Why I chose a boring domain name
In order to spin up this website, I had to make various decisions. One among such decisions is deciding the domain name.
In this article, I’m going to provide insights into why I choose narendravardi.com but not any of the following domain names:
nvri.com navi.com vnri.com narendravardi.me codingseagull.com ChoosingDomainNameIsHard.com StopTheEndlessPursuit.com
Existing patterns in domain names:
The first thing I did before finalising my domain name was to do some research and understand the blogs which I already follow. As I analysed more and more blogs (though not many), I have come to the conclusion that most of the domain names of the blogs which I followed can be categorised into one of three of the following categories.
- No PII Domain Name.
- Semi-PII Domain Name and
- PII Domain Name.
Some of you might be wondering what I mean by PII. PII is a term which I heard for the first time when I was working at Flipkart. Overtime I learnt that it’s a common word used in the software industry, which stands for Personal Identifiable Information (PII).
As per Investopedia, PII is the information that, when used alone or with other relevant data, can identify an individual.
In this article, when I say, PII, I refer to the information that can identify the owner of the blog. Most often, it is the name of the author.
Now that I’ve clarified what PII stands for, let’s jump into understanding different types of domain names.
No PII Domain Name:
A No PII Domain Name doesn’t contain any information that reveals the details of the author. Author details are completely anonymous. Finalising the domain name requires a lot of work or ironically few seconds (though this is rare). These kinds of domain names feel creative and cool.
- Cool and creative
- Communicates to readers of the blog on what to expect from the website.
- Quite famous among the hacker communities.
- A lot of time needs to be invested in order to come up with a cool and creative name that makes sense.
- Creative domains are already taken which creates friction even after coming up with a clever and creative name.
- There are also high chances of violating copyright policies because a different company might be registered with the selected domain name but didn’t purchase the domain.
Semi PII Domain Name:
These kinds of blogs provide some insights about the author of the blog but do not identify the author. These names are creative as well.
Eg: jvns.ca , joelonsoftware.com
From the examples above, we see two different types of domain names.
- jvns.ca has a short form representation of the author's full name
- joelonsoftware.com contains the purpose/theme of the blog coupled with the first or last name of the author.
- These are domain names which look personalised as well as professional.
- Deemed to be creative.
- Lot of effort needs to be put in this also in order to come up with a good domain name.
- Theme/Purpose of the blog is hard to finalise early, especially for folks who have no blogging experience.
PII Domain Name:
As you would have already guessed, these are domain names which clearly identify the author. This is one of the easier ways to come up with a domain name. Because of its ease, we see a lot of such websites. As they are common (though unique), these kinds of domain names are often considered boring.
- One of the major advantages of using this kind of domain name is its ease of naming. If someone is interested in coming up with a blog, this is straightforward.
- Professional looking.
- If the author puts in great work in their blog, they might even build their name as a brand.
- One of the major cons, in my opinion, is the lack of creativity in the domain name. It’s not shiny enough for most of the people to look into. These domain names does not attract new audiences.
- Exposing PII in the domain name feels like a bad thing from the privacy stand point. But since there are profiles already on social media, the name feels like it’s far from PII.
Now, why I choose boring Domain name?
For this to understand, you have to understand why I didn’t choose others.
Why I didn't choose No PII Domain Name:
I didn’t want to invest a lot of time coming up with a name. My primary goal for maintaining a blog is to share my knowledge and ideas on the blog. At the start, I didn’t want to invest time to come up with creative names for my blog.
- A lot of creative domains are already taken which created a lot of friction even after coming up with clever and creative names. I’ve come up with like 25 creative domain names and most of them were taken or were quite lengthy.
Why I didn't choose Semi PII Domain Name:
- I didn’t want to restrict my blog to just talk about programming, though that would be the majority content of this blog. Because of this reason, I didn’t want to finalise on a theme/purpose for the blog.
- Short form of my full names was something I wanted to explore but didn’t proceed since I haven’t used short names in my life till now.
Since I could not go ahead with No PII or Semi PII approaches, I chose the last best option, which is to use the PII approach.
Finally, why choose a
I don’t have a strong reason here. Most of the blogs I follow used a
.com extension and hence I thought of using the same extension.
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