Domain Name advice

  johnincrete 06:55 22 Jan 2010

I want to create simple two websites that will be viewed mainly by English speaking & Greek speaking people here in Crete, Greece but also by visitors to Crete from the whole of Europe and USA.
Thus, .UK is not good. Do you think .eu would work?
Both websites will be about Christian Churches. The first will be about the church where I am pastor. Its name is New Life Centre. There are many churches in USA with New Life in their name so I was thinking about NewLifeChania (Chania is the town Crete)or maybe NewLifeCrete. Is it best to have it all one word or perhaps "punctuated" like New_Life_Chania or New-Life-Chania. I will want Google to find it from a query such as "churches in Crete".
Any advice will be much appreciated.

  Forum Editor 00:17 23 Jan 2010

the domain name isn't going to affect your Google ranking.

In general it's better to avoid underscores in domain names because some people won't realise they're there when the name appears in a hyperlink, or an email address, and that can lead to confusion.

It's also not a great idea to publish your thoughts about names in a web forum. I won't give a full explanation of the reason, but I'm sure you'll realise if you think about it - the best thing is to register your name first, then you can tell anyone you like.

Keep the name as short as possible. It's easier for people to remember.

  Ansolan 01:07 23 Jan 2010

"It's also not a great idea to publish your thoughts about names in a web forum."

A very useful point.

First thought on two websites is why? Consider one site with a subfolder in the second language. Easier to manage and more chance of building strength into one domain than two.

The right format will depend on your intentions/target market etc. but for a niche informational site of the type you appear to be suggesting, a .com with a greek language subfolder may work.

You could if you wish geo-target the subfolder to Greece in Google but that's not always best. A site offering real value is perfectly able to rank in different countries and you might wish to serve Greek speakers rather than residents. Again, Google are aware of the language and where that might be relevant to particular searches. If you intend hosting in Greece, for a generic domain such as .com that location will be seen as primarily relevant anyway.

Appreciate the above is a little sketchy but the sort of decisions you are looking at really need a lot more information. A detailed plan of your intentions and the audience you hope to attract.

As mentioned, avoid the underscore, or hyphen come to that. Will cause errors, confusion and Google are perfectly capable of splitting logical words. They will take a little notice of the domain name but not a vast amount by itself. The content and focus of the website are the keys.

One of the reasons domain names appear stronger than is the case is the common use of domain names in link anchor text from other sites e.g. kitchentools .com will often be referenced using "kitchen tools" - "the kitchen tools site" etc. That text helps with ranking, a reason in itself to use a well named domain.

Incidentally, I wouldn't go with the suggestions you put forward. Think more along general lines, including the terms people will use to search for your content. A tool such as click here or click here# will give an idea.

  johnincrete 04:53 23 Jan 2010

No wonder that professional web designers charge such high fees!
One of my big faults - one that has got me into problems before - is assuming that people are as honest as me. Hence, I saw no problem in asking advice about a name. I'll get it registered pronto!
The advice about punctuation is appreciatd. A site I often visit has a 4-word name punctuated by hyphens. OK from the bookmark on my computer but it often takes a few tries when using a different computer.
I will proceed tentatively and gradually

  pwslinks 03:49 03 Feb 2010

just make our domain name simple

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