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  1. #1
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    short .ws versus longer .com for community site

    Hi,

    It would be great to benefit (again ) from some of the experience on this site. I've recently launched my new site -- and my first real go at a site. It's a kind of community site where users share their favorite books and movies. When I was choosing the domain name, I was only prepared to pay a registration fee, as this is just a hobby. I decided to go for a .ws name, and I was able to register a very brandable, 5 letter .ws name. I thought is was better to do this than go for a more obscure-sounding .com. (I don't really want to share the exact name here at this time.)

    Now I'm having second thoughts. My main worry is that the .ws makes the site look unprofessional (even though I'm not a professional, there's no need for the user to know that ). Also, to my knowledge, there isn't a single very popular site with a .ws extension (or anything other than a .com/.net/.org or cc tld, for that matter). There must be a reason for this.

    So, I guess this is my question: will the .ws hurt the site in the way I fear? I've registered a .com that is a little longer (7 letters) and definitely not as catchy, but maybe I should switch the site to this. Names like youtube and pownce sounded a bit weak to me at first, but they did alright (though I just saw that pownce is closed now!)

    Would be great to get your opinions.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot Mantti's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use other than .com .net .org or .co.uk depending where are you from. If unsure choose .com.

    Take Del.icio.us for example. The name is catchy and clever but do painfull. I guess that's why they have delicious.com too, which I nearly always type when visiting their website.

  3. #3
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    But in the case of del.icio.us, isn't the problem that it's hard to remember where to put the dots (and also it's a bit fiddly to type)? Delicious.us, for example, is easy to remember and type.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Mantti's Avatar
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    You're right, that's the problem. Generally, if we type thousands of times something.com we feel there's something strange if the .com (or .org, .net) isn't there.

    It's hard to give any clear opinion in your case without knowing the domain we're talking about.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot superjacent's Avatar
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    Dot com is the most common TLD and I suppose that's what people assume if typing the address directly into the browser. Google & Yahoo don't care. If most of your traffic is via the search engines people are clicking not typing.

  6. #6
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The two character top level domains are country specific so .us indicates that site relates in some way to the USA and .ws indicates that it relates to Samoa. Effective use of the country specific top level domains depends on whether you are targetting people in a country who are used to typing their country code on the end of the domain or not (for example sufficient people in Australia type .com.au on the end automatically to make that domain worth having as well as the corresponding .com)
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  7. #7
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    I'm definitely not just targetting my site towards Western Samoa I'm aiming at anyone who speaks English.

    I think that people can get used to typing something other than .com/.net etc or their own country-specific extension. One of the sites I use a lot is www.last.fm, and it's a very popular site. So I guess that proves that a .fm site can be successful if it's got enough to offer the visitor.

    I think the reason that sites want to be .com rather than something else is because anything other than one of the main extensions seems unprofessional; or, perhaps it's because people can be suspicious of sites that aren't one of the main extensions.

  8. #8
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atoklas View Post
    So I guess that proves that a .fm site can be successful if it's got enough to offer the visitor.
    Especially when targetting the Federation of Micronesia who own .fm the same way Samoa own .ws - with country specific domains like that you always run the risk that the country which owns the domain may decide to stop leasing sub-domains to people outside their country and then you'll have to start over with a new domain.
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  9. #9
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    I agree that you will probably lose out on some type-in traffic. However this is relatively small these days anyway. If you are looking to SEO your site and build backlinks to get it to the top of the search engine rankings then I'd stick with the . ws domain. People will click on it and they will bookmark it if they like it which eliminates the problem of accidentaly typing in . com

    I have many sites that I have developed on . info and even . ws domains that get a good amount of daily traffic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiedomainer View Post
    I agree that you will probably lose out on some type-in traffic. However this is relatively small these days anyway. If you are looking to SEO your site and build backlinks to get it to the top of the search engine rankings then I'd stick with the . ws domain. People will click on it and they will bookmark it if they like it which eliminates the problem of accidentaly typing in . com

    I have many sites that I have developed on . info and even . ws domains that get a good amount of daily traffic.
    You know short and memorable domain name that is always big plus even for the type-in traffic


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