To hyphenate or not

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Shawn
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To hyphenate or not

Unread post by Shawn » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:25 am

What do web-savvy readers have to say about putting a hyphen in a domain name? Which do you find "preferable:"
A.letsjapan.org
B.lets-japan.org (I'm not looking to change this domain, BTW)

As far as I can tell, most non-companies tend toward using style A, whereas Japanese companies go for the hyphenated style since it is easier for people to read. Moreover, search engines generally don't penalize domains SEO-wise when it comes to using either style. My own preference is to not use the hyphen, but I'll be damned if I can find any convincing evidence to make my case. How would you make the case that no hyphens is the way to go? Is there a case to be made, or does this simply boil down to a matter of style?

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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by JD9 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:54 am

A for me for the simple fact that it's just easier / faster to type in, especially on mobile devices.
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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by MacGyver » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:19 pm

I'm sure the Chicago Manual aka "The Bible" has something about it or if not some other style guide but there has been a push for a number of years to unhyphenate (dehyphenate?) words. You'll notice words that were hyphenated commonly in the past are no longer hyphenated. As I say, this is a conscious effort to do so. As I say there is evidence somewhere about this but it's Saturday night and I'm drinking so I can't be arsed looking it up. :P

Of course you may say "I'm talking about domains here douche" which in that case no hyphen. JD more or less hits the nail on the head: easier to type and remember if there is no hyphen. Same reason why I no longer put hyphens or underbars or any other character in email addresses that I create. Not that I've created one in a long time but in the past I did (like firstname_lastname@example.com) but I found it difficult for people to get it right over the phone or such like when they ask for it. So by the same token better usability for a domain name as well I reckon.
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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by Edogaijin » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:03 pm

When purchasing domain names...the hyphenated version of whatever you want is usually available. The non-hyphenated is often in comparison already taken.
Does this mean that they are more popular? Probably.

And if you take the hyphenated version you are likely to lose a lot of traffic to the non-hyphenated. As people tend to type that in when doing a search. I can't remember hyphenating any searches for google when I look for some-thing.

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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by Shawn » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:37 pm

I agree with the opinions expressed here. Sadly, from a Japanese point of view, non-hyphentated URLs are "difficult to read" and appear to be "too long." Without any concrete evidence, this discussion quickly boils down to one of preference: Would you like chicken or beef? :roll:

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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by angryboy » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:49 am

Shawn wrote:Would you like chicken or beef? :roll:
Yes.
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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by Shawn » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:41 pm

angryboy wrote:
Shawn wrote:Would you like chicken or beef? :roll:
Yes.[/quote

Well played. :haha:

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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:58 pm

I used to hate non-hyphenated URLs, but just like top posting in email, I gave up the crusade against it a long time ago. At least on the English-speaking internet, hyphenation will just confuse people. On the other hand, if it's a type of site where you expect most of the traffic to get there via search engine queries rather than directly typing in the URL from an advertisement or something like that, it probably doesn't matter much.

Funny story: The horrible question-and-answer site experts-exchange.com used to just use expertsexchange.com, but added the hyphen so that smart-asses would stop calling them "expert sex change dot com." I guess in cases like that, a hyphen may be desirable, but again, you're likely to confuse people.

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Re: To hyphenate or not

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:07 pm

TTT,

I came across the experts exchange example as I researched this topic. Their case warrants a hyphen. In the end, using a hyphen or not doesn't matter much. It's certainly not "wrong." Personally, I'd rather not use hyphens, but I'm having a devil of a time trying to come up with a convincing argument to pitch to my superiors as to why my way is better. :bang:

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