The new Expert tools can be hard to explain in words -- you really need to see them in action to appreciate them.
I've created a simple video walkthrough of the Name Matchmaker, which is posted on the Baby Name Wizard Facebook page. You don't have to be a Facebook member to view it. I hope the video helps answer some of your questions about the tools' total awesomeness. :-)
Today, a suite of naming tools I've dreamed of for years finally becomes reality. These are baby name power tools: the expert tools I've rigged up for myself to search, analyze and choose names, spiffed up and ready to meet the public. To make it all possible, we're offering the new tools by paid subscription (more details below).
Please allow me to introduce you to my new baby, BabyNameWizard Expert Edition.
The Name MatchMaker(TM)
Imagine a professional name consultant on your desktop. That's the modest ambition of this naming oracle, designed to guide you to name ideas that fit your personal, quirky, exacting tastes.
Start out by telling the MatchMaker a couple of names you like. It will suggest the closest stylistic matches, based on name-specific algorithms that make it savvier and subtler than any other name tool that's ever been.
Then...get Expert with it. Fine-tune the results by telling the MatchMaker what qualities are most important to you.
Prefer uncommon names? Biblical names? Names that will make your in-laws faint? Perhaps you're looking for a name just like Sophia but much less popular, and you don't like "kreative" spellings, and you'd like to honor your family's heritage which is part Jewish, part Italian? (Or more obscure styles, or different languages...) Tell the MatchMaker, it understands. [View tool screenshots]
Many visitors have asked for more ways to surf the NameVoyager. Others have noticed that I do nifty searches in my blogs that they can't do -- like graphing all the names ending in -LEE or -LEIGH, or names with an -LM anywhere inside them. Well now you can do those searches and more.
The Expert NameVoyager lets you graph names with any combinations of letters that interest you, in the beginning, middle or end of a name. You can also restrict your searches to particular popularity ranges, or even to names that peaked in a specific decade. Want to explore the history of girls' names ending in S? Find funky names with a Z in them that haven't been heard in generations? Happy surfing! [View tool screenshots]
We've given the Namipedia NameFinder a facelift, and added some extra search options for Expert subscribers. For instance, what kind of impression do you want your child's name to make? Should it sound sound sophisticated? Young? Friendly? The new Image search lets you find names based on user ratings. Set your own ideal combination to find that smart, creative, but not-too-sexy name.
We've also added a wide-open text search for descriptive terms. Want to focus on names used in Hawaii, or with medieval connections? Create your own custom search terms and combine them with NameFinder filters.
Subscribing to Expert
The Expert tools are available by subscription, either in "trimester" blocks ($12.95) or as an annual supporting membership to the site ($34.95). Read more about subscribing.
We haven't taken anything away from the site you've always used: the free tools on the site, including the NameVoyager, NameMapper and Namipedia, will remain free. But this small, independent website, run out of my kitchen, needs your support to keeping building the best baby naming tools in the world. I'm committed to making the new tools worth paying for, and I hope you'll feel good about supporting BabyNameWizard.com.
p.s. In these first days, we may still hit a few growing pains. If you spot anything that doesn't seem right with the new tools, please let me know and I'll do my best to fix it!
Hi everyone -- my apologies if you hit some brief outages here tonight and over the weekend. We're making some big additions to the site which require a little server downtime!