Are Long Domain Names Cool?

Written On Day: 65

So you have decided to create a website.  One of the first things you have to do is register a domain name.  Instantly your brain begins to conjure up names.  Your main thought is that it has to be a cool name.  It has to look good on the front page of the New York Times and it has to sound natural when  President Obama mentions it. 

But there are many other factors to consider when deciding on a domain name.  The most important one – the possible show stopper, is whether it is already taken by someone else.  It is great to go on a walk and gaze at the clouds for inspiration.  But if someone has already taken the name then even a domain name whispered into your ear by an angel is useless.  To check whether a domain name is taken go to the website whois.net and do a search.

Is The Domain Name Too Long

So you have decided on a name and have confirmed that it is available.  The next question you have to ask yourself is whether the name is too long or too short.  It seams like a simple question, but it is not.  Domain names can be anywhere from 1 character long to 67 characters long.  1 is too short and 67 is too long.  But what if your domain name is somewhere in between?  Is it too long or too short?

Is The Domain Name Too Long For…Somebody To Remember It?

There is a common claim about websites with names longer then 10 letters.  The argument is that if someone tells you a long domain name, lets say at a cocktail party, you will not be able to remember it when you get home. This is true.  The morning after the party the domain name will be long forgotten.  But so will will scene where you slapped the bartender for refusing to give you the whole bottle. 

Domain names are usually not exchanged verbally at social functions.  They are transfered digitally.  Just like phone numbers.  Initially phone numbers were created with 7 digits  because it is the most that a human can remember.  That mattered 10 years ago.  But it no longer applies.  Our phones store the phone numbers.  I can remember my home phone numbers from 10 years ago, but have no idea what my current cell number is.  If someone wants it then I send it to them through the phone.  They receive it and log it as my name.  They have no idea what my cell number is either.

Normally you come across domain names on the Internet.  Either you click a link on a website or you click the link that your buddy sends you in an email. If you like it you add it to your favorites.  In the favorites folder it is stored as the title of the website – not the domain name.  Most of the websites I frequent I have no idea what the domain name is.  Because I do not need to.   My bookmark know the domain name – I just need to know the name of the site.

I have never had to remember a domain name, because nobody has every told me a domain name.   I cannot remember anybody every telling me a domain name.   Well, maybe they did, but I forgot what it is.

Is The Domain Name Too Long For…Somebody To Type Into The Address Bar?

The argument is that if the name is too long then people will not want to type it into the address bar.  Too much work.  But I ask:  who type domain names into the address bar?  Few if any.  It is just not done.  Either they arrive to your site via a click on a link, through search, or bookmark.  Rarely by typing the name in the address bar.  Even a site like boingboing.net – the most popular blog on the Internet is hard to find using the domain address.  Because the extension is .net not .com.  So you type boingboing.com – that does not work.  Then you type boing-boing.com – that does not work.  Finally you do a search on google for boing boing and it appears as the first site.  Clicking on the link you make a personal vow never to use the address bar again.

What Are Long Domain Names Good For?

Long domain names are great for search engines.  If you have a website about a ranch that offers donkey back trail rides.  A domain name like donkeybacktrailrides.com is a lot better then donkride.com.  With long domain names you can put most of your keywords into the name.  Google and other search engines like this.  Because if a domain name has the keywords in it than your website has something to do with those keywords.  For Google,  donkeybacktrailrides means that your website is about donkeys and trail rides.  An domain name like donkback means nothing to google.  Long domain names increase your chances of ranking high on search results. Which means that long domain names increase your traffic.

What is more important – an intoxicated party goer remembering your domain name or increasing your traffic?  I perfer traffic, which is why this website has a long domain name with four keywords in it.

Want your own domain name?  See how to register domain name.

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