How To Choose A Name For Your Website - Part 1

How To Choose A Name For Your Website - Part 1

This is a really interesting task but not as easy as it seems. After you have come up with an idea what kind of a website you will develop, you may start thinking about how to name it. You should bear in mind that coming up with a name for your website is more difficult than you think, especially if you want to attract an international audience.

In different countries, people use domains with symbols and letters from their local alphabets. Some time ago it became possible to have domains in Cyrillic – the alphabet used in my country, as well as in Russia, and several other Slavic countries. However, I would not recommend this type of domains even to my bitterest enemies. The reason is that a domain like [something-in-Cyrillic].com is absolutely pointless because the consumer will have to type half of the address in Cyrillic, while the rest – in Latin. This means an unnecessary shifting of the languages with Ctrl+Shift – pointless actions slowing down the consumer.

Not to mention the fact that people, who are accustomed to using the Latin alphabet have no idea about how to change their input languages. In addition, imagine such a website written on the business card you hand to foreign investors and partners. They will not know how to write the address down on their computer, tablet, or phone, which, logically, do not have the Cyrillic alphabet installed. Furthermore, domains written in Bulgarian, Arabic, Chinese, etc., are not too popular, and you must be sure that if you tell someone the name of your website on the phone, or if you launch a radio commercial, people will write it down in Latin and they will enter someone else’s website.

It is also good to bear in mind the meaning of the name of your website in other languages. Imagine that you think of a phrase that does not mean anything and sounds perfect in English but you also want to launch your website in Spanish, too, while in Spanish this name means an indecent word. There are many examples of such failures made by car manufacturers, which had to change the name of their product when launched in other countries because the original name means something people would not like to buy there.

And here are some of these examples:

Ford Pinto waved goodbye to its glory in Brazil because in the local language Pinto means a small… you know what. And do you really imagine a man buying this car?

Mazda burnt its fingers, too, after launching a car named LaPuta on the Spanish, where this is the vulgar term for a promiscuous woman. It is not a good name for a car for women, is it?

Mitsubishi Pajero, on the other hand, made a bad break in Spanish because the name means “a wanker”.

Chevrolet Nova – an American car on the Spanish market, which could be read as No Va, or “not working”.

There are numerous examples, and brands like Opel, Daihatsu, Honda, and many more, have joined this club.

But let us go back to the domains. It is also very important to avoid the dashes. Since almost all possible interesting words and phrases in the world are already in use, many people resort to placing dashes or somehow adapt it to their own language. For instance, my-super-website.com. Most people will remember only the name of the website and they will search for it as “mysueprwebsite.com” and forget about the dashes. In radio or TV commercials the addresses often sound like that: “go to my dash super dash website dot com”, which is way too confusing for the audience and the efficiency drops drastically.

Part 2 =>

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