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We've seen an increasing number of obscure TLDs including things like .ninja and .pizza. If I were to build a website and get a domain name like example.pizza, how would I go about convincing a user that example.pizza should be typed into a web browser to get to the website?

This might be a minor issue on the web, where you can link to the website and give styling to the link - but how would I accomplish this in a print campaign? I expect users might be more inclined to think example.pizza is an aesthetic design choice rather than a URL.

My current idea would be to append the URL with a / and include an email address along with it:

example.pizza/ and order@example.pizza on a sweet space background

  • 2
    use www. in the beginning eg; www.dominos.pizza – Ades Mar 7 '16 at 7:47
18

This article might be of interest to you from the site usability.gov which states that using the prefix www. would be a good visual indicator that its a website for users. To quote the article

Use the full domain name with the "www," however, on all publicity because it clearly identifies the name as a Web site. We found that without including "www" on written documents, people were unsure whether the name referred to a Web site or an email address

Obviously this does mean you would need to set the CNAME settings that a person can access the site from the www. and not just the http:// version

  • www is the way to go. Yes it's supposed to be "deprecated" but in the same way putting (305) around the number 305 you instantly recognize it as an area code, www indicates this is a website. – degenerate Mar 9 '16 at 15:20
5

Just write the entire URL. You are writing only part of it and assuming the user can fill in the missing parts. However, they may not be able to because it does not have recognizable parts such as “.com.”

Your full Web URL is this:

http://example.pizza/

… and your full mail URL is this:

mailto:order@example.pizza

… and those are both totally unambiguous.

If the user types either of those into a Web browser, they will get the expected result. In the case of the Web URL, your Web page will be opened in the browser. In the case of the mail URL, their email client will open and a new message to you will be created, ready for them to fill in the subject and content.

  • 6
    I'm not totally sure whether your average user is any more familiar with http:// than they would be with a weird TLD. And the mailto: link is completely bizarre to any normal person. – Midas Mar 8 '16 at 18:19

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