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Eg which is better: or ?

Background: Looking at what's already registered it looks like the non-hyphened versions are more popular. But does that make them better ?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Hyphens make it harder to read out the URL, and make typos more likely. As DA points out, though, they might help to avoid inadvertent misreadings of the URL, such as the classic (which is now, wisely,

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+1 for saying the classic, good answer! – Samuel M Jul 5 '13 at 6:06

I always go with alloneword ("all one word"), unless:

  • The words within the URL start and finish with the same letter, e.g.,

  • Or if the non-hyphenated version creates something unfortunate, e.g. an unfortunate error when they clearly run an expert sex-change business and keep getting mistaken for 'experts exchange'.

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..and whenever it's written out, like in a signature file, write it in humpBack – Susan R Aug 23 '10 at 20:45
@Susan: please no... I think that approximately all URLs should be all lowercase. And having the domain name with upper case in it is just ugly. – Chris Morgan Aug 15 '11 at 12:38
I first read alone word until I found out it means all one word :) – Uooo Jul 5 '13 at 6:06
I'd go for readable over beautiful in this case - if your URL is written down somewhere, particularly somewhere where it can't be cut and pasted then I think the capitalisation of each word is sensible is easier to read than and the former will still enter into the address bar and lead to your site. Combined with just using correctly spelled words and your URLs are very shareable, whatever the medium for sharing is – Toni Leigh Jul 5 '13 at 7:42

SEO wise, likely favor the dashes.

Usability wise, you want to use both.

Marketing wise, it depends.

Joke wise, use dashes if it means you will have inadvertent readings

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Nice that you listed three different viewing points! They're all worth thinking. – Samuel M Jul 5 '13 at 6:14
"Joke wise" It actually may hurt your business if you have such a domain name. Article was a good laugh through ;) – Jop V. Jul 6 '13 at 7:57

My take on this would be to do both. Use all one word for the main url i.e.

But then use hyphens for lower level pages i.e.

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For SEO use dashes, but for users, shorter is better

Remember to protect your domain name - use both, and don't forget common misspellings (redirect all that stray traffic back to your actual domain)

Dont forget that same approach applies to folder and page names too. Make them meaningful, use dashes if you have long names, and follow a consistent, readable, structure.

///EDIT: Another thought just came to mind. Make sure your site works without the 'www.' you'd be surprised how many sites forget to set this up.///

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[I now realize that is question is almost three years old, but I'll leave my answer anyway]

Avoid hyphens in domains unless there's a compelling reason to use hyphens. Use camelCase for promotional things outside of the web like commercials and brochures, ie wherever the user can't just copy and paste the domain. camelCase will make your domain easier to interpret and remember, especially for people who've never seen your domain beforehand. It should be case insenstive anyway.

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