Imagine visitors chuckling as they tap out the address to your website. For folks in the laugh-getting business — like comedians, or owners of gag or costume shops — a belly laugh trades way better than the firm handshake and level gaze more serious businesspeople prefer. If you’re in the former, funnier group and looking to establish a web presence, funny domain names are something you should seriously consider.
Funny domain names are memorable, beg to be shared, and go a long way in shaping your online identity.
Here’s a good example: stupid.com. Tell me you aren’t going to check out the website behind that domain. Turns out, it’s a gag shop that gets visitors in a goofy mood before even seeing the home page. OK, here’s another one: cosplaysky.com. You probably caught on it was about cosplay, but were you imagining fanciful costumes, or an anime character standing in the rain, bellowing STELLAAA? (Haunting is what that is.)
Before we take a closer look at funny domain names, remind yourself that funny lives in a magical valley between inappropriate and meh. If you’re not sure about an idea, don’t risk alienating visitors. After all, nobody likes hearing crickets, even online.
How to make funny domain names
So, how can you get across a joke using just a few smooshed-together words and a domain extension? There’s a subtle art to crafting funny domain names. Let’s cruise through the most important points to keep in mind as you look for a humorous way to brand your online presence.
Ready? Fire up your favorite domain-search tool, and let’s get going:
Make it easy to remember (and type)
Your goal is to get a domain name that people can commit to memory instantly, whether they hear it spoken out loud or glance at it in passing (on the side of a bus, perhaps). Make it easy on them. As every blogger loves reminding us, the average human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. So, avoid using too many words, or words with creative misspellings.
And if you do feel a misspelled domain might get typed in here and there, register it, and then point it to your primary domain. That way, you cast a broader net and catch even the people who can’t use a keyboard so good.
Avoid special characters and symbols
Here’s a fun fact: every time you type an ampersand (&) into the address bar of a browser, the End of Days gets moved up 18 minutes. Well, not really … but you still can’t use ampersands in funny domain names — or any domain, for that matter. Also avoid numbers, and special characters and symbols like hyphens. Why? They aren’t quite the harbingers of doom ampersands are, but they are hard for people to remember and, like we just discussed, type in correctly. You want to make it stupid-easy to find you online.
Explore all your options
The internet has been around a while now, but plenty of people still have trouble looking beyond the tried-and-true .com or .net extensions (that’s the part after the dot). A great domain name requires an element of uniqueness, so look through all the extensions that are currently available (and there’s a bunch these days).
Let’s skim through a few with potential, shall we?
— .wtf — Subtly introduces ideas with a hint of knowing disbelief.
— .fail — Because people falling down is the funniest thing ever.
— .exposed — Let’s just leave this one alone, m’kay?
— .lol — It’s like a laugh track — but for the internet, not Golden Girls.
— .gripe — Everyone’s got something that grinds their gears.
The wide world of domain hacks
According to Wikipedia, domain hacks became a thing back in 1992, when someone registered inter.net. You might be more familiar with one of the most notable domain hacks, del.icio.us, which hit the scene in 2002. Then there’s chicken.coop which is for, uh, people who raise chickens. And how about ch.ai? You guessed it — all about tea.
See what they did there? Getting creative with carefully chosen extensions (often country codes) really ups the potential for a clever web address.
Just double-check before you bank on using a particular country-code extension (all two-digit) to create funny domain names. Some of them, as it turns out, require you to actually live in the country whose extension you want to register. Don’t worry about knocking on embassy doors, though. GoDaddy has kindly compiled a list of country-code extensions and any restrictions for registering them.
Closing thoughts on names that tickle
Coming up with funny domain names, like anything else worth laughing at, requires quite a bit of thought. Don’t despair if inspiration isn’t striking immediately. You know what funny is, so start looking around until you find it. Any time you dream up an amusing combination of words with a domain extension, run it through GoDaddy’s domain search to see if it’s available for you to register.
Why not try it right now? You know you want to.
Also published on Medium.
Image by: Unsplash