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How to convince a client to change their web address

any ideas?

   
4:56 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have a client who uses the web address (similar to)thebluewidget.co.uk

I want to convince them to use simply bluewidget.co.uk dropping the THE .. I think it just looks better feels better seems like a much better web brand model..

But what economic and design factors could I best use to convince him to do this..

He has used thebluewidget.co.uk for sometime and it is most likely out there and recognised, I know I can redirect over the transition, but what words and logic can I best use to convince him to do this ?

Or am I wrong and should just leave it as it is ?

5:52 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The absolute authority on this is at:
[w3.org...]

But, for matching online with offline and other branding considerations it could be worth doing. Of course the standard recommendation is use 301s and make out the original site is still there at least the addresses are.

7:05 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't think you've got my point, this is not a technical issue but one of symantics, design and brand..

The person I would like to convince is a business client so it has to make business sense.

8:41 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If you are unable to come up with a good reason yourself, it sounds to me that you are trying to create work that isn't necessary.

Kaled.

8:42 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I saw it like telling a person the finer points of how to dive off a high board without them knowing the concept of gravity
The danger of changing urls is a major consideration of what you propose and it may not be apparent to your client.
8:44 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



i would buy the non 'the' domain anyway, and redirect it for now to the current domain.
12:38 pm on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



i would buy the non 'the' domain anyway, and redirect it for now to the current domain.

Most sensible way to do it.

Marshall

10:02 am on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Yip, got that, that is exactly what would happen, I do have opinions on why the without the THE is more valid and important and far better, but was really looking for a sounding board and opinions from people here to make sure I put it forawrd to the manager ( a non-technical person) in the correct way..

But it seems that the people who have answered so far don't get it ? it's not a technical issue .. it is more a marketing strategy point .. it is selling the concept to someone who does not know why that would be better and I guess I would have liked to have seen thoughts on that..

Thanks anyway ..

10:08 am on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



But what economic and design factors could I best use to convince him to do this..

I am not sure if there is any. The reason why you wanted to change it was because it feels better. Well, I think it feels better too, but is it worth of the extra work it creates?

10:32 am on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



He has used thebluewidget.co.uk for sometime and it is most likely out there and recognised, I know I can redirect over the transition, but what words and logic can I best use to convince him to do this?

None. It sure sounds like "he gets it".

Or am I wrong and should just leave it as it is?

Personally? I'd say you were wrong and he has it right and to leave it as is.

But it seems that the people who have answered so far don't get it?

Oh, they get it...

It's not a technical issue.

It is a technical issue. And a very broad one at that.

It is more a marketing strategy point.

We get it. But, in this instance, the technical cons far outweigh the marketing pros.

It is selling the concept to someone who does not know why that would be better and I guess I would have liked to have seen thoughts on that.

I don't think you are going to find many who will agree in this instance. Most of us know the impact of such a change and these days the mantra is not to touch it unless you absolutely have to. In this case you don't. You have both versions, just 301 the "marketing" version to the "historical" version and be done with it. You can then market both to your liking. How's that? Did we get it? ;)

10:41 am on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Do Not 301 a domain unless you have to. Google handles 301's much different now and your domain/traffic could suffer big-time for a long-time. Take pageoneresults advice and leave your clients domain alone...
2:00 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



pageoneresults:
Nope you didn't get it.. your head must have been up somewhere else..

And as a moderator your responce is remarkably ignorant..

You don't know the client you don't know their domain and you don't know their marketing reach and as such that is my call, and I believe they would benefit from promoting an easier to recognise and easier to market Url ...

The transition is again my problem and one I believe can be dealt with effectively. That is a technical issue...

What you clearly don't seem to get is the marketing advantage and in this case the change is valid.

Another thing you don't know but seem to set your self up as all knowing is what people are thinking and as no one actually answered the question, including yourself it is safe to assume that the point was missed..

Perhaps as a non-technical question it is outwith the scope of the site ? or perhaps I could have put the question forward better..

" what in your opinion is the best way to change an established Url"

[edited by: Lobo at 2:01 pm (utc) on May 14, 2008]

2:03 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Here's your example.

Facebook used to be thefacebook.com. They changed as soon as they got the domain facebook.com. So tell him if one of the largest sites on the web wanted to change their name even after already being successful, then removing the "the" is a good idea.

Also, keep saying thegoogle.com and theyahoo.com until he pukes.

2:15 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



your responce (sic) is remarkably ignorant..

You don't know the client you don't know their domain and you don't know their marketing reach

I am a bit puzzled. If your premise is true, then why would you bother asking your question in this forum ?

2:19 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



what in your opinion is the best way to change an established Url

Well, you go through all the usual stuff, upload data to the new domain, put 301s in place on the old. Then you tell the client that he can probably expect to see a drop in traffic for a period of months until the SEs get everything sorted out. And, you also tell im that if he wants to keep his traffic levels he should pull out his credit card and start an expensive AdWords campaign.

You asked for advice, there appears to be a consensus. In short, as folks have basically been saying, "the better is the enemy of the good."

3:15 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thanks guys !

Don't know why people can be so short on this forum, it is a perfectly reasonable post ...

I thought I made it clear, a bit of a sounding board and perhaps of some interest as it is a situation that arises and most often the answer is not a simple, just don't do it..

Thanks StoutFiles that's a brilliant example ...

[edited by: Lobo at 3:17 pm (utc) on May 14, 2008]

3:28 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Nope you didn't get it.. your head must have been up somewhere else..

I find that incredibly rude. Pageone is a mod whose insights are always useful and honest. When you ask for other people's opinions and are unhappy with what they give, it is completely wrong for you to criticize them in such a hateful manner.

5:15 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Nope you didn't get it. Your head must have been up somewhere else.

Oh bummer! And here I thought I was going to get a prize or something. :)

You don't know the client you don't know their domain and you don't know their marketing reach and as such that is my call, and I believe they would benefit from promoting an easier to recognise and easier to market Url.

Dude, you missed the point. You don't have to change their existing historical domain, you can easily market the non-the version and just 301 it. If you wish to do it the other way around, that's your choice and it would be in your best interests to describe to the client what they are about to go through when you make this change. There will be a substantial loss of traffic for a bit of time while things get recalculated.

The transition is again my problem and one I believe can be dealt with effectively. That is a technical issue.

Hmmm, I have a feeling we may end up seeing ya' in our technical forums after all this is said and done with. You make it sound easy?

What you clearly don't seem to get is the marketing advantage and in this case the change is valid.

Hey, if the advantage is that great and outweighs the cons of this type of change, then by all means, go for it. Just make sure you have a contract that covers your arse in case things don't go so well.

What in your opinion is the best way to change an established Url?

There is only one way to do it, you map all the old URIs to the new URIs via a 301 permanent redirect. Boom! That one sentence should answer your original question without us explaining all the pros and cons to ya, how's that?

Oh, and my skin is fairly thick. I can take a good punch anyday. :)

Facebook used to be thefacebook.com. They changed as soon as they got the domain facebook.com. So tell him if one of the largest sites on the web wanted to change their name even after already being successful, then removing the "the" is a good idea.

How long ago was that? And, if you're a FaceBook, you can do pretty much anything you want and recover in no time.

[edited by: pageoneresults at 5:40 pm (utc) on May 14, 2008]

5:40 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



How long ago was that? And, if you're a FaceBook, you can do pretty much anything you want and recover in no time.

Two years maybe? I was shocked it took them as long as it did though.

12:13 am on May 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Not really my area but here's my opinion FWIW...

You need to think how the domain name is important to attract visitors. If you get most of your visitors through search engines, then decide which is better for SEO (if it makes any difference at all), thebluewidget or bluewidget. If you get many through off-line ads (radio/tv, print, swag) or word of mouth, then you want your domain name to be easy to remember. Since most popular domain names don't start with "the", people might subconsciously overlook the "the" and remember it as bluewidget.co.uk, or then again maybe as bluewidgetS.co.uk.

Keep in mind that it's not just the URLs that change, but also email addresses, business cards, brochures, swag, etc. Also if the site is linked to on other sites, you need to chase these down and ask them to change the links.

Hope this helps.

2:21 am on May 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The facebook example was good not just because it's facebook but that the situation is similar...

Both can work but the one without the THE will be far more memorable..

Transition across the full integrated marketing strategy can be gradual, changes can be made on the next printing run as far as business cards and headers and brochures are concerned, a bit of patience is necessary ..

A quick LINK: shows only 9 decent returns, PR 2/10, so their online presence is not extensive, I would say it is ripe for brand developement..

[edited by: Lobo at 2:22 am (utc) on May 16, 2008]

4:17 am on May 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Facebook the situation is similar...

Like you know the email address of all your users to tell them that you have changed you address?

7:29 pm on May 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



if it makes your client feel better tell him that you will keep the word "THE" in the title of the home page.

URL: bluewidget.co.uk
Title: The Blue Widget

tell him to stop being a hypocrite...im sure he's repeatedly told his wife/GF "smaller is better"!
Thatís the best response. I meant best response.

8:34 pm on May 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



lol I like your style ;-)
 

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