Matt Mazur’s Lean Domain Search launched on Hacker News in January 2012. Today, Mazur announced that the tool, which makes it easy to find available domain names based on a keyword, was acquired by WordPress.com parent company Automattic. At Automattic, Mazur will help the WordPress.com team to make it “even easier for WordPress.com users to find and register great domain names for their websites and blogs.”
Lean Domain Search will continue to run and, as Mazur writes, “it’s also now completely free to use.” Previously, Lean Domain Search also offered paid accounts ($79 for two months or $199 for yearly access). The service already offers the option to register a domain name directly through WordPress.com.
WordPress.com always offered a domain registration service as part of its premium features. For $13 per year, users can register a .com, .net., .org or .me address. Until now, however, the service didn’t offer any additional tools for finding good domain names.
Given WordPress.com’s push into more niches as it looks for more business users to see it as a tool to host full-blown websites – and not “just” blogs – we will likely see it add more premium features like Mazur’s tools over time. One of the latest features Mazur added to his service was a Brandable Domain Names section that helped startups to find business names with available domains, something that looks to be a perfect fit for WordPress.com’s target audience.
Update: Lean Domain Search actually closed the brandable domain name section a few weeks ago (though there’s no reason to believe WordPress.com couldn’t resurrect this feature).