How to: come up with good website product names

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Whether it's a name for your new startup company, product, brand, computer game, band, book or even a song...... coming up with something good is NOT easy! Sure you might have a moment of inspiration, but in most cases it can take hours upon hours trying to think up something that's unique - and even then you might not love it. It is, however, very important to give something a good name in order for it to be successful. Here I've written some help on the topic of coming up with a new name.

Qualities of a Great Name

The best/most successful names are:

  • Almost always short - 1-3 syllables (rarely more!)
  • Usually sound fun and/or intriguing
  • Often made-up-words
  • Often intuitive - meaning they say what the product does
  • Are sometimes a great acronym (people don't remember the full name, they just use the acronym)

Ideally the name you think is not already taken and has an available domain name (check availability here). In other words, when people hear the name you want them to think "that sounds cool/interesting/familiar". Furthermore you want them to REMEMBER the name (hopefully it sounds strong/fun)... and when they punch it into Google you want it to be the FIRST in the list - and ideally own the .com for that name! Beware that some names, when written out as domain names (lowercase and NO spaces) are hard to interpret correctly. For example the URL for "experts exchange" is expertsexchange.com (can be read "expert sex change"). Sometimes you may want to hyphenate to get the domain you want, but best if you don't have to. Ideally it's a short name, meaning the URL is short!


Examples of Great Names

Here I've provide a few examples of successful names for various products/companies. Note how each name meets the criteria (short etc) above!

  • Software Companies: ........ Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, DreamWeaver.
  • Software Products............ Word, PhotoShop, Illustrator, LightWave, PowerPoint, KeyNote, Skype, MSN.
  • Shops/Food:.......... Coles, Myer, Ralphs, Trader Joes, Coca-cola, MacDonald's, KFC.
  • Sporting:........... Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Athletes Foot, Super Amart,
  • Band Names:...... ColdPlay, Keane, Death Cab for Cutie.
  • Misc: ............. Sony, Adobe, Zoosk, Guicci.
  • Computer-games: .... WordsWithFriends, Starcraft, Angry Birds, C&C, Tower Madness, Squigil, Blizzard.


Naming Tools

  • Bustaname.com - allows you to type in (add) a few key words, then click the arrow to add extra words which mean similar things... then will find all the combination of these words which have available .com (or .org or .net) domains!
  • Hope to add more soon - I found a great free downloadable/executable program for coming up with names, but never found it again, so let me know if you're aware of any such (free) programs!


Links

  • bustaname.com - a great resource for finding available domain names by typing in a few keywords and trying different synonyms and combinations.
  • DirectNic.com - useful to find which top level domain names (and variations) are free for any particular domain you might want.
  • Dot-o-mator domain naming tips - nice little article, and try the "web 2.0 name generator" - tools like this are pretty cool and you may even chance on something brilliant you can use!
  • Company-name-generator.com - a slightly better random name generator with a nice mix of randomly generated made-up words and real words paired together.