Is Your Domain Name Helping or Hurting Your Church?
Just like your physical address for your church or ministry, your domain name is very important. It lets individuals know where and how to find you on the Internet. When it comes to new visitors finding your church in this digital age, your website address is just as high a priority as your street address.
Here are the top five considerations when re-evaluating your current domain name:
1. Is your domain name too long?
Long domain names are something we should all stay away from; the longer the domain name, the harder it is for your congregation to remember. You want something that is going to be easy, simple, and isn’t longer than 20 characters or about 2-4 words in length, if possible.
2. Is your domain name too generic?
Generic domain names can be just as damaging as a long or confusing domain name. If your domain name is too generic, like christianchurch.org, how will your congregation or new church members know that it is your church? In smaller cities or towns, generic domain names are not as damaging. In larger cities, the more generic it is, the more confusion it causes.
You are not going to be the only Grace Community Church or Trinity Church in New York, Portland, or Chicago. Try and choose a domain name that is specific to your church and your location. Perhaps even use your street name in the domain to help distinguish your church website from all of the other churches in your area. Before you do that, make sure you look at the rest of the items on the list.
3. Is your domain name too confusing?
Confusing domain names are becoming more and more common as fewer domain names become available. Try and stay away from domain names that are confusing acronyms or language that only your church understands. At the same time, try to refrain from using dashes, abnormal characters, or anything else that will cause confusion to others.
Remember, you want a domain name that is easy to remember. If you think you have come up with a great acronym to use, always make sure to check with an individual who has an outside perspective or cross-reference it with any existing acronyms. The last thing you want to do is give out your domain name and have someone accidently mistype it and take them to a very inappropriate website. Has this kind of thing happened before? There’s a reason it’s on the list.
4. Is your domain name outdated?
If your church has had a website for several years, this is a very common occurrence. A few examples are when you have the word “web” in your domain name still, or you are still using a .net address. The most common domain names currently use either .org, .com or a fairly new domain extension, .church. If you have an older domain that ends in .net, you can always check to see if the .org, .com, or even the .church extensions are available and set them up as redirects to your primary domain.
5. Is your domain name too short?
Having too short of a domain name goes alongside having a confusing domain or a generic domain. For members of your congregation, a short domain is no problem. When new members are interested in joining your church and want to find out more information, you want a domain name that is going to stick out and be easy for them to remember. If it is too short, a strange acronym or too generic, they will have a hard time remembering your domain name when they are sharing it with their friends and family.
This information is courtesy of Sharefaith, www.sharefaith.com.