Some webmasters develop a keen sense when it comes to valuable domain names. They may read an article and come up with great domain names or come up with names after they talk to co-workers or friends.
It makes "pling" suddenly and they have an idea for an excellent domain name. If only it would be still available.
The regular way to check if the domain name is still available is to head over to the website of the domain registrar of choice, type in the domain name and wait for results to be displayed on the screen.
Another option that speeds up the process quite a bit when working on the Internet is the Domain Lookup add-on for Mozilla Firefox.
It does not automate the whole process but provides enough automation to make the process of looking up available domain names more comfortable.
Domain Lookup can be used to submit highlighted text to a domain registrar to find out if the name is still available for registration. When you do run the search, its results are opened in a new tab.
Depending on what you have selected, you may also notice that it may have been altered automatically. Since domain names cannot contain spaces, anything with a space has that space removed.
The fastest way to check the domain is by using the shortcut key Ctrl-Shift-D which can be modified in the options. It is alternatively possible to use the right-click context menu to start the domain search.
The default registrar Godaddy can be changed to numerous others in the preference of the extension.
The author explicitly states to inform him about missing registrars so that are added to the extension. The list it ships with is pretty extensive though.
It is also possible to select a domain extension or multiple extensions that you want checked. The default extension is .com but it is possible to add additional extensions including several country domain extensions. All in all, more than 60 different domain extensions are supported by the extension.
Selecting multiple domain extensions may spawn multiple tabs with results though so keep that in mind before selecting them all or a large portion of them.
New in the most recent version of the extension is support for Firefox's search bar. This allows you to run Whois queries right from it which can be really useful.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.