I’ve always loved short domains, but I struggled to find available short domains back before domain registrations were much less than they are today. The irony is not lost on me.

The five short domains in my possession at present:

  • hej.gay (7)
  • izzy.im (7)
  • jane.fyi (8)
  • izzy.blog (9)
  • mer.media (9)

I also have colora.monster, catmom.blog and rumps.info, but I don’t count them because they’re more than 9 characters. Previous short domains included otcg.club, ously.me and liz.pw.

At the end of the day, Google will choose to link to the shortest URL possible if they have two URLs with the same exact content. My blog performs better in search results since switching to izzy.blog. I may ultimately use izzy.im, but this is my setup for now.

Pros of short domains

  • can use for Bitly (e.g. go.jane.fyi)
  • hackable
  • memorability
  • play on words

Cons of short domains

  • lesser known
  • vagueness
  • may initially be perceived as spam (both by actual humans and by anti-spam tech)
  • certain TLDs (e.g. .gay) will be perceived as “political” by Facebook and Instagram, and will be a constant reminder every time you share a post — and is definitely not applicable if you had social media advertising in mind

How to circumvent negative impact

I find the risk of the cons worth it due to the benefits of having a short domain. If you can manage to brand yourself as the type of person with a cool URL — and it works for your company/mission/project/etc. — then by all means, give it a try.

A few things to note, however:

  • Trademarks should be avoided, even if you’re domain hacking. jel.lo would be a major no unless you’re Jello
  • Try for the dot-com if you can. For example, I have catmomblog.com and coloramonster.com.
  • Watch out for different spellings — colora.monster + coloura.monster. I also didn’t realize the dot-gay registry uses hey.gay when I registered the hej.gay.
  • Use a short domain for a specific purpose, like companyname.club for your mailing list/rewards program landing page.

Creativity stands out, but a short domain might not work for whatever it is you do. I don’t know your context — I just know mine. I opt for the shorter domain every single time.

(Even though I’m not totally feeling dot-blog.)

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