A release today on the merits of concise domain names prompted us to have a brief trip around the topic.
First a little bit of the technical stuff from Wiki on Domain names:
“The hierarchy of domains descends from the right to the left label in the name; each label to the left specifies a subdivision, or subdomain of the domain to the right. For example: the label example specifies a node example.com as a subdomain of the com domain, and www is a label to create www.example.com, a subdomain of example.com. This tree of labels may consist of 127 levels. Each label may contain from 1 to 63 octets. The empty label is reserved for the root node. The full domain name may not exceed a total length of 253 characters. In practice, some domain registries may have shorter limits.”
Simplifying this we think it means that in practice, excluding the tld, a domain name (or technically each node) can have up to 63 characters. We have read somewhere that it moved up to this level from 22 in 1999.
1 The (allegedly) longest operational single word site is:
“ Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (locally known as Llanfairpwll or Llanfair-PG) is a village on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. The upper village is known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf. The suffix -uchaf means “upper” in Welsh.
Welsh is the predominant language in Anglesey (Ynys Môn) and much of North Wales.
To find out more about the village, to learn how to pronounce the name, to find out what it means, or for tourism and holiday information, you can visit the village website at : www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk
Apparently this warrants an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The name was used in the, then great, 1960′s cult film Barbarella (Jane Fonda) as the password for Dildano’s headquarters.
2 There are quite a few funny/silly ones around with the maximum 63 characters such as:
* * *
There is never a consensus on the internet but on balance most advisors do opt for the “Keep it simple” “Keep the name short.” “You can register long domain names, but don’t do it.” “The shorter the domain the better.”
The overall rationale that many provide & which we support is on the branding front.
“When it comes to domain names you should be thinking branding” “When it comes to online branding, shorter is better.”
We cannot disagree.
Whilst the above graphs (courtesy Yafla) are old (2006) we doubt whether the distribution will have changed dramatically.
So we conclude that you should Kiss your domain name!