Post navigation

Communications, Design

My domain and site name are wrong

I bought the kilobox.net domain so as to give myself a generic and unique online base to develop all my projects from. I host several websites here, such as boinc.kilobox.net and originalerasers.co.uk, and it’s a good meaningless conjoined word, but…

It’s not specific enough for my communications and writing guidance and observations that I’m now publishing.

Why your domain and name need to reflect your brand and purpose

Visitors to your site should know what your site is about the instant they land on any page; ideally, they should have an idea even before they click on a link to your site – your very domain should hint at the purpose of your website.

My domain name doesn’t help people know what I’m talking about at all, not even a hint. The name I’ve given my site is an expansion on ‘kilobox’ to add ‘communiqué’ so as to hint that I’m talking about communications, messages and perhaps writing.

I don’t feel I can just call my site ‘communiqué’ though, as people might well then wonder what the kilobox domain is all about. By using two words, I’m helping people search for me on Google (perhaps) but I’m also muddying the issue by having a name and domain that don’t quite match. It would be worse if I dropped ‘kilobox’ from the name I feel.

‘Communiqué’ is a hard word, hard to spell, hard to say, and not everyone knows what it means – so I’ve shot myself in the foot their, and you might think that it’s not too late to change but…

Why I don’t care

I’m writing for an intelligent audience; while I’d love to have visitors from all walks of life and of all ages, to be fair, I’m writing for people who have challenging careers, not Mcjobs, or I’m writing for people who are personally driven, who are passionate about writing, not people who want advice on ‘how to write a letter and when to use ‘sincerely’ or’ faithfully’ (sheesh!).

So, because my audience is already involved with communications or writing of some kind, I can get away with using the word ‘communiqué’ in my site name.

So why not have communique.com? Well, firstly, it aint available. Secondly kilobox.net is well known by Google and I’m certain I can expect good search results by November 2008; I’m working hard to get my PageRank back up to 5.

I could use a subdomain for my blog, (http://communique.kilobox.net) and leave kilobox.net as a ‘personal website and portal’ but I’m dedicated to this blog and I don’t want people to think that it’s secondary to any websites I might craft.

Another reason I don’t care about my domain and name mistakes is that some really good sites have made the cardinal mistake of using their owner’s name!

Why is this a mistake? Well, if you use your name as your domain name, you’re not saying anything about what your site is about (see my number one mistake above). If I see ‘chrisbrogan.com’ in a list of websites, I have no idea that I should give a hoot about what he does or who he is.

It’s different if you’re at a party or networking event and you’re chatting to Chris Brogan and you say “Hey Chris Brogan, do you have a website Chris Brogan?”
“I certainly do Wedge, it’s at chrisbrogan.com.”
“Oh I see Chris Brogan, that’s easy then, thank you Chris…”

See, in real life, names work, but on paper and the web, they don’t, well not in theory.

But chrisbrogan.com is great, and it’s great for copywriters, bloggers and marketers. It’s a business focussed social media site, run by (ahem), Chris Brogan.

As I have never met Chris Brogan and never had such a conversation with him as above, it took me a while to bother visiting, as I didn’t realise his site was relevant to me. But, my point is, even though he’s using his name, it’s a successful site.

The point is, if you have superb, relevant content, your site may well succeed despite breaking the rules.

So, I’m banking on the frequency and quality of my articles to create success, despite my irrelevant domain name.

Do you know of any sites that succeed despite dodgy domain names, crazy site names or poor visual design?

Google? Yahoo? Blue Square?

[Wedge]

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.

4 thoughts on “My domain and site name are wrong

  • Hullo Blog Host; I think you’re referring to the idea of a subdomain still working as the main address of a website (e.g communique.kilobox.net) – that’s a fair idea and would certainly work, but I use my subdomains to subdivide my webspace and website up, hence http://boinc.kilobox.net and http://ants.kilobox.net – So it’s my preference to use domains and subdomains in a purely logical sense.

  • So, in a way, it’s really silly. I’ve built a site around my name, and that’s great from the “get to know me” perspective. Where it sucks is, it’s not very participatory in theme. It’s a cult of ME, when my commenters and other smart people deserve some equity in the name.

    All that to say, I’m launching a newer site sometime soon, which will be MUCH more participatory.

    So maybe you did it right. : )

  • Hello hello Chris, what brought you my way?

    Thanks ever so for stopping by, I’ll look out for your new website, and I’ll watch what you choose to do with your CB.com domain :)

    Hey, maybe you are a brand, maybe ChrisBrogon.com is where it’s all at?

    Tomorrow (and the day after) I’ll be discussing email addresses, and I’m sure yours is fine, as you’re not afraid to show it I know.

Comments are closed.