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Finding the perfect domain name

Forget .com. The new frontier of TLDs is where it’s at.

.com was once the most coveted of top-level domains (TLDs). For some, that might still be the case. To me, however, much more cool, fun — and often actually available to register1 — are the spate of generic TLDs (gTLDs) that started appearing in the 2010s: .club, .guru, .dev, .buzz, .press, .band and .store, among many others.

When coming up with a domain name for your latest venture, the possibilties now seem endless. Even if a .com is still available,2 there’s probably something more eye-catching and a better fit for your project out there.

gTLDs can have their own tone, ranging from the irreverent (.fail and .lol) to the functional (.plumbing and .florist) to the apparently inexplicable (.ooo and .xyz), and they seem to have become somewhat more visiable of late. I notice, for example, that advice columnist and podcast host Dan Savage’s domain is now savage.love,3 and during Covid I recall a QR code in a restaurant which took us to a .app domain for payment.

The project I’ve been working on for the past couple of years is a website with a bunch of jazz piano tips and tricks. When thinking about what I should call it, I jotted down some possibilities. I thought I’d publish them here as a blog post, along with comments on their suitability. I’m not sure whether the list provides much in the way of insight into how to best go about choosing the ‘perfect’ domain name, but I present it here nonetheless for anyone looking for inspiration.

(These are the domains in the order I jotted them down in my notes file. You can mostly interchange ‘jazz’, ‘jazzkeys’ and ‘jazztoolkit’, as it took some time before I settled on which variant I liked best.)

  • jazz.wtf
    I like this. It’s irreverent. Reflects the state of feeling overwhelmed when learning a complex subject like jazz. Maybe a bit sweary for some people, though.
  • jazz.clinic
    Nice. It might suggest that the website is some kind of a workshop, which it’s not. Maybe a bit too grand also: I don’t feel in a position to put on a ‘clinic’ in jazz piano. And aren’t clinics more things that drummers do?
  • jazz.tips
    Like it. Short. Doesn’t suggest something too all-encompassing.
  • jazztoolkit.fyi
    I like the informality of the ‘.fyi’ domain. Reflects the approach I’m taking. ‘Toolkit’ feels like it reflects what the site will be: a bunch of techniques and approaches to playing jazz piano.
  • jazzpiano.how
    Cool domain, but .how suggests too grand a scope. The site will be a collection of tips, examples etc.; not a soup-to-nuts course in how to play jazz piano. I’m not sure even the most accomplished jazz piano player would be so arrogant as to think they know the ‘how’: making music is an individual, and often mysterious, thing.
  • jazz.fyi
    Nice. However, I’m leaning towards focusing on just jazz piano and not jazz in general (though a lot of stuff can also be applied to other instruments). Domain is already registered so I’d need to look into making an offer.
  • jazz.fail
    Like jazz.wtf, this is irreverent, and I like it; but maybe a bit negative sounding.
  • jazzpiano.tools
    Goes well with the ‘toolkit’ framing.
  • jazzkeys.tools
    Fine. I prefer ‘keys’ to ’piano’. It’s more informal, and I’m recording a lot of the examples on an electric piano anyway.
  • jazztoolkit.online
    OK, I guess. There are better TLDs than .online.
  • jazztoolkit.help
    Cool TLD that reflects what I want to achieve with the site.
  • jazztoolk.it
    Too clever. Difficult to verbally convey to others. Not a huge fan of using country-level TLDs for purposes other than those for which they’re intended.
  • jazz.help
    Fine, but at ~£100 it’s a bit expensive.4
  • jazztoolkit.app
    I like the .app TLD, and the site does have app-like functionality; but it might confuse non-tech people as it’s a web app, which I don’t think means much to non-tech punters.
  • 🌟 jazzkeys.fyi
    OK, this is perfect. Suggests an informal, non-prescriptivist approach: “Here’s what works for me; if it’s of use to you, then great.” Also rolls off the tongue. JazzKeys.fyi it is!

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  1. A domain registrar that often seems to have good deals is Namecheap. (That’s not an affiliate link, nor is this a sponsored post — I’m just a customer.) ↩︎

  2. You might still want to register the .com if it’s available and add a redirect to your actual domain, in case folk type it out of habit. ↩︎

  3. Content may not be suitable office reading if your co-workers are prudes. ↩︎

  4. Someone has subsequently registered jazz.help. ↩︎