Many people do not appreciate the importance of a good domain name, but this is vital if you want to achieve visibility and recognition on the Internet. However, it is not easily obtained as almost all choices have already been taken and you are put in a position to come up with something extra creative.
When .com is unavailable – and it usually is – you have to take one of the other top-level domain names (TLDs) or country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) into consideration. Another quite helpful thing is domain hacking that can spark your imagination and lead to interesting ideas.
What is Domain Hacking?
Domain hacking does not have anything to do with hacking someone’s domain name or stealing their sensitive data, but it is about coming up with new domain solutions and getting creative when picking one. It combines two parts, i.e. two levels of the domain name into a single word, idea, phrase, association, mental connection or even someone’s full name.
Depending on the extension and the intention you have, you can choose the first part of the domain so that it leans on the second one, naturally creating a whole, such as famo.us, for example.
Who Uses It?
Domain hacking is interesting to everyone who wants a unique domain name and is trying to gather followers, users or readers this way, as well as companies that want to reach out to the public with it. One of the most famous examples are probably Instagram’s, Apple’s and Google’s usage of Armenian, Spain and Greenland domains for creating Instagr.am, itune.es and goo.gl, respectively.
This last example of Google’s URL shortener combines domain hacking’s creativity and present variety of options, resulting in often funny and eye-catching domains.
When it comes to personal use, it could be interesting to a number of individuals including designers, writers and bloggers, who can use a list of ccTLD and create domains like personaldesi.gn, mybestwriti.ng or greatblogg.er. Moreover, bloggers can come up with a clever creative trick and mask their own names in the domain, like blogbylui.gi, johnsmi.th or jackmorg.an.
With so many .com options unavailable, domain hacking might be the only way to get great domains and attract people to your site. Additionally, this is used by famous brands to get their URL shortened without loosing recognizability.
However, the biggest advantage of this tactic are branding and marketing options – these domains will make your site/brand unique and absolutely personalized, so promotion and advertizing should become much easier.
People will instantly recognize you and a great domain package – from those obtained at one of the most popular global domains for personal use, Montenegro’s domain.me, such as hire.me, giveajobto.me or lookat.me, to more creative ones mentioned before – will bring you more good than you could imagine.
On the other hand, not all domains are available to all users world-wide – for example, .mk, .ky, .jp and .it are restricted only to companies in Macedonia, Cayman Island entities, people and companies in Japan and those in the European Union, respectively, and there are many more like these.
Also, political instability in some regions leads to shutting down domains, which happened in Libya, South Sudan and other countries, not to mention Yugoslavia’s .yu domain which was removed after the country’s breakup. Furthermore, certain ccTLDs are handled differently by Google and sometimes cannot be recognized because they are too local. Finally, some choices are just not clear enough, especially when verbalized.
More Examples and Options
Domain hacks are great tool for bringing your brand to a completely new level, creating a much stronger connection between website and services you offer and a chance for a more effective marketing. Users can be inventive and humorous, so you can see examples like will.i.am used by the musician of the same name, last.fm for the music-related site and youtu.be for YouTube.
Also, depending on your niche, you can register feedmy.cat, mynameisdav.id or marria.ge, so the options are virtually limitless.