I put a lot of thought into the perfect domain name for this online portfolio site. I wanted it to be humorous and memorable. Of course, above all it had to be available.
When I saw that NotAnEvilGenius.com was free I must admit that I was a bit giddy with excitement.
Going on past experience, however, giddiness is not a good indicator of a successful idea. So I waited and thought about it for a couple of days. Listed out the pros and cons. Eventually I was happy with the domain name and bought it. Yippee!
It took me a day or two to realise my mistake!
It ain't all about the domain name
Having yourname.com is great. It gives you your own internet real-estate. But, by itself, it doesn't do much to get people to visit. If you're setting up a new blog or business website you're going to need social media accounts to help advertise and drive traffic to your site. And to be consistent, it's good to have the same account name across your social media accounts. And, ideally that account name should be the same as your website.
I discovered my mistake when I tried to set up a Facebook page. @NotAnEvilGenius was already taken by someone. Aargh! I had already bought the domain name! It got worse. As this site will be displaying my humble attempts at digital art I set up an account at DeviantArt. That account name was gone too, it belongs to someone called Jack from the US. Jack has been a member for six years yet seemingly has never interacted on the site.
Now my deviant art page can be found at NotEvilGenius.deviantart.com . My facebook page has the title of Not An Evil Genius but the account name of @NotEvilGenius . Not a big deal perhaps, besides my irrational dislike of compromise ...
What I Should Have Done
By placing all of my attention on my domain name I overlooked a critical point. Your domain name is only one aspect of your online presence.
So if you are thinking of setting up a blog or online business, take some time to consider social media. Preferably you'll have a couple of potential (and available) names. Checking the social media username availability is another factor that can help you decide on which one is best.
Luckily it's easy to check for username availabilty. There are free online tools for it. I've tested a couple but my favourite has to be NameChk.com because it allows you to check domain name as well as username availability. You just enter the preferred name of potential online home and click on the search button. NameChk then visually shows which domain identifiers and usernames are available.
If your desired name is free then it displays in a nice green box. You can even buy the domain name from here but I haven't tried that. (I always prefer to purchase from my hosting provider, maybe that's just me.)
I'm not in any way affiliated with NameChk; I just like it the best. Maybe you'll have a different preference, if so you're only a Google search away. But it is worth doing before you commit to a domain name. It's not the end of the world if your social media usernames don't exactly match your url, but it may help you decide which great name to pick.