15 Best: Domain Name Generator Tools & Hosts (Random / Short / Free)

Our 15 Best Tools and Tips for Using a Domain Name Generator

Seemingly every web professional has a tale to tell about finding a domain name. The story could be silly, like how you snapped up the domain with your friend or coworker’s name. Or maybe you’re hoping to strike it rich by having the domain calling for a college football coach to be fired.

For me, it was securing a domain name for my freelance business — I had a unique brand in mind; how hard could it be? Alas, my dream domain was already taken. I returned to the drawing board with a domain generator to see what options existed for my no-longer-one-of-a-kind brand.

The free tools showed me that even if your first choice isn’t open, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a short, meaningful — and profitable — domain name. Keep reading for a list of our favorite domain name generators, tips to find the best one, and the hosts with which you can register them.

5 Best Domain Name Idea Generators

Almost 335 million domain names have been registered around the world, according to Verisign’s latest Domain Name Industry Brief, which also shows registration rates are still growing. No wonder it can be hard to get a particular domain name. Generators take your keywords and ideas and try to find different words, spellings, and domain extensions that are still available. Here are some of the most popular tools:

  1. Lean Domain Search: Acquired by WordPress parent company Automattic, Lean Domain Search turns up hundreds or thousands of available .com domains after a keyword search. They also will check if the name is available on Twitter and enable you to register the name via WordPress, Bluehost, GoDaddy, and other hosts.
  2. NameMesh: This generator breaks results into eight categories: common, similar, new, SEO, short, fun, extra, and mix. You can then filter them more based on domain extension, availability, and maximum length. NameMesh also boasts a startup company name generator.
  3. Bust a Name: After searching your keywords, Bust a Name lets you check different domain extensions, prefixes, suffixes, punctuation, and spelling. You can also look for domains that start or end with a certain word and will have 11 ways to buy the name you choose.
  4. domainhole: With seven brainstorming tools, domainhole can help you find a domain with or without a keyword. Look for recently expired domain names, or have them create random pronounceable domains. You can check any and all domain extensions to find what you need.
  5. Panabee: Interestingly, this generator wanted to be called Pandabee — but the domain name was already taken. Panabee will suggest related keywords and search if your suggestions are available social media user names.

With so many options for generators and all the domain choices they’re sure to provide, you should have no problem finding just the right domain name for your brand.

5 Tips for Cool & Catchy Domains

Domain names aren’t easy. You need a web address that will be memorable and meaningful for both your visitors and your brand. That alone can be a challenge, but you’re also playing against the clock: The more time passes, the more likely someone will come in and plant their flag on your great idea. Use these tools to find the most powerful domain available.

1. Use a .COM

I’m secretly envious of those who can pull off one of the funky, new domain extensions like .ninja or .pizza. Aside from the quick chuckle, though, users don’t naturally understand that actually is a domain name. The .com extension is far and away the most popular and recognizable. Your non-profit can still get away with .org, but that’s as far as we would push it.

2. Do Keyword Research

How do you expect visitors or customers to find your brand? Help them out by using words that describe your business or goals for the website. Your domain will also fare better in search results. Learn how to do keyword research well — while not overdoing it — here.

3. Keep It Short

Believe it or not, domain names can be up to 63 characters long — here’s the world record. Entertainment aside, you should avoid anything longer than 15 characters. Shorter domains are easier to remember, easier to share, and easier to type without messing up.

4. Avoid Legal Conflicts

This is a big one: Be wary of trademark infringement! Make sure the name you’ve chosen isn’t trademarked, copyrighted, or already being used by another company. Even if you own the domain, a lawsuit could cost you boatloads of money and the domain name itself.

5. Don’t Hyphenate

You might be desperate to use two specific words as your domain name. If that domain is taken, you might be tempted to separate the words with a hyphen — don’t! Punctuation is easy to forget, hard to type, difficult to share, and can give off a spammy vibe.

5 Best Hosts with Free Domains

A domain name is great and all, but you need a hosting plan to actually get a website online. Lucky for you, we know five hosting providers who make registering and transferring domains a breeze. Even better, most will give you a free domain for at least the first year of your plan.


iPage review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • FREE domain registration and transfer
  • Unlimited disk space, domains, and MySQL databases
  • $100 towards Google AdWords and $100 in SEM credits
  • Unlimited bandwidth and email addresses
  • FREE online store and website builder
  • Get started on iPage now.



iPage: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): With iPage domain hosting, users get a free domain name registration or a free domain transfer, and can host unlimited domains. They offer unlimited bandwidth and emails, plus $200 in advertising credits to help get your website launched…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.ipage.com/domain


Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • FREE domain name registration and site-building tools
  • Get up to unlimited domains, emails, and bandwidth
  • Over $150 in offers with Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
  • 1-click WordPress install and WordPress’s endorsement
  • 24/7 customer support and online tutorials
  • Get started on Bluehost now.



Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Bluehost offers all the freebies you need to get started with domain hosting. They include a free domain and transfer, plus unlimited bandwidth and storage. With 24/7 support and $150 in PPC credits, Bluehost offers excellent, reliable domain hosting…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/domain


A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $3.92

  • Easy domain registration and transfer services
  • FREE DNS management and custom nameservers
  • Up to unlimited email addresses, domains, and databases
  • Advanced security features and FREE HackScan
  • 24/7/365 help from the A2 Guru Crew
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.



A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): There are plenty of excellent cPanel shared hosting providers out there, so what sets A2 apart from the rest? Not only do they offer a ton of features, they've custom-built their packages for enhanced performance, speed, and security — putting your... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
Anytime Unlimited RAID-10 $14.99 www.a2hosting.com/domain


GoDaddy review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • Recognized as the #1 Domain Name Registrar
  • FREE domain included with annual plans
  • Manage your domains via cPanel or Plesk control panels
  • FREE email hosting at your domain
  • 99.9% website uptime guaranteed
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.



GoDaddy: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): We’d be remiss not to include GoDaddy on this list of the top domain name hosting providers. Perhaps the most well-known name in the domain space, GoDaddy is widely recognized as the #1 registration services company, and the $1 hosting is tough to... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days 100 GB - Unlimited FREE (w/ annual plans) www.godaddy.com/domain


HostPapa review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Up to 100 email accounts hosted at your FREE domain
  • 99.9% uptime means your site is almost always online
  • Helpful support available any time of day
  • FREE server firewall, monitoring, and intrusion detection
  • Unlimited domains, storage, and site traffic
  • Get started on HostPapa now.



HostPapa: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): One of the last remaining privately owned hosting companies, HostPapa is a trusted source for shared, virtual, and dedicated hosting services, including domain name hosting for your new site…Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Domain Hosting Plans
30 days 100 GB - Unlimited FREE for life! www.hostpapa.com/domain

Start Building at Your Unique Domain

Finally have your domain name and hosting package? You’re just getting started — now begins the journey of getting a website designed, built, and published. You should be as proud of your site as you are of your domain name. If you need help with this step, we’ve got you covered. Tons of hosts include intuitive drag-and-drop website builders that remove all the coding from web design. Take a look at our recommended website builder hosts to get started.

Laura Bernheim

Questions or Comments? Ask Laura!

Ask a question and Laura will respond to you. We strive to provide the best advice on the net and we are here to help you in any way we can.