Good Luck Finding a Domain Name

Posted on March 29, 2006

An article on discusses the possibility of registering a domain name. You don't have much hope if you want a domain with less than five letters.

Of the 17,576 possible three-letter sequences, again every single one is already taken. Adding digits to the mix (note that I'm intentionally ignoring obtuse dashes for such short domain names, though technically they are legal from the second character onwards), giving 46,656 permutations, yields a larger number of garbage domain entries (either REGISTRAR-LOCKED, REDEMPTIONPERIOD, or with no nameservers), giving a false hope of 228 seemingly open domains, yet they aren't actually available.

If you're dying to acquire great domains like or, they'll free up within a month, though it seems evident that there are swaths of domain speculators acquiring every variant when they come available, so they won't go without a fight.

Stepping up to four letter sequences, choosing among the 456,976 combinations, yields a vastly greater availability -- perhaps the set is a bit too large for domain speculators and their unlikely success with random sequences -- with 97,786 showing as open. A quick check verifies that most are legitimately available. "Choice" domains, such as,,, and Adding digits into the mix and there are a massive 1.16 million open domains, so long as you're looking for something like, or Choose one and then manufacture a ridiculous backronym to explain it.

The options get better as the domain name gets longer. The article on also provides a chart that show the average domain length is 11 characters. There isn't much hope for finding a domain using a person's first name or last name. For example, the article says "On the family name front, 100% of the top 10,000 family names are registered." There are other ways to get domains. You can backregister the names and hope they become available. You can try and buy them from the domain holder. You can also watch domain name auctions on sites like the SitePoint Forums: domain auctions for domains you might want to buy.

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