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How to Write Out Your Domain Name

Writting PenIt seems like such a simple and trivial thing that it’s not even worth writing about. But the truth is that how your write out your domain is very important. It can have a very large impact on the traffic your business or website gets as we’ll soon see. And the worse part is that it’s so easy to do. So many people do it wrongly that it’s amazing, or maybe it’s a good thing for you if your competitors are still doing it the old (wrong) way.

What am I talking about? It’s how you write out your domain. Back in the old day, which in internet time is less than a decade ago, everyone wrote out their domain names in all lowercase. At first this wasn’t a big issue because almost all the domains were one word domains, with the few odd domain names having two words.

Today a lot of domains are multi-word domains. Look at this domain, it’s two words “Follow” and “Steph” (FollowSteph.com). My company, two words again “Landlord” and “Max” (LandlordMax.com). It’s now pretty common to see two word domains. Many domains today even have more than two words. Look at my latest project “Find” “Your” “Wedding” “Dress” dot com (FindYourWeddingDress.com). This is a four word domain. And this is where the issues come in.

Which is easier to read?

findyourweddingdress.com

or

FindYourWeddingDress.com

Even knowing ahead of time what the domain name is it still takes you more time to read the lowercase one than the uppercase one. What about these less obvious and made up domain names?

whatarethewordsinthisdomain.com

versus

HowMuchEasierIsThisDomainToRead.com

I bet it took you a few glances to figure the first domain. You had to pay attention. Your probably read it more than once. Now when the first letter of each word in the domain is uppercased like the second domain, I bet you didn’t have to think about it. You just read it as fast as you can read a normal sentence. You didn’t have to re-read any part of it. That makes it easier to recognize, easier to remember. Overall it makes it that much easier to brand the domain!

Pushing this further, what about if you have ethnic terms in your domain. For example in the city where I’m located one car dealership is always playing their ads on the radio. They’re very big and everyone in the city has at least heard their name once. Probably much more than that because they have a jingle that stays in your head. Whether or not you like it, it creates very good brand name recognition. However, because it’s an ethnical name it’s a little harder to spell out for anyone that’s not of that ethnicity. Not a major issue but as far as marketing goes you should try to minimize any possible confusion to maximize your ROI.

Where am I going with this? The other day I saw one of their courtesy vans driving their customers around which had their domains written on the back it. Even having heard the name of their company many many times it still took me several attempts to correctly decipher what the domain was on the back of their van. How easy is it for you:

dilawrichrysler.com

What if it was re-written as:

DilawriChrysler.com

How much easier is that? I personally kept reading the “rich” in the middle of the text as a separate word when in fact the “ri” was part of the first word and the “ch” the beginning of the second word. By just uppercasing the first letter of each word in the domain it quickly removes any and all confusion. The domain is clear. I’ll remember it. Had I not been stopped and little bit bored at a red light I would never have taken the time to decipher the domain. If I had been driving behind the van, I for sure would’ve never known it was from DilawriChrysler.com. Even now when I just copy and pasted the domain I still again caught myself reading the word “rich” in the middle of the domain.

It’s only a matter of time before uppercasing each word in a domain becomes the standard way of writing out domains. It only makes sense. Right now we’re still stuck in the “old” way, but this will change. Mark my word, it’s only a matter of time before you see everyone write out their domain names this way.



 
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Comments:

  •     Speedlinking - 14 July 2007
    · July 13th, 2007  · 4:52 pm  · Permalink

    […] writes about how using capitals to start words when writing URLs can help when promoting your […]

  •     Vyoma
    · July 13th, 2007  · 6:56 pm  · Permalink

    Hmmm. I always used the Caps (or should I say Camel Case) format. It is much more logical and as you said, readable.

  •     Jordan (MamaBlogga)
    · July 13th, 2007  · 6:59 pm  · Permalink

    Nice: I’m a big fan of “Camel caps.” How about if your domain is made up, but you use camel caps; do you think that increases its readability?

  •     Vyoma
    · July 13th, 2007  · 11:29 pm  · Permalink

    Naaaah. I think that would be pushing it too far. :P

  •     Elizabeth
    · July 14th, 2007  · 12:34 am  · Permalink

    I agree, and I wish I had been thinking of this when I named my first domain table4five.net instead of using TableForFive. The problem I run into is people assuming the name of my site is Table4Five, which is not correct. With that in mind, I named my next two sites MomReviews and MomCooks, and I do think they are easier to read.

  •     Vijayendra
    · July 14th, 2007  · 1:22 am  · Permalink

    I have mine in all caps with a space between every two alphabets. Help the feed stand out in any feedreader.

  •     Gopinath M
    · July 14th, 2007  · 2:38 am  · Permalink

    Thanks for the superb article.

    Gopinath
    Tech Thoughts

  •     Lord Matt
    · July 14th, 2007  · 5:09 am  · Permalink

    I’ve been doing just that for ages and for exactly the reasons you give. I’m glad it is not just me.

  •     deano
    · July 14th, 2007  · 11:18 am  · Permalink

    Hi, I came to you via problogger (guess many people have :) Yeah, its the simple things like this that it is often so easy to overlook. Putting Caps into a two/three word domain, makes it so much easier to read.

  •     Jermayn Parker
    · July 14th, 2007  · 12:23 pm  · Permalink

    You could be onto something hear mate.

    These days with so many URLs being taken and businesses having extra words, this could help.

  •     FollowSteph.com » Book Recommendation: On Writing Well
    · July 14th, 2007  · 2:42 pm  · Permalink

    […] my last blog entry How to Write Out Your Domain Name, I made several edits directly attributable to this book. For example the beginning of the last […]

  •     Melissa
    · July 14th, 2007  · 6:45 pm  · Permalink

    I have done this for a long time…PanacaWriting.com, SEOAware.com etc. People have tried to correct me and tell me my business cards and brochures “look funny”, but it pays off. People can see the different words and they remember them. I think everyone should do it. I even have it in my title-tag at SEOAware and people have contacted me to say I should correct it :-) Great post!

  •     Jermayn Parker
    · July 15th, 2007  · 8:12 pm  · Permalink

    I actually saw this used for the first time yesterday on TV and I would have to agree that it is easier to read as the advert after did not have the caps.

  •     Steph
    · July 16th, 2007  · 10:37 pm  · Permalink

    Thank you all for the positive feedback!! It’s been great!

  •     Use capitals for writings URLs
    · July 22nd, 2007  · 10:00 pm  · Permalink

    […] an article by FollowSteph were he talks about something I have never heard before and that is to write URLs using capitals for the beginning of every word. At first I thought it was a bit weird but after reading his […]

  •     Blandade tips del 8 | Webmastern.se
    · July 23rd, 2007  · 1:00 am  · Permalink

    […] skriver du ditt domännamn egentligen? Läs How to Write Out Your Domain Name och ta en […]

  •     Onsdagslänkar
    · July 25th, 2007  · 5:51 am  · Permalink

    […] How to write out your domain name […]

  •     Web Dev Notes » Blog Archive » WebDev Connection - 30 July 2007
    · July 30th, 2007  · 8:41 am  · Permalink

    […] article by FollowSteph about How to Write Out Your Domain Name. The post shows examples of how using capital letters when writing your domain name can help people […]

  •     kristarella
    · October 4th, 2007  · 1:48 am  · Permalink

    Excellent point. I hadn’t really thought that much about it, but it that last example is definitely easier to read with caps.

  •     Steph
    · October 4th, 2007  · 8:58 pm  · Permalink

    It’s amazing how subtle little things can have dramatic impacts sometimes.

    Another statistic you may find interesting, according to Perry Marshall’s book The Definitive Guide to Adwords (which I found very informative by the way), is that if you following this convention when using Google Adwords you can expect a small increase in your ads effectiveness. It’s not dramatic, but it’s still there and every little advantage helps.

  •     Kevin
    · March 5th, 2009  · 2:03 am  · Permalink

    This is an interesting article. In referencing one of my multiple word domain name sites I write it out with capitals:
    http://URLKazoo.com
    I find it much easier to read this way.

  •     lawrence
    · May 24th, 2012  · 12:29 am  · Permalink

    If I did use captial letters in my domain name, would the link still work

  •     followsteph
    · May 24th, 2012  · 12:42 am  · Permalink

    Hi Lawrence,

    Yes absolutely. I do it all the time.

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