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.