The Art of Finding a Domain Hack

While many domain names under .COM and country code top-level domains are already taken, domain hacks are a good alternative to express yourself** **on the web. Wait, domain hack? Does that mean something bad? No, according to Wikipedia a domain hack is "an unconventional domain name that combines domain levels, especially the top-level domain (TLD), to spell out the full "name" or title of the domain, making a kind of pun."

Let's have a look at some examples:

  • iWantMy.Name - our own domain hack (we could also have used iwantmyna.me or iwant.my/name)

  • Domai.nr - a great domain search engine

  • Ma.tt - Blog of Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress

  • Cli.gs or awe.sm - URL shortening services

  • Swinef.lu - our recent favourite ;) More examples and inspiration can be found at Intercyclopedia.

How can I find a domain hack?

The first domain hack generator was developed by Xona in 2004. While their classic tool is still around and also helps you to find email hacks ("a" replaced by "@", e.g. iw@ntmyname.com using the domain ntmyname.com), there is a newer service that we at iWantMyName really like (they're cool guys too).

We are talking about the already mentioned Domai.nr which is absolutely fun to use. Brainstorming names with their search engine is easy and once you found something available you can directly register your domain with iWantMyName by chosing us in their list of registrars.

screenshot-domainr.jpg

Another option is to manually search for words using a website like More Words. They also have lists of words that end with a certain letter combination. Here's a list of words ending with "es" for example (the Spanish domain extension).

Why should I register a domain hack?

There are two main reasons to get a domain hack. First of all it's fun. Secondly it's easier to use them for sharing links on Twitter because they're mostly shorter and memorable. Going one step further you can even combine domain hacks and short domains. TechCrunch for example uses awe.sm for branded URL shortening under tcrn.ch and Amazon recently introduced their amzn.com short links for product pages such as amzn.com/books. This is also how we are using our iwantmy.name _domain hack: _iwantmy.name/d is forwarded to our domains page, iwantmy.name/a to our "Domains for Apps" offering or iwantmy.name/de to get more information about the German internet address.

Which domain extensions are suitable for domain hacks?

We'd say pretty much all except the ones you can't register because the country's internet address is not operational (imagine all the possibilities you would have with the Eritrean domain extension .ER) or there are other restrictions in place. Alledia's Beginners Guide To Domain Hacks offers a good overview of the meaning for most country extensions.

iWantMyName is currently running a promotion for some of the more popular domain hack extensions. The "brandtastic" country codes .IN (India), .AT (Austria), .BE (Belgium) & .IM (Isle Of Man) are available for $US 14.90 only! See our domain list for more details.

The possibilities are endless and creativity is your only limit. One last tip... Make sure you have fun with the search for your domain hack.