Announcing Domainr for Android
The official Domainr for Android app is now live in the Google Play Store. Huge props to Connor Hindley for his work on it — like the iOS and Windows Phone apps before it, Connor hacked it together in his spare time and got in touch with us about possibly shipping it. According to Connor, who’s currently wrapping up his CS degree at Northern Illinois University, “A clean /...
Domainr for Windows Phone 8
The Domainr for Windows Phone app has been updated for Windows Phone 8, courtesy of Scott Lovegrove. And like the previous release, its source is available on Github (in the WP8 branch). Thanks Scott!
dNominator: Domainr-powered iOS app
Congratulations to the team at Alpis Design for shipping their iOS app, dNominator — it’s a fun little utility for brainstorming project names, and it uses Domainr’s API to show domain availability. Check it out in the app store.
New Feature: Autocomplete
We just added something incredibly useful to Domainr: TLD autocomplete. To try it out, add a . to the end of your search, then a letter, like c — the search results will show every TLD that starts with a c. It also works for second-level domains, like .co.uk — type .co. in your search to see all of them. This functionality also works in Domainr’s API. Bonus feature: Keyboard...
Domain advice from Dan Martell of Clarity
Our friend Dan Martell gave Domainr a shoutout in his Quora post about how he named his new venture, Clarity: “Why did Dan Martell choose a .fm domain name for Clarity’s website?” “Here’s the reason behind the Clarity.fm… I was using http://domai.nr/ to test different words that I felt were on topic, and I didn’t expect anything Clarity [dot] would be...
Announcing Domainr's Registrar Directory
We just published a new page on Domainr: the Registrar Directory. Comprehensiveness is one of our core product goals, and this collection of Registrar-Domain coverage is what makes Domainr’s search results both useful and actionable. The directory currently lists 228 Registrars and Registries, most of which support domain registration. We also show how many top (and second) level...
If you’re curious how profitable side projects work behind-the-scenes, be sure to check out this new eBook, Side Projects. We’re excited that Domainr’s story was included, from our humble HTML + JS beginnings in 2008 (which @rr prototyped on @case’s Mac Mini), to when @ceedub joined and we formed our LLC, to its current state as one of the web’s premier domain...
Explore the New gTLDs in Domainr
Domainr now supports searching ICANN’s 1,400+ new generic top-level domains, which were publicly revealed on June 13, 2012. Here are some example queries: mash.able starfleet.academy centralintelligence.agency in.da.club monkey.patch ham.radio srsly.wtf bikram.yoga ICANN intends to evaluate the new domains for the next 9-20 months before launching them, so it will be a while until...
Domainr Chrome Extension
Domainr’s official Chrome Extension is now available in the Chrome Web Store. Install it to search Domainr directly from Chrome, and use your Up and Down arrow keys to navigate search results — the Enter key will open a new tab with your search. According to Google Analytics, Chrome is currently used by 55% of Domainr’s monthly visitors, so we’re excited to make it even...
Domainr for Windows Phone
Domainr is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, and its code is open source on github thanks to Scott Lovegrove, a UK-based Domainr fan and Microsoft MVP. Scott built the app on top of Domainr’s API and contacted us with a few questions about it, and we asked if he’d be interested in open-sourcing it and publishing it as an official Domainr-branded app. Fortunately...
Domainr API Gallery
We launched Domainr’s API three years ago, in the hopes that it would let developers and Domainr fans create functionality and integrations that “scratch their own itch.” Recently it’s seen a flurry of activity, so we published a simple API Gallery to showcase projects that use it: Languages Ruby wrapper by Steve Agalloco PHP wrapper by Kyle Florence Python wrapper by...
How to Acquire a Domain Name (That Someone Already...
Background: We created Domainr almost four years ago, and since then many people have contacted us asking how to buy domain names that other people already own. We’ve not yet been through that process ourselves, so we asked our friend Julian Shapiro, founder of NameLayer, to write a guest post describing how it works — here’s Julian’s advice: 1) Direct Contact If there are no contact...
Domainr's new development environment --...
We’re almost done with Domainr’s infrastructural overhaul: we’re moving from Python & Django on App Engine to Ruby 1.9.3 and Rails 3.1 — we’ll discuss the reasons for this in a later post. We ran into a few development environment hiccups while working on the port, so Cameron made this gist to automate setting up our general dependencies. The last mile just connects...
Looking for a GoDaddy alternative?
If so, definitely give Kevin Cheng’s thorough post about his quest a read. Domainr supports most of the registrars he investigated, but let us know if there are any you’d like us to add.
.tv = Serious Revenue for Tuvalu
The Guardian: “Tuvalu’s GDP is so tiny — about US$37 million — that a line item on the budget measures sales of national stamps and coins to collectors… Royalties from the sale of the domain name, which by last year was used by about 110,000 Web sites, could reap Tuvalu US$40 million in a decade. Such funds largely paid for the 2002 tar-sealing and lighting of the roads on...
Decommissioning Domainr's RSS Feeds
We will be decommissioning Domainr’s RSS feeds on Monday, November 14th, 2011 — email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need them for some reason.
'Round the Tubes
Domainr has gotten some nice write-ups around the web recently—here are a few that we’ve noticed and appreciate! Geno Prussakov’s case study on Domainr’s utility for finding available short domains, as well as its affiliate revenue model. Zach Browne’s post about finding the perfect domain name.
Domainr API Apps
We’re glad to see Domainr’s API getting some use — here are some example apps utilizing it: iOS Quick Domain Check (iPad, iPhone) Domainster Android Exygy Domains
Domainr for iPhone
Domainr for iPhone is now available in the App Store! Huge props to our good friend Sahil Desai, who built the app in his spare time because he wanted an easy way to search for domains from his iPhone. In fact, he reached out to us back in 2009 about building the app, which prompted Randy to build out Domainr’s API for this exact sort of use. Thank you, @Sahil! We’ve also made the...
IDN ccTLD support
Via @domainr: “Domainr supports all three new TLDs: http://domai.nr/about/tlds#idn” Props to @rr for pushing out the update!
Domainr for Android
Hey Android users, Our compatriots at Exygy have whipped up a neat little app* that uses Domainr’s API for doing domain search. Check it out! (or use barcode scanner to snap this QR code) the app is called, “Exygy Domains” in the Android Marketplace.
Short Domain Search
Domainr’s search results now show vowel-stripped “shortened domains,” which have become quite popular recently thanks to services like Bitly and Awe.sm. Domainr does its best to show whether or not it’s possible to register a domain, but many NICs and Registrars have their own rules for things like minimum # of characters in a domain, etc. If you encounter an error in...
Affiliate Programs Need Unit Tests
Kelly over at Hunch has done some investigative digging into one of their affiliate relationships that was mysteriously not converting. Domainr and Hunch share an affiliate-based business model, where both are search sites trying to help people find what they’re looking for: “We signed up to the Best Buy affiliate program through Commission Junction, and tested Best Buy links in...
Welcome, Smashing Visitors!
The folks at Smashing Mag very kindly mention Domainr in their post about finding, registering and managing domains: The popular Domainr service comes as easy and clean as it gets. They call themselves a “domain name search engine” and solely focus on the domain search experience. Searching for a domain name is very intuitive and fast indeed. If you found a name you can choose from a list of...
Registering a .nr domain
Occasionally we hear questions from folks about Domainr’s .nr domain, inquiring about the .nr registrar’s scary registration process. It’s definitely one of the sketchiest-looking webapps we’ve ever come across, but the process worked for us, and Cameron’s described it over on Get Satisfaction. Here’s a summary: go through the process on Cenpac’s web...
Domainr and Design
We recently heard from a Domainr user via email, inquiring about a design technique used to create Domainr’s look and feel. If you’re curious about that sort of thing, take a look at Randy’s writeup: ydnar.com: CSS Images, Sprites, and iPhone Webkit
Web Worker Daily on domains
WWD has some great advice for folks searching for domains for their projects, and we concur: “I think that you can take the “get a dot-com at all costs” mentality too far, so you may want to consider alternatives to .com.”
Keep Registries and Registrars Separate
CircleID: “Since 1999, when Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) and ICANN agreed on the separation of NSI’s combined registry and registrar functions, the market as grown from about 5 million to over 100 million domain names in the generic TLDs. The registrar companies grew from a solitary one to over 900 (500 active) strong, and retail prices of registrations plummeted from $35.00 per...
Announcing the Domainr API
Hey developers: check out Domainr’s new API, which lets you embed domain search directly in your site. Here’s what it currently returns: domain possibility: send a string, and Domainr returns domain hack permutations domain availability: whether or not domains are already registered registration: direct links to registrars so your users can register domains You can choose the...
Domain Hacks Are Short Domains
@domainr: “Domain hacks are the original short URLs. They’re as resistant to link-rot as the rest, except they cost money.” Lately URL shorteners have been making headlines, and some of the coverage is definitely exciting. This is just a friendly reminder that domain hacks can be inherently short, and you should totally consider one for your site/service if you’ve got links to...
Use Domainr to help name your stuff
Smashing Magazine’s running a really, really great piece about choosing domain names. It’s way more than that though—they’re talking about name selection and iteration in a very insightful and strategic way. “Meta,” even. Some key takeaways: domains can be discoverable or brandable names can be assembled in a number of different ways: compounded, blended, phrased,...
Domainr’s gotten some great coverage recently out on the blogs:Mind of Michael’s 10 Excellent Tools for Picking a Domain Name “Domainr is an innovative web tool that helps you explore other TLD’s that have made popular websites like last.fm and del.icio.us stand out from the crowd. Of course, searches will also include popular top-level domains that are...
Money Quotes on the proposed new gTLDs
Props to DNW for calling out these awesomely-relevant quotes from The Man Himself and George Kirikos regarding the proposed new gTLDs: “A world of infinite top level domains goes backwards to a flat space, instead of a tree structure, and would be a step backwards and not an improvement.” [GK] … “There have been temptations for the registry companies to consider themselves...
Some TLDs are just Really Hard to Register
We’ve been emailing with our contact at 101domain about a Domainr user’s difficulties attempting to register a Nigerian (.ne) domain name. Her note below is both helpful and insightful, as it explains how difficult it can be to register some TLDs: “…the requirements by each country domain registry are actually enforced, and we can only comply. There is no way around it,...
Two new domain hacks
From Jonas, domains scored via Domainr: Is it raining in Dublin? (about) Saccades
Twitter user @elliottcable just sent a somewhat troubling message our way: “isn’t sure what to think of @domainr. Looks pretty sexy, but seems to be affiliated with the scammy 101domain.com (1,000$ for every domain)” We asked him for details, and it turns out some .com domains cost a bit more than normal there: “@domainr Oddly enough, a bunch of .com domains. The...
Updated iWantMyName support
As our ideegeo friends down unda continue enhancing their iWantMyName domain service, we continue updating Domainr’s support of it. The latest additions: .lc .ht .com.sb .tel
We're in frakking Wired!
We understated this a bit in yesterday’s post, but Domainr’s in this month’s Wired! Being mentioned in such a renowned publication is a huge honor for us, as Wired’s been a major influence on us all during its 15+ years in print. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons Eric ended up living and working on software in the Bay Area. Having grown up in rural Ohio, it was...
Further 'round the Tubes
We’re honored by Domainr’s recent appearances on these fine sites: #7 on LifeHacker’s Top 10 Tools for your Blog or Web Site “One reason so many new-fangled webapps have such crazy, vowel-deficient names is because the net seems almost completely picked over for .com addresses. Don’t sacrifice your clever idea or give up on your name, though—head to...
We’re obviously fans of URL hackery, but Tinyarro.ws takes it to a new level. Dave digs it too. Domainr lets you check availability of domains like these, so grab some dingbats from ⌘C ⌘V Character and start playing!
ccTLD Forum Discussion
Especially relevant to Domainr users considering non-.com domains is the new ccTLDs Forum, where you can find plenty of country code-specific domain discussion. We’re in agreement with both DNW and Rick: “Latona is a big proponent and believer in country code top level domain names, although he became a convert only last year. His world travels taught him that there’s more than just...
A Small Slice of Pie
Google Analytics gives us a whole host of interesting information about our visitors. One thing that really stuck out when looking at this data today is that Internet Explorer accounts for less than 10% of our traffic—3rd place—while Firefox and Safari account for nearly 80%. After that caught my eye, I dug in a little further to see how people using different browsers tend to use Domainr....
Domainr’s front end is hosted on Google App Engine, which provides us with a (usually) stable, fast platform that lets us scale with relative ease. Over the past few days, ongoing performance issues have caused Domainr’s performance to suffer. We’re working hard on a contingency plan. In the meantime, you can also search for domains on these other sites: NameBoy, DomainFinder or Domize.
TLDs are Yellow Bubbles
ICANN posted a simple graphic showing the TLD breakdown, visually: Domainr supports all these TLDs, as well as another 1900+ second-level domains—you can see them on each TLD’s page.
International Domain Laws
The Domains smartly reminds us to check countries’ rules and regulations before registering their domains, and lists some examples: .ca and .eu have “presence requirements” China routinely shuts down .cn sites that violate its rules Vietnam just published new rules for .vn domains We’ve updated Domainr’s “Is it safe?” FAQ with this info—thanks The...
Funniest (emphasis mine) and simultaneously most impressive quote from VeriSign’s 2008/Q4 report: “VeriSign processed peak loads of nearly 50 billion Domain Name System (DNS) queries per day in the fourth quarter of 2008, resulting in hundreds of millions of Internet users accessing Web sites or sending email. The VeriSign DNS continued to maintain operational accuracy and stability...
123-reg on ccTLDs
We dig UK registrar 123-reg’s writeup on why you should consider using country-code domains for your sites; here are a few of their reasons: it shows that you’re aware and serious about international markets they can be used defensively against typo-squatters they can help with SEO One of the main reasons we built Domainr was to increase exposure to country-code domains, of which...
Feeds, or Domainr API 0.1
ydnar just gave Domainr a bit more sauce—its search results now output in Atom and RSS (example). Why? Good question. The answer’s probably somewhere between, “Why not?” and, “Django made it too easy not to.” While we’re unsure of the actual usefulness of feeds in Domainr, we’re hoping they’ll prove interesting and/or worthwhile in unforeseen ways. For example, you could toss a Domainr...
New gTLDs: It's the Content, not the Conduit
Domainr is agnostic toward controversial issues like ICANN’s proposal to sell new generic top-level domains. Domainr covers the entire domain namespace, and we’ll support new TLDs if and when they launch. Domain Name Wire’s got great coverage of the issue, and we agree that: there doesn’t seem to be real demand for new gTLDs IDN’s continued rollout is more important...
Domainr and Mechanical Turk
Inspired by Andy Baio’s mturk hacking and documentation, we used Mechanical Turk to round up the dataset with which we originally launched Domainr. Our goal was to gather a canonical list of second-level domains available at each top-level domain (for example, .ac’s list), to be parsed by Domainr’s search engine. Three sets of workers compiled lists for us, ensuring that we...