Domain names

A couple of incidents relating to domain names have popped up recently and I thought I’d bring them to your attention.

First, someone I’ve become quite fond of is going through he** because she failed to buy the obvious URL for her blog until it was too late. I mean, she’s currently running a blogspot blog (hosted by blogger) but I’ve been nagging and helping her to move her site up a couple of levels but another party went and bought her obvious domain name so she’s having to jump through hoops to prove to the registrar that she has precedence. Don’t get caught in this position. If you have a blogspot blog or a myspace site, go to the bother of buying the dedicated domain name even if you don’t intend to put up an independently hosted site anytime soon. It only costs $9 a year. There are a couple of people who comment on this blog who I think should have bought their domain names by now and they haven’t (yes, I’m in the habit of checking when I see cute or good blog names). Hopefully, those of you to whom this applies will take care of it this morning.

Second, there have been a couple of recent incidents regarding poor name selection of domains that I wanted to bring to your attention. If you are not careful, any email you send out using your domain name could be sent directly to the recipient’s spam folder. For example, one designer is using the word “naughty” as part of her URL. All of her emails went straight into my spam folder. To get my attention, she had other people email me on her behalf. I agree that the word “naughty” is cute as part of your label name -particularly if it also includes the word “girl”- but keep spam filters in mind when choosing the name of your label. This is most pivotal to the very people who think it is okay. In other words, some of the youngest urban and counter-culture designers are using URLs like this because it appeals to other young people like themselves but you won’t be getting many orders if your e-flyers are routed directly to people’s spam folders. Likewise, with a questionably selected name, your site may be marked as a porn site which can only limit site visits. If your target consumer is very young or underage, their parents may have site nanny software installed on their computers.

Even if your domain name is not a key word commonly related to pornography, you can still have problems. For example, if you’re using a URL akin to FullfillmentCenter.com or OrderDepartment.com, you’re going to have the same problems with having your emails routed into people’s spam folders. I agree it’s a cute idea, don’t get me wrong but you have to consider how search engines and email software will interpret your URLs. Peruse your spam folder for ideas of what you shouldn’t name your domain (and label).

Lastly, once you’ve avoided the problems above, take a moment to consider how the URL reads in its entirety because without spacing, you could be saying something entirely different. For example, the way that www.molestationnursery.com reads, is worlds away from the intent of the owner of the Mole Station Native Nursery in New South Wales. Speaking of poorly selected URLs, here is a list of top 10 unintentionally bad URLs that are quite funny.

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22 comments

  1. Josh says:

    I’m still kicking myself for not buying joshlatham.com! It was available for the longest and just when I decided today was the day I was going to register it, bammo someone else got it. Why am I so stupid? I’ve been waiting for the person who has it (but has no site on it and hasn’t for years) accidently doesn’t pay for it and I can snatch it up.

  2. Karen C. says:

    Josh, have you approached the person and asked to buy the domain name? I did that with mine. Found the person’s email through GoDaddy.com by searching for the domain name I wanted. But in my case, I changed my spelling because the guy wanted way too much money. Thought I had the money of Donna Karan or something.

  3. Mike C says:

    Domain name speculation is big business.

    People have bought hundreds of thousands of domain names. They put up a single page on each of them with advertisements and take advantage of the fact that many people just type names into their web browser and hope it takes them to what they are looking for.

    Some of them hit these parked websites and click and ad. It adds up to huge money.

    Plus, every so often, someone comes along and really wants one of the parked domain names and is forced to pay handsomely for them.

  4. Mary Beth says:

    There are also those who have software that will track name inquiries, so once you look up your intended domain name and don’t buy, they will purchase it immediately and hold it for resale. I’ve learned not to check unless I’m ready to buy!

  5. Jess says:

    My reflectdesign.com domain was once used for our web design “business” the fonts were hosted there before I became totally serious with them. A few years ago a UK based design firm wanted to know if I would sell the domain and I was more than happy to sell it and cheap but the problem is that I still get traffic from that old url so I worked out a deal so that they could share the main domain with me. If you go there now you’ll see what I mean. Eventually the traffic from that domain will slow down and I plan on letting them have the domain. I would hate for someone to take it and just park there with ads.

  6. J C Sprowls says:

    I was curious if those folks who ‘park’ domains would play so dirty as to scoop up domains as they expire.

    My domain host allows for automatic renewal 90-days prior to expiration. Hopefully this mechanism will be sufficient to keep me from becoming hostage.

  7. Robyn says:

    There are alot of things which go into the spam folder besides URL’s. Since I am a patternmaker I get alot of specs and other attachments which have headings which are considered naughty, with words such as crotch & bust. I had one company I worked with that had to take all the restrictions off my email because I wasn’t getting measurement specs to come through. Then of course it also went the other way, I had alot of companies that weren’t getting my email because of my last name. It is Dicks (go ahead laugh now!) and their firewall and spam detector was blocking all my emails. It took a while to figure why they never received anything. I am working on a website, and definitely know that my Domain will not include my last name!

  8. Mary Beth says:

    Jess said:

    I was curious if those folks who ‘park’ domains would play so dirty as to scoop up domains as they expire.

    I’ve heard of it happening. Iv’e set things for automatic renewal, I’m hoping along side you.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Robyn, that’s so funny but of course you are right! I’ve had crotch, bust and camel toe (remember those posts I wrote) all end up in the spam folder. My problem is that yahoo sticks anything I send to myself in spam. Or rather, it used to. Now it never lands there either. I’ve tried white listing myself but that doesn’t work. I know I don’t get a lot of email, people complain I don’t answer them but maybe worse than that, I can’t get my own blog to recognize me as friendly. Anytime I post a comment, it gets held for moderation and I have to log in to the system and approve my comments manually. I can’t get no respect.

  10. Dave says:

    I bought the domain for business I thought I’d start 4 years in advance just make sure I had it. I also bought the .net, .org, and .biz when it came out just to avoid in cyber-squatting it cost me about $40 year to hold the names. BUT when I finally started the company I had all the names and more importantly I can show I had it years before.

    Dave

  11. aiar says:

    When my husband picked me up from work today he asked: “Have you thought about getting a domain with your blog name, because I think it’s really good for what you’re doing now,” and I replied with an “OMG that’s so funny – Kathleen on fashion-incubator posted about that today!” Maybe the internet gods are trying to tell me something :)

    Very valid point to remember about spam filters. I always check my names to see if they can be interpreted as inappropriate, but I never considered spam blockers.

  12. laurra says:

    Hip,Hip,Hurrah Laurra’s got a domain name Trannyboutique.com I was prompted after yesterdays post.
    Two questions:
    Do I need to shell out $270.00 for a ASTM book or are there any quality meas. charts online.I have been collecting dressform meas.charts for a number of years but they do not include slopes and FL.
    Kathleen I am trying to make a donation but not quite sure where to enter the ammount laurra

  13. J C Sprowls says:

    Laurra,

    Kathleen posted a list of individual standards on this post. You can order each set, separately for significantly less. The last time I purchased the menswear standards it cost ~$40.

    I’m eager to see your line.

  14. laurra says:

    Hi JC,
    Thanks for the info on standards. I ofcourse have not found it yet but I did find the make a donation button. laurra

  15. Kathleen says:

    Laurra, due to a formating error, the hyperlink in JC’s post wasn’t showing up but I’ve corrected it since so it should work for you now.

    I think I paid $28 for a data set for women’s sizing. It’s been several years but the prices haven’t gone up.

  16. Cinnamon says:

    I would also recommend a few other things to keep your emails from getting blocked by Spam blockers.

    1 – Don’t make an email address that is “info@yoururl.com”. Many spam blockers will block anything that begins with info.

    2 – Don’t have an email address related to “Customer Service” type in a real person’s name. This works for both url specific addresses as well as free email addresses. For example, I have orders@poise.cc but the name of the “person” associated with the address is my name, not Customer Service. When someone gets an email from that address it comes up as orders@poise.cc. Hopefully that is clear.

  17. Natasha says:

    Where should I go to buy a URL for $9! I was going to trademark the name of blog…but, now I think i will do what you are recommending!

    Thank you!

    Natasha

  18. Robyn S. says:

    I just bought my domain name for a not-real but potential future business for these very reasons. I paid $9 at godaddy.com. At first I thought I’d park it b/c I didn’t want to pay hosting if I didn’t have a “real” business yet. But come to find out, my brother is a site host and hosted it for free.
    Anyway, he’s also a pain. He once noticed a place he shopped at advertised a new Web site coming soon. He went to it and found they hadn’t even bought the domain name yet. So he bought it in both the .com and .net domains and pretended it was about his cat with the same name as the store. They were pretty mad but eventually paid him for it.
    I don’t approve, but I guess it’s not illegal. I was kind of afraid of what someone said above — if you check to see if your domain is available and don’t buy whether someone could see that and snatch it up to be a jerk. Good to know!

  19. Rebecca says:

    Hi Kathleen.

    I just wanted to thank you. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time (since I saw this post back in August) and I finally bought the domain name I wanted. There was just enough urgency in what you said to make me serious about doing it, and the commenter’s advice to not check the name before being ready to buy it was helpful too.

    Happy New Year!

  20. Paul says:

    Sorry for a paost four years after you wrote this. I have gotten partly around this issue by trademarking my business name and I also have the dot com. What is interesting is that no one can use the name with any other dot something because of the trademark.
    This is something else people might consider doing. But you cannot use a trademarked name for a domain name if you do not own the trademark.

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