So you bought a fancy new domain name and now it’s time to print business cards and flyers. Many authors print their URL in such a way that no one remembers it. Don’t be one of those authors. The following post has the 8 traps most authors fall into and how to avoid them.
Special thanks to our good friends at Good URL Bad URL for letting us use their photos.
Trap 1 – alllowercase
Don’t do this. typinginalllowercasecausesthewordstoblendtogether. If you want people to remember your URL use CamelCase.
Trap 2 – ALLUPERCASE
Don’t do this either. When you go all caps people start thinking about the letters instead of the words, which is much harder to remember. THISISJUSTASBADASALLLOWERCASEBUTITLOOKSLIKEYOUARESHOUTINGTOO
Trap 3 – http://www.
This third trap not only catches authors when they print their domain but also when they say their domain. YOU NEVER NEED TO WRITE OR SAY “http://” or “www”.
Imagine you are doing a radio interview and you hear the closing music start to play. The host asks you to give your website one more time. What do you say?
- What not to say: “For more help about (book title) visit my website at h-t-t-p colon forward-slash forward-slash w-w-w dot booktitle dot com”
- What to say: “For more info about (book title) visit BookTitle.com.”
Do you see what just happened? You were able to mention you book title twice right at the end of the show. The listeners are much more likely to remember your title and website now than when they were zoning out to “h-t-t-p colon forward-slash….”
Trap 4 – Multiple Lines
Displaying your URL across multiple lines is a great way to get people to fail to find your site. Many people will think this is an add for USA.com which it is not.
Trap 5 – Too Small
It is important that you make sure your URL is big enough to be seen. Imagine yourself 40 years older. Can you still read your URL?
Trap 6 – Confusing Spaces
Spaces get you into trouble. Is this site Boredom.com or BanBoredom.com?
Trap 7 – Not Owning Common Misspellings
Amazon.com also owns Amizon.com why? Because people say “Amizon” and are likely to type the word the way they say it.
Trap 8 – Confusing Fonts
Sometimes fonts can help make long URLs clearer. In other instances, the fonts just make the URL more confusing.
What do you think? Leave a comment below and let us know.
great information, Thomas! Thanks for sharing. Another one that looks annoying to me is if people don’t use their own domain but instead yourusername.domain.com or domain.com/yourusername. Just doesn’t seem to look very professional.
You forgot one with two variations:
Please visit my website at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send me an email at http://www.domain.com.
The first thing that comes to mind is a former boss who, to this day, carefully copies the exact case as he sees it on whatever source he’s reading. I wouldn’t use so-called camel case if the URL is easy to read without it, because I find that it leads people into this trap. Probably ten percent of the people I give my website to ask me useless questions such as “Is that all lower case?” or “Is there a space between Levi and Montgomery?”
While you can educate the unsophisticated user, there is no cure for stupidity.