Many webmasters avoid using hyphens in domain names because visitors can easily get confused and enter the wrong URL sending them to a different website, possibly that of a competitor.

There are so many web sites out there in Internet World that yours has to be easy to remember, catchy, quick to type in and should do exactly what it says.

Giving your online users the opportunity to mistype, forget, mis-talk your web site name is the last thing you should want from your name.

Could You Spell That Again Please?

Let’s look at the problems first and consider how to mitigate them.

Hyphenated names are hard to read aloud

Imagine giving this domain name over the phone:

Freddies-Graphic-Design-And-Printing.com
“Our domain name is Freddies hyphen graphic hyphen – no, that’s a hyphen on your keyboard, not the word hyphen spelled out. No problem! Let’s start over. Freddies hyphen graphic hyphen design hyphen and hyphen printing dot com.”

It’s best to avoid having more than one hyphen in your domain name. It’s less trouble for visitors to type and easier to read aloud.

Visitors forget to include them

Many users aren’t used to hyphenated domain names and forget to type the hyphens. If a competitor registers a domain that’s identical to yours – but without the hyphens – visitors may will the competing site instead of yours. You’ll never even realise you’re losing traffic to the competition.

Research your competition before you buy a name

If you do decide to select a name with hyphens, be sure to register the same without hyphens as well and redirect it to your main address. If you can’t do this, think of another domain name.

My name is taken so I’ll use one with hyphens

If the exact domain name you want is taken, consider whether you might benefit from hyphens. But be careful and only do this as a real last resort! If you find that your first choice – PossumsAsPets.com – is taken, don’t automatically register the alternate name with hyphens: Possums-As-Pets.com. This will more that likely send your online traffic to the competing web site.

Clarke Design can help you to determine alternate online names if your preferred name has already been registered. Contact us to start your online business in a way that will help it to grow on the Internet. Do it before you get all of those new business cards printed, you may regret it if you don’t !