Three rules I follow before buying a domain name

How many domains did you get last year? Too many? Here are 3 simples rules I follow to avoid buying domains, and not using them.

If you are anything like me the following situation will feel familiar:

It’s a sunny Monday morning and you are checking your To Do list, the week looks pretty good and you think that life is great.

Then you open your email app and there it is! Another email from your domain register telling you that your other 5 domains are gonna expire soon, 5 more domains you didn’t touch. Now what? Renew them or let them expire?

The first thing I wanna do when I’m excited with a new idea is to find a great name & domain name.

Buying the domain name feels like actually working on the idea! Well, after many years following this approach I’m very ashamed of my list of unused domains. This is the list of rules I now follow to prevent myself from buying domains and not using them.

1. Never feed gremlins or buy a domain after midnight

Trust me! No good domain was ever bought at night, it can wait few hours, don’t rush it.

2. The name goes at the end.

Ideas evolve with work and the name that seemed appropriate at the beginning most probably won’t work with the final product.

The idea is that you shouldn’t name your project too soon or you will end up renaming it too many times. The later you name it, the better. I prefer to name it when I’m close to the initial release. Until then, an internal project name does the job.

Apple is calling their autonomous car thing “Project Titan”, so basically anything works, just mix a color and an object and you got yourself a project name: Red Panda, Blue Chair, Green Lamp.

3. No domain without a purpose

Every single time I bought a domain before knowing what to do with it I ended up in one of the following two scenarios:

  • A: I never developed the idea.
  • B: I started working on the idea, the idea evolved and that initial domain didn’t fit anymore.

In both scenarios I wasted my time and money buying a domain before having something to do with it.

Now I don’t buy it until I have the pre-launch site ready. If the product doesn’t need a pre-launch site, I just buy it when I have the final product & site ready.

Are you trying to name your product? Have a look at how I name my projects.