Of the 10 most popular domains, only 1 (campdeal.com) is moderately attractive. I browsed through a bunch of the categories and most of them were terrible. There is also no ability to search a keyword and have relevant names appear.
I would be very interested in a service like this, but you will need much more functionality to compete. I think you may have opened up for review before the product was ready.
The 10 most popular were only elevated to that level from people testing out the site (all of those were on the front page when people were testing it). I don't think they accurately reflect the best domains the site has. It should as the site gets more traffic. Plus, eventually some will start to get registered, which I'll highly prominently on the homepage. It needs time though.
As far as releasing before it was ready, all I can say is that there's a lot more I'm going to do, but wanted to get something out there to get feedback. This is not a final product by any means; it's an iteration.
Edited to add: While Domain Pigeon may one day be popular with domain collectors such as yourself, I'd consider it more successful if it becomes popular with non-collectors. If you go to the site expecting to find domains worth thousands of dollars, you'll likely be disappointed--most of those are taken. My objective is to make a good place to go for people simply looking for options.
So instead of:
"We help you find an unregistered domain name for your website"
"Find the best unregistered domains"
Or something else short and sweet?
Just a thought. Best of luck!
- "We help you find an unregistered domain name for your website"
- "We help you find unregistered domain names for your websites"
- "Find an unregistered domain name for your website"
- "Find unregistered domain names for your websites"
- "Find a great unregistered domain name for your site"
Etc etc. I think I'll get rid of the "We help you", as that was something I was indecisive about.
I too fell into that trap. One day I woke up and saw "best * on the Internet" in my copy and hated myself all day.
How do you expect these "normal people" to find domainpidgin in the first place?
@OP, how about "Get a great .com, .net, .whatever right now!"
The long of it:
In March of last year I was in the process of writing some poker software and trying to decide on a name for it. I wanted a good name and also wanted to own the corresponding domain name so that people could easily find it. I used Ajaxwhois, a great site that lets shows you the availability of domain names as you type, and quickly got pulled in trying to find a good domain. I would spend hours trying things like “pokerguru.com”, “pokermaster.com”, “pokercalculator.com”, “pokerexpert.com”, and so on. After a lot of time and energy later, I found “allinexpert.com”, which became the name of the software.
Fast forward to about July. ALL IN Expert had just flopped and I was trying to decide on a new project to work on. I had several ideas in mind and again, I wanted a good domain name for whatever it wound up being. It was kind of sick: I wound up going back to Ajaxwhois and using it as the tie breaker. If I could find a good domain name for one project and not the other, that would be what I worked on.
It was crazy. There's got to be a better way. I wrote a small piece of software that played with various word combinations and displayed their availability. Surprisingly, there are a lot of decent domains out there... you just have to be patient enough or resourceful enough to find them.
Then it hit me: This is something other people could use too. I put the other ideas on the back burner and started on this one.
This is round two of its launch. Last week I posted a link to Philly on Rails, a local group of Rails aficionados, and received a lot of great feedback. The result is what you see today (hopefully, depending on how DreamHost does with the traffic).
I've got a list of about two dozens features I intend to add over the coming weeks, which will be modified and prioritized based on your feedback.
For me, Domain Pigeon has been as much about learning the process as it has been about the releasing the product. On that note, all feedback, positive and negative, is welcomed. I also keep a blog, mattmazur.com, where I write about Domain Pigeon and its progress for anyone that is interested. I try to be as transparent as possible, as that's the best way to get valuable feedback.
On a final note, a lot of the design decisions for Domain Pigeon were adapted from feedback given to other people launching their sites on HackerNews and for that, I owe you all a thank you.
Please let me know what you think.
One bit of feedback:
A surprisingly large number of people (10.5 million in the US, or about 7.5% of the population) have some form of red/green colorblindness. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness#Prevalence)
I am one of those people... On domainpidgeon.com it is extremely hard to tell light green from pink, and therefore to know which domains are available and which are not.
I would suggest some other visual indication... maybe strike out the names which are unavailable (http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/_STRIKE.html), or make the text gray?
I have my own one too which checks expired domain name listings for promising looking stuff that will become available soon. I can crosslink if you like, but only get 1000+ uniques per month. Not making any money after the expiring domain registrant affiliate programs were closed.
Can you use it to help find a better HN username as well, since it seems that "matt" was taken? ;)
Bloodhounds come to mind.
why should I use your service over theirs?
Here's a start:
1) You don't have to type in any keywords, you can just browse and see what you like. Soon I'll add the ability for people to generate lists based on keywords similar to those other sites, but I wanted to get this out there.
2) Sometimes you don't know what type of domain you want. For example, consider a domain like "posterous.com". That's not something any of those other sites would likely show you based on your keywords. Domain Pigeon would.
3) You can quickly tell what's popular based on the shading, making registration a kind of game. At the moment, the recently added list is mostly white, but it will light up as more people visit the site. The top 10 will change accordingly too.
4) Usability is valued and the site isn't littered with ads.
If this site gets at all popular, domain squatters are going to scrape your site for domains that have any value whatsoever and register them. That's how they operate. They are set up to register domain names quickly and cheaply, and squeeze any profit from them at all.
For example, it used to be the case (might still be) that if you did a search on GoDaddy.com for some domain, and did not register that domain within X hours, GoDaddy would sell their searches to squatters which would then often register the domain you just searched for. My guess is their whole process is automated based on how long the domain is, which dictionary words it contains, etc. Shitty, right?
You are a dream come true to them: more than just data on if the domain was searched, but actually tracking non-registered domains' popularities... and posting it for all the public to see! All it takes is one of these self proclaimed "web real estate guru" assholes to come along and see your site has decent domain names listed, and tell his programmer crony to scrape and register them.
I see your only option being using images to display domain names, and mangling up the URLs, to hopefully stifle anyone trying to scrape your site. Then, if you have a lack of morals and want money really bad, you can sell a feed of popular domains to squatters from some good money.
Just nitpicking here, but you have the words "Click a domain name to begin" that shows up no matter what page I am on (including the registration page). Feels a little out of context there...
Maybe its just me. Great job.. Wish you the best
* Search should be above the fold. On my MacBook I have to scroll down to see the input field. Also on the results page I’d put a search box at the top, auto-focused (a la the Google homepage) so I can quickly perform another search.
* "You may have better luck with an account :)." - Why not tell me how many domains I could see if I did sign up instead? I’d be much more likely to fork over $14.95 if I knew what I was getting in advance.
- Does the search do substrings? Auto-acronyming? regexs? Startup folks may enjoy that.
- You probably killed off the cream of your inventory crop by showing it here first :-)
Also, perhaps do AB testing with $14.99 and $9.99. See if there's a psychological barrier there. You may find the drop in price is compensated by the increased conversion.
- I'm not sure what the best way to show the price is. I played with having it big and bold on the registration page but couldn't get it to look right. In an effort to learn how to do it better, I've been taking photos of price tags at Walmart, the mall, etc and have got some good ideas in mind on how to make it better. There's definitely an art to it...
- The search does do substrings. No auto-acronyming (not sure what that is). No regex, as I don't think most people would use it.
- $14.99 vs $9.99... its tough. I figure I'll start higher and drop lower eventually if it seems necessary. It's easier to lower your price than to raise it.
- Inventory... most people haven't scanned past the first few pages. I'll need to find a way to make this easier.
Also, as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I'll eventually add a feature that finds unregistered domain names based on your keywords. Domain Pigeon will go hunting for your domains and show you what's available. In time...
As for the speed, well, that's a function of DreamHost and Verisign... what are you gonna do...
Does dicking with this affect anything important or is it more of a prank?
When shitty domains get voted up to the Top 10, people will see those and infer the overall quality of the domains on the site. Worse, no one will ever register those domains and they will sit on the Top 10 list forever, unless I delete them manually. So I've got to figure out some way to make the Top 10 list accurately reflect which are the best domains. Currently I'm thinking something along the lines of a popularity equation which uses time and clicks, similar to what HN does with time and points.
(Thankfully for you and them, my friendship is not worth much in USD.)
In a sense, we're on the same team :)
one peeve: I can't copy and paste the domain name text.
campdeal.com is available? wow.
There's a tradeoff between adding less domains but making them of a higher quality and adding more domains but risking that some are of poor quality. At first, I was religiously nixing the bad ones, but I realized it wasn't worth the effort. Not only is it time consuming, but surprisingly, someone may actually register it. You should see the list of registered domain names... there's a lot of garbage out there :)
I make a buck or two on each sold domain at http://HotNameList.com. But it's too easy for users to skip your link, or have an ad blocker etc. Then you get nothing for the sale.
Site looks nice, though.
He who comes up with a solution to that problem will become filthy rich.
Time to drop the addressbar and use a wordbar with disambiguation?
Who is in charge of pushing the world forward?
Aren't you roughly describing the way Chrome works? (Maybe not the disambiguation part, it defaulting to a Google search doesn't count.)