Some great advice from the design sage John McWade from Before & After Magazine
design & marketing blog
Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.
Choosing the best domain name for your Website is a daunting task. Actually thinking of a great domain name is not hard, finding a great name, or even a good-enough name, that’s taken is the hard part. We’ve accumulated a number of guidelines to use when considering a new domain name which we’ll be sharing the next few blog posts; here’s the first:
.Com instead of .Net
This first guideline is the most absolute of them all—never use a .net domain as your primary business domain. The reason a company considers a .net domain is almost always because someone else already is using the .com version of the domain. Usability studies have proven that when someone hears or reads a domain name, by the time they type it in their Web browser they’re most likely going to type .com anyway. If you do choose to go with a .net, be aware that a huge percentage of the branding expense and effort you do for your Website will benefit the .com version, not yours.
Sometimes people see that their .com is not currently developed and assume that since there is no site on the .com the .net is a viable option. In these cases it’s even more important not to choose the .net. A domain squatter dreams about a company investing a ton of money into developing and marketing a Website on a .net for which the squatter owns the .com. It raises the value of the .com significantly and it’s very easy to squeeze the .net domain holder into paying an exorbitant price for the .com when the squatter puts up a porn site.
This means that even though there is the perfect domain name available (such as mycompanyname.net or myexactkeywords.net) you’ll be far better off to select a .com even if it’s not as desirable of phrase. Our upcoming posts will shed some light on how to do that.
I want to point out a great post that Seth Godin made a couple years ago. It’s one of my favorite short articles to reference before starting a branding or design project —The inevitable decline due to clutter.
As is his gift, he does a great job of articulating minimalism; a principle of design and communication that has become critical for success in this age of massive information overload.
I’m having a hard time not quoting his whole post because it’s so good, but in the spirit of minimalism here are the best parts:
- “As digital marketers seek to increase profits, they almost always make the same mistake. They continue to add more clutter, messaging and offers, because, hey, it’s free.”
- “Once you overload the user, you train them not to pay attention.“
- “More is not always better. In fact, more is almost never better.“
Out of the thousands of ads we’re exposed to each day, what is it that makes only a few stand out? It’s emotional connection. Those ads that don’t have it, no matter how technically precise, are noise and filtered out by our brain.
Here’s great example from The Richards Group of how it’s done right.