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:
- I went to GoDaddy and registered the domain name KeepUpWeb.com.
- I used the GoDaddy domain manager control panel to forward my new domain name (keepupweb.com) to keepupwiththeweb.com.
- 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.
- 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.