was free.

  4. ibit

    Ronald, thanks for your understanding re: blog redesign. I didn’t know that so many other domains are pointing to RA Project – smart move!

    Joey, I wish I knew more about baseball. My husband tried teaching me the game several times, but it’s no use. He too has a great collection of play cards. I’ll ask him about Stalegum :-) Good luck with your other blog names!

    You’re indeed lucky, Simonne – alltipsandtricks.com is a great name for a blog. Congrats for being the owner of this domain.

  5. I initially chose my domain name because I wanted to name my site after me. I then chose perspectives as my blog name, i.e. Rickmann Design Perspectives, as I really wanted to give my view on things.

    I have since done away with the perspectives moniker as I have designed my current incarnation around collections of articles. I am a continual redesigner sometimes quite significantly. Although I haven’t kept my various versions online there is a page on my site that explains why I chose them and why I moved on.

    I get bored with my designs very quickly.

  6. I knew I wanted to promote the parenting methodology of Dr Haim G Ginott, so my first attempt was for “Haimlife”, which was an obvious play on homelife, but with the focus squarely on Dr Ginott.

    I managed to get in touch with Dr Ginott’s widow, because I wanted to get permission to quote from his works. A handful of emails passed, and I could discern that she was reticent to give any kind of consent – and she definitely balked at the name “Haimlife”.

    I was perfectly fine with not being able to quote directly – and I was fine with the negative response to the name. It allowed a rethink.

    It was an easy step to go for “Hamelife”, and it felt so much better – So, I guess I have Alice Ginott (as was) to thank for that. “Hame” is more subtle; it puts the accent on the home, which is where it should be, and the parenting focus can be broader, too; I love the nod to Scotland, where my Mum hailed from; and I have since found out that Haim is pronounced Hi-im, anyway, so it would have made a nonsense of the name.

    Hamelife it was. And very pleased I am, too.

  7. There is some great feedback here how people got their names. Thank you all for sharing.

    ibit,

    I look forward to what you have in store for a re-design.

  8. ibit

    Andrew, I have a nickname for your blog – “chameleon” :-) It is very impressive to see how often you redesign your website, and every time it gets even better.

    Rory, I was wondering about the story behind Hamelife. No wonder they say that sometimes things happen for the best.

    Thank you all for sharing your fascinating stories.

    Ronald, I too look forward to see what I’m eventually going to come up with for my blog’s re-design :-)

  9. Bes

    Excellent explanation of the process you went through Vivien! This should be like a quick-sheet for those wanting to find a domain name for something they are passionate about.

    1 : This is a very good point. A site about movies can be MoviesOnMyMind.com, but it will need an aggressive marketing campaign if the domain name was SweetCandy.com . Even an abstract name, or something that can relate to the philosophy in the site owner’s mind can help readers relate the site to a person/company and a topic.

    2 : This one is hard. Usually, blogs can target to a much wider audience than non-blogging specialized sites. A blog can target a very specific audience, like teenager web designers living in Toronto, and thus come up with some very good names that those teenager web designers will remember. My target audience is also very specialized, but given the nature of my site and writing, even I am not sure how to narrow down my target, or even identify it in one sentence.

    3 : This is usually the fun part that turns into a frustrating part once all the desired domains are found to have already been registered by someone else. :) I used to use tools like http://www.000domains.com and use their “multiple domain check” feature to check a lot of domains at once. However, I have noticed that sometimes such tools may return a false positive or a false negative. For example, a domain may be registered and may show up as being available, or vice versa.

    4 : Ooops – I wrote the checking part in #3 above already. =P

    5 : This is the frustration part I was talking about. “The domain name you entered has been taken.” “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!” The horror, oh the horror!! I think that is a good idea, to have someone else brainstorm with you also.

    6 : This is very interesting. This is the same as the tagline, right? Surprisingly, I still need to come up with some awesome tagline/motto for my site. Any suggestions? :D

    7 : True! I was thinking of changing my domain name last year but the amount of work and my own feelings invested in the domain, I decided to let it continue. If it was only my feelings and no actual work outside of my mind/heart, I could have let the domain die an easy [or a horrible?] death.

    8 : This should be the most exciting part. I think, at least for me, the first day or so consists of a lot of thoughts like “I hope this domain is good” or “!! I got another idea but I already paid for this domain!!”

    Now, how did I come up with my domain/site name? Good question. I might post about it on my site soon, if you are ok with it.

    As for the comments you got, Ronalfy sounds really cool. Ronald came up with a lot of good suggestions for the RA Project and we settled on RAProject.com and a few other domains that we registered just to be on the safe side.

    Yes, unfortunately, RAW.com was already taken. :(

    As Ronald mentions, redesigning is fun, but time consuming and full of issues “Why is this not working? hmmm” It is a good thing Ronald is doing the redesigning, no? :D

    Joey, how much did you pay for the domain, if I may ask? Or were there other people going crazy after the same domain also?

    Simonne, that is indeed a good domain! Congrats! :D

    Andrew, that is a very good thing. Unfortunately, the personal domain name I wanted has been owned by someone since 1993 and they want at least 50k for it for the last 10 years or so that I have been bugging them for. Andrew, could you explain a bit more what you meant by perspectives moniker?

    Rory, thanks for sharing that story. It should help others take appropriate approach when asking for permission.

    How come everyone is coming up with a redesign? :(

    BTW, the word inspiration, if written 8 times, has 88 letters in it, though I need to come up with some philosophy to classify those 8 repetitions as one word. :D

  10. ibit

    WOW, Bes! Your comment was indeed worth waiting all this time :-)
    Re: your tagline/motto. I’ll think about it and let you know if I come up with something interesting.

    How come everyone is coming up with the re-design? I think it’s because the Spring is in the air, and everyone is ready for a change in something – personal life, career, house…. if everything fails/or as good as it gets, then at least in blog’s new design :-)

  11. ibit

    oh, yes… almost forgot..
    Bes, of course you can write how you came up with your blog’s name on your site. Hopefully, you’ll reveal that secret soon, and don’t forget to link to it by commenting here again – so that the others can read your story as well.

  12. Bes

    Thanks Vivien! :) Please let me know if you come up with anything, I would really appreciate it. Spring is in the air, hmmm. I guess I should do a redesign too? :)

  13. I like your site motto, very fitting. ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my design blog, and for your kind comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my logo design post.

    Ciao for now,

    David

  14. Vivien

    Thanks, David. As I said, in my case motto came first, then came the blog name :-)

    You’ve got myriads of interesting articles on your blog, I’ll definitely be exploring it more.

  15. Hi I took the easy route and went for something really obvious Graphic Design Blog, because, well you can’t fail to realise what its about and I thought google would like it too :) I tried to get the .com but it was all ready taken so settled for .co.uk

    It is a nighmare though trying to come up with domain names – you can guarantee nearly everything you think of has been taken as a domain name so you usually have to thing round it a bit.

  16. Vivien

    That’s a pity you couldn’t get the .com version of your blog name as well. But yes, Search Engines will love your domain name and it’s very catchy for people too :-)

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on