Oops! Did I Choose the Wrong Domain Name?

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Well, I don’t know whether I chose the right domain name or the wrong one. (Is there such a thing as a right or wrong name? Maybe “better” would be a more appropriate term.) I like the domain name that I registered for this website. It’s easy to spell and it reflects the content I write about. It’s a name that I believe I can build a brand around. So why was I having second thoughts about it?

I began questioning my choice of domain names because, when I went  to Twitter to create an account to use for this site, I realized that “KeepUpWithTheWeb” is too long! 1 character too long to be exact. Twitter only allows 14 characters for your username. “What to do?” “What to do?” (Suddenly I felt like the Wicked Witch of the West, talking with my hands and muttering to myself.)

What could I do? Well, I created KeepUpWeb as my Twitter username and I entered my website address in my profile. However, I still had the nagging feeling that somebody might like one of my tweets and decide to check out my blog. What if they don’t click on a link and instead key KeepUpWeb.com into their browser? Once I thought about it, the answer came to me.

So, here’s what I did:

  1. I went to GoDaddy and registered the domain name KeepUpWeb.com.
  2. I used the GoDaddy domain manager control panel to forward my new domain name (keepupweb.com) to keepupwiththeweb.com.
  3. I selected the forward with MASKING option. Masking keeps the domain name “keepupweb.com” in the browser address bar instead of displaying the domain name that I’m forwarding it to.
  4. I went back to my Twitter profile and updated my website to www.KeepUpWeb.com.

While I was on the forwarding screen, I seized the opportunity to enter a title, description and keywords. I also accepted the recommended action to update my DNS settings. (DNS stands for “Domain Name System”. Think of the DNS as a phonebook of sorts that stores IP addresses along with the corresponding domain name.)

So, even though my creating a second domain name was a reactive rather than proactive move, I’m happy with the end result. People who follow me on Twitter @KeepUpWeb will find my blog where they expect it to be. A side benefit I hadn’t initially thought of was that a quick look at my Google Analytics will show me what percentage of my traffic originated from people who have read my tweets. Cool stuff!

As always I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas. Have you used forwarding and masking  before? Tell us about it. We’re all here to learn from each other.

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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18 Comments

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  1. Hi Sherryl

    Great points on covering your bases to make it easier for your customers to find you. Redirects can be disconcerting to people and your method causes less of that dissconnect for visitors.

    I’ve got quite a pile of domains the catalogue myself some related to current projects which redirect, others are ideas for upcoming projects. But where ever possible I try to cover the alternatives too. Like you say the domain cost is a minimal expense and it just makes sense to outlay such a small amount for the potential of picking up alternative traffic streams.

    1. Hi Jackie,
      I think of domain names as “virtual real estate”. Sometimes my husband shakes his head when he sees the number of domain names that I have registered. Instead of letting them go though, I need to find a less expensive (reliable) registrar. Who do you use? I confess that I still use GoDaddy to renew my domains. I stopped using them for hosting years ago but their domain manager is so easy to use and it’s tempting to just hit the renew button but and they’re not cheap any more.

      1. Must admit Sherryl, I’m still in the Godaddy camp for domain names and have seen significant increases in the past few years. Although I’ve never used them for hosting always been with Hostgator.
        I’ve heard Namecheap’s pricing is pretty good, but haven’t had chance to check them out yet. With most of my domains being set to auto renew, its one of those things that doesn’t flash on my radar too often, although I could probably save myself a wad of cash if it did 🙂

        1. Jackie, I feel better now knowing that you’re still with them too. I have my domains set for auto renewal too. That plus, I am so familiar with their domain manager that I never have to spend time figuring out how to switch things around if I need to.

          Someone else mentioned Namecheap to me too. Why do I think I’ll still be with GoDaddy this time next year? As for GoDaddy and hosting, I strongly advise everyone to steer clear of them if they can. They don’t handle CMS databases well. I hate to admit it but I hung up on GoDaddy tech support because they could not tell me the path of my client’s database. Not only did the person refuse to transfer me to someone else, he tried to convince that there was no such thing as a path. And he kept calling me “Ma’am” to boot! LOL

          1. Lol..:) That’s too funny Sherryl. Quickest way to alienate a cutomer…keep calling her Ma’am…jeez as if we don’t feel our age enough. I would of hung up too.

            Fortunately I’d been warned early on about Godaddy hosting issues, can’t remember where from, but fortunately I paid attention somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

            Never say never Sherryl, I can just see a post coming from you about how to transfer your domains to namecheap in the near future 😉

            Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by to comment on my latest.

  2. Okay, the good news found in reading this article is that you were not singling me out…whew! Have you seen my blog domain name? I was trying to set it up as blog page within my site. Didn’t happen. Now I’m stuck…or maybe not. Good information. We’ll see what trick I can come up with to move it.

    1. LOL Coretta. I wrote this post a long time before I met you! I’m glad to hear my article got you thinking. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. If you want to run any ideas by me, feel free to. You could always share with our Bloggers Helping
      Bloggers group on LinkedIn too. I’m excited how many new discussions have been started lately.

  3. Great posts, as always, Sherryl.

    There is SO much to learn regarding effective use of the web! I’m slowly learning the ropes with assistance from pros like you and other friends who have a real handle on how to make it all work for us as business owners.

    I have only recently created a network of sites that operate under one hosting plan, with a folder for each URL. I know I still have lots of work to do with implementing SEO and all, but it’s one step at a time and I’m confident it will net the results I’m looking for. Happy New Year to you, and thanks for the guidance.

    1. You’re welcome Doreen. Thanks so much for letting me know that my articles are helpful. I really do enjoy writing about topics that can be confusing but shouldn’t be.

      I recently wrote an article about 4 SEO tips to optimize your WordPress blog. You’ll probably find that helpful because they’re pretty easy steps to incorporate into your blog.

      Happy New Year to you too! I look forward to reading more on your blog this year and in 2012.

  4. I would like to say something about the KeepUpWeb in your Twitter, well, I have experience on that too. I was reading a certain blog and followed her on Twitter. That was the first time I had a Twitter. She had a very long domain name so she placed a shortcut word in her Twitter Bio Section. Since her domain was too long I started locating her on Twitter and yes, I found that account and but failed to click the link on her Bio section instead, typed it on the address bar (the one she placed in the Bio which is the shortcut word). I was so unaware, I keep typing it but directs me to a wrong page then I have realized that it was the wrong domain.

    So I think, you really have to think of a short domain!

    1. Hi Daniel,
      Personally, I think for the cost of a domain name (no one should be paying more than $10 a year for a dot com name), it’s a small investment to secure several domain names for the same site. I once met a man who was speaking at a business expo and he was bragging about how much money he makes by reserving misspelled domain names and setting up simple sites with affiliate products. Without any effort to promote traffic, he generates income simply by people landing on his site by mistake.

  5. Hi,Sherryl,
    I like your domain name, plus, if I may say, the logo that you are using in the form of a spiderweb. It is easy recognizable. Honestly, I do not know much about domain names and their choosing (that’s why I am here to read your experience), but I do know that putting the numbers or hyphens into it should be avoided if possible.

    1. Thanks Kristina. I appreciate the feedback. I recently read a couple of articles about choosing domain names and while they cautioned against using numbers and underscores, they advised that hyphens are acceptable if you’re really having a difficult time reserving a domain name. Personally, I think you run a big risk of your traffic going to the site of the person who reserved the domain name without the hyphens but the point of these articles was that from a search engine point of view, there is a value to having that name reserved. I think the strategy would be to reserve a domain name with hyphens if you were building sites for affiliate programs and you were intent on reserving a domain that included specific keywords.

  6. I used to have 80 different domain names for different projects. It was way too much and a rookie mistake for me since I was trapped in over-thinking my business name, which I did weekly.

    Here’s my domain selection process:
    Domain names should be more longer than 14 letters if possible
    2-3 keywords combination or a memorable one pronounceable word that could be use as a noun or verb.
    Avoid using articles unless it follows in conversation like, “check out Keepupwiththeweb.com”
    I am not crazy about domain names with numbers or hypens (unless the purposes of buying the domain name is to create a one page lead capture or landing pages)…

    1. 80 different domain names! I have a lot but that has me beat. 🙂

      Some good tips here. Funny thing about my domain name Keepupwiththeweb.com. I have a Google alert set up for it and I see about one search a day now on someone who uses those keywords in their content. Hopefully, my choice of name will help my site show up organically.

  7. It’s always a good idea to buy any available domain names that are similar to your, or that people might get you confused with. I think most people would more likely just click the link but it’s nice to have the insurance.

    1. I agree. It is nice to have the insurance. Why risk reaching a point where you’ve worked hard to build a business and brand only to risk losing potential customers to an enterprising competitor who’s registered a domain name similar to yours.