Do long domain names really affect user experience?

  • I have already purchased one, and I think it might be too long. The domain name is 27 characters, including ".com". However, most browsers now show suggestions based on previous visits to sites, so they would only have to fully type it one time.

    The domain name describes the website more than a shorter one would, and I think this would be good for SEO to use a long name.

    Is the domain name made up of several English words or could it be easily confused? For example, I would rather type webuyanycar.com over uireo.com (random keyboard mash example!)

    Just don't include an "llc" after the business name. People won't remember this, or don't want to at least.

    @CodingKiwi This kinda makes me want to buy "wesellrandomcrapontheinternet.com", which, surprisingly, is not yet taken! I bet nobody would forget that url. ;)

    Don't forget to hyphenate the url as necessary to avoid any confusion about where word breaks are...

    "they would only have to fully type it one time" - but the hardest, most unlikely access is precisely the first one!

    Suggestion: register a shorter domain name as well and link it to the same site (preferably using DNS records so it's a true alias). This allows search engines to see `yourverylongbutdescriptivedomainname.com` while printing `short-n-cool.com` on your business cards.

    This site is called ux.se not userexperience.se

    @CodingKiwi Don't forget about possible ambiguity: "ExpertsExchange.com or ExpertSexChange.com?" :)

    @CompuChip That's a really good suggestion.

    I am the webmaster for a web site under a domain name totalling 28 characters, including TLD but excluding `www.` at the beginning. The domain name itself makes perfect sense; it maps one-to-one to the organization name. I am *so* glad I don't need to type it out in full all the time, and *always* have to triple-check it every time I type it out in full.

    "I think this would be good for SEO to use a long name". It won't make a difference for SEO. I own multiple 'exact match' domains and even if I type the exact match in search engines, my pages do not always come in the first position. SEO is about getting organic relevant links and less about 'what domain name is best for SEO'. Doesn't really make much of a difference anymore if your domain name contains keywords

    While the "correct" answer to your question is probably "yes", it's most likely that 99% of your first time visitors will *not* type in your URL in the address box, but rather arrive via a link. (search engine, blog, etc). So the question is what price are you willing to pay for the extra 1%.

    @CodingKiwi I actually took a full minute to figure out what "webuyanycar" was. "Webboo yan Y car"? "Web Uyany Car"? "Web You Yan Why Car"?

    @basic6 that's a joke/one off site, not a commercial product where user experience drives conversions.

    27 characters is incredibly long. The importance of keywords in domain names for SEO is minimal these days due to more than a decade of keyword stuffed domains. You are making a very large UX sacrifice for a negligible SEO benefit.

    @Ennui Okay. I'm just trying to compare the pros and cons, since I have already purchased the domain.

    @user11153 And that's why they're using experts-exchange.com and not that domain. A better example is penisland.net who opted to not use a dash.

    I question whether most people type it in on there first visit at all. Most people google it. Making a memorable and unambiguous name far more important than a short name.

  • While longer than desirable, 27 characters (including .com) is not overly excessive, but yes, long domain names do affect user experience. Some more than others.

    'Power users' know how to avoid typing the address if possible.

    However,

    • there are going to be some users who don't have a browser with a suggestive omnibox
    • there are going to be users who hunt and peck at the keys and don't even look at the screen until they've typed the address
    • there are going to be users who always type because they prefer the keyboard over the mouse
    • there are going to be mobile device users who never use copy/paste and/or find it extra fiddly to type longer domains
    • urls can often be seen or shared in a way that does not allow copy paste. (Try copy/paste off the side of a bus)

    and an often forgotten group of users:

    • admin, support, management and other in-house employees are users too and they will be using the domain on a regular basis when talking, emailing, or networking with those outside the company - spare a thought for them.

    It's not like user experience having this binary state of being good or bad or people being affected or not affected.

    Users and their experiences always exist along a spectrum.

    Ultimately the answer to any question of the form:

    Does X affect user experience?

    has the answer yes!

    Yup, all true. Case in point - I still get annoyed and misspell it when I type `ux.stackexchange`, and I've been using this site forever!

    This is why StackExchange should buy `ux.se` as a redirect.

    Does TV legend Alan Alda affect user experience?

    @MiloPrice Definitely a *Yes* :)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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