the tech post

This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.

Domain Hacking

Domain Hacker

If you plan to launch a new website, you should consider domain hacking.

Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as you might think. ‘Domain hacks’ are just unconventional website names. They don’t end with one of the usual extensions like .com, .org or .co.uk. Music recommendation service last.fm and social bookmarking service del.icio.us are examples.

Domain hacks can make your website name sticky. They can establish your brand. They can help you get a relevant website name, without paying over the odds to cybersquatters. (Cybersquatters buy up possible website names, so that they can sell them on at a premium.)

Until recently, companies with domain hacks, often had to buy their equivalent .com name as well. That’s why you can also find last.fm at lastfm.com and del.icio.us at delicious.com. People were having trouble remembering website names with hippy dots, in odd places.

Matt @ WordCamp Bulgaria 2011

Matt @ WordCamp Bulgaria 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They were used to site names that ended with a nice, solid ‘.com.’ These days, Silicon Valley startups like mi.lkvid.io and thisis.me are not using matching .com names. They don’t need to. Up ahead, standalone domain hacks will be commonplace.

We are  already familiar with URL shorteners like ow.ly, vanity URLs such as ma.tt (site of Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress) and personal branding websites like about.me.

More domains are coming

ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is in the process of introducing even more internet suffixes, called gTLDS. These are alternatives to .com, org etc. like .iiNet, for example. (I cover this more in Tech Post ICANN’s New Domains Get Coca-Cola Fizzing.)

While I don’t think the current gTLD programme will be a success, it (or a future programme) will definitely lead to more suffixes for website names. That will make alternatives to .com more widespread.

Does what it says on the tin

Like the name del.icio.us, domain hacks can look awkward. On the other hand, they can be very cool and also very effective, like last.fm. There’s not much middle ground, though.

Image representing Last.fm as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

They work best when the whole website name explains what the site is for, when your site ‘does what it says on the tin.’ This is the case with last.fm, vid.io, thisis.me and about.me.

The other thing those names have in common is that the suffixes can standalone as a word or an acronym. For example, I/O is the short form of input/output, which is used by vid.io.

If you can use the dot as part of your company name, on other branding as well, your site will be easy for people to find.

It’s also a good way to let your customers know how clever and creative your organisation is.

If you found this Tech Post article useful, please share or ‘like’ it using the options below. You can also follow The Tech Post, by clicking the ‘Follow’ button at the bottom of the page.

Advertisements

What do you think? Please leave your comments below:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on March 17, 2012 by in Business, Comment, Tech, Web and tagged , , , , , , , .

Categories

Archive

Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

%d bloggers like this: