What is a Doma.in Ha.ck? And How to Get Your Own

Ever wonder how some of our favorite sites and services get those cool domain monikers? Sites like Instagr.am, Last.fm, Bit.ly have thrusted domain hacking to the forefront. These clever word scrambles are often short, easy to remember, and fun. Click past the break to see where they come from, how they do it, and how you can get your own.

The sites we mentioned use a trick that has been coined "domain hacking." In this case 'hack' doesn't require breaking into a computer. One simply needs a dash of ingenuity and some insight into the world of international domains.

Like the familiar .us, and .ca domain extensions, there are countless other extensions from other countries that make it convenient to turn a URL into a short (and hopefully catchy) phrase. These domain hacks often don't just stop at simple extensions though. Some sites go all out and use subdomain or subdirectories to create clever URLs (example: del.icio.us). We personally think those more complicated name-dot-name domain addresses are harder to remember and have a greater chance of causing confusion — maybe not exactly what you want in a URL.

So what other extensions are out there? Quite literally, hundreds! But don't fret , this graphic (an Apart-map Therapy?) shows some of the more popular and easy to use (for the English language) international domain extensions.

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You'll have to register at a site that specializes in international domains like 101domain to nab one of these names. The price for these registrations are often more pricey than their US counterparts at about a $99/year registration. Also be aware that by being registered in that country you're held to that country's rights and laws as well — so it could get dicey.

What fun domain hacks do you know of? Any fun ones you can come up with from the extensions shown in the map?

(Images: 1. Flickr member Elizabeth Abernathy licensed for use under Creative Commons, 2. Chris Perez)