Ban.jo, Ma.tt, and more – Love Them Or Hate Them, Domain Hacks Are Hot

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It seems that not a day goes by that a company or person branding around a domain hack hits the news. Today TechCrunch reported on the latest version of the Banjo app, which as you can see from the title of this post has picked Ban.jo as their home on the web. Yesterday WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg spoke at NamesCon, want to see his personal WordPress blog? You can find it at Ma.tt.

I personally think that domain hacks can be confusing and most-likely lead to a number of missed emails and website visitors, but here’s the question, is it enough to really make an impact?

I wrote a post last year asking the question, should my startup use a domain hack where I covered what I see as the pros and cons, with a big emphasis on the cons as I do see way more downside than upside. Still, more and more startups are seeing domain hacks as a viable option.

What do you think, are domain hacks a good option for startups looking to brand around a single word or is potential lost traffic and emails not worth the savings? As always I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Photo Credit: liber via Compfight cc

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • AbdulBasit Makrani January 16, 2014, 10:05 am

    I think domain hacks definitely leaking out traffic. I personally never liked domain hacks as they look confusing and doesn’t give good impression. Although I have seen some great sales over the years but still not interested in buying any of these crappy looking hacks 😉

    Reply
  • Aaron Strong January 16, 2014, 10:12 am

    I am seeing more “hacks” and as I do, I am starting to like them. Some are very creative and easy remember. Hacks may have a time coming soon.

    Reply
  • Ron January 16, 2014, 10:12 am

    Hacks are cute for a while, until you have to scale, and take your business seriously. Good for startups that don’t want to spend money… Just sold a .com today to a company that started out with TwoKeyword.co, and TwoKeywordUSA.com… They came back, and paid handsomely for the .com… wonder why?

    Reply
  • TEAM DomainHighEnd January 16, 2014, 10:45 am

    Now, those who have many “com” domains and want to sell, of course, say domain-hacks are bad.
    more and more domain-endings come, that is, by 1 domain name for example to register all domain endings around the world, costs around 175,000 dollars, per year.
    1 reason why are domain-hacks for start-ups top, it must be only one registered domain!
    I see the biggest disadvantage is to find the search engines like google domain-hacks bad.
    top names are all long gone, an alternative provides high-end domain.
    each is called domain-endung longer on the market, a basic domain more high-end domain to buy and is the best; google finds!

    Reply
  • todd January 16, 2014, 11:17 am

    If a hack is based on a single word that is 2 syllables or less than I think they are pretty catchy. 2 word hacks are ridiculous and 3 syllables or more just don’t work in my opinion. I am also not a big fan of placing the dots where the syllables don’t break such as del.icio.us. It’s easy to remember the break of the syllables but hard if not. Is it de.li.cious, del.ic.ious, del.ici.ous, de.licio.us etc…..to confusing to remember.

    Reply
  • Mike Law January 16, 2014, 11:31 am

    I think short domain hacks that spell a single word are great names for businesses, organizations, startups and even individuals to use for ancillary sites, email, url shorteners or other creative marketing plays.

    Should use a hack name their main website? I don’t believe this is a yes or no answer and depends on the vision of business.

    Reply
  • Nick January 16, 2014, 11:53 am

    They’re OK but I’d still want the full name dot com as well……

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  • Joe January 16, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Now be looking at what is domaining hacks before not know, I prefer dot.com, but there must be others who most likely interested in, so be on the market.

    Reply
  • TEAM DomainHighEnd January 17, 2014, 12:16 am

    all know: good domain names are com long gone.. and as I said, ANY domain name can be registered over 1700 x because over 1700 domain extensions are on the market. A domain message like “web Yes” implemented in the domain “Web Y.ES” has many advantages; truly unique, only one x can be registered, Google recognizes “WEB” + “YES” …. so unlike for example, “de.licio.us” ….
    For a company important: no matter how much domain endings come yet; “WEB-Y.ES” is independent of domain extensions …

    Reply
  • HowieCrosby January 17, 2014, 2:16 pm

    @Team DomainHighEnd I think you will find that google will only recognise “web”, the “-” will act as a negative, sorry to say, along with a “y”; Then googles algorithm will be dependant on the ranking for the .es

    Every domain, no matter how good or bad it is – is unique.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Morgan January 17, 2014, 5:11 pm

    Really great comments everyone and good discussion! Has anyone on this thread ever sold a domain hack to someone before?

    Reply
  • Domain Veggies January 17, 2014, 5:19 pm

    I’m positive there is leaked traffic. But I think the “cool factor” really has an upside, especially in the tech world. And at the end of the day if someone wants to find you, they’ll find you.

    #EatYourVeggies

    Reply
  • John January 17, 2014, 10:33 pm

    Domain hacks are growing on me: I had acquired Dru.ms, as I’m a drummer. I think it looks great on fashion apparels, fits the front of bass drums with larger fonts without cramming the .com in and so forth. I found out later, that Roland owns Vdru.ms for redirection. I didn’t expect an electronic instrument company to start using a domain hack that’s for sure!

    I’ve seen some incredible hacks sold on Namepros on the cheap over time. I do know Blo.gs sold for 6 figures awhile back.

    Reply
  • TEAM DomainHighEnd January 17, 2014, 10:44 pm

    each domain is unique … agrees 100%. The key, however, is another circumstance: is any domain name unique? Ask why hundreds of domains with “Apple” or “Windows” are registered apple or windows.
    each domain name can be registered as many times as many domain endings are on the market. If you “WEB-Y.ES” domain Message-WEB YES. have, they only have 1 domain register. this message can not be represented shorter. start ups take domain hacks for cost reasons, they want a domain name worldwide with all domain endings register, it costs about 175,000 dollars. a domain hack only around 100 dollars. .. in the year.
    each new domain endung is an argument for domain highend. when the market realizes what represents a potential behind for example “WEB YES or booking yes”, it will be your traditional domains have heavy. Simply put, why hundreds of domains to register if you can work with one domain.

    Reply
  • TEAM DomainHighEnd March 11, 2014, 1:00 am

    @ HowieCrosby
    Well, it must not do them sorry … how could it be otherwise, we see all this differently. Google is “us” relatively unimportant. why? we rely on our domains because they have no competition. Thus, we assume that are increasingly called directly from the browser in future domains. here alone is the advantage of domain highend domains.

    Reply
  • Bill Roy April 21, 2014, 10:03 am

    Morgan – You ask above if anyone has ever sold a domain hack – well I can confirm I have, it was a 3 letter .st (***.st), as it was I did not know at the time it was to one of the biggest domain hack holders – wish I had I would have stood my ground more firmly on price! LOL

    The thing with domain hacks is their visual presence, and for short domain hacks this can be outstanding, the downside is trying to sell a domain hack – you come up against the legions of dotcomers who all shout how useless a domain hack is like some plagued infected zombie mob and often led by well known domainers. But such is life, it just means that it takes longer to get the sales return on domain hacks than perhaps the alternate .com, or .net, or .info, or .circa 1700 other extensions now out there. Actually the future value of good short domain hacks will only rocket in the future as the .com’s become just one of 1700 plus possible extensions (and they say a ‘domain hack is confusing’, I think having to remember which of 1700 addresses all with the same keyword and/or name is going to show up what ‘confusing’ really is). Of course presently the .com is worth more than the corresponding domain hack, but I would argue that the domain hack is often more valuable than the corresponding .net, .info, .org, .biz, etc. The domain hack if marketed properly is really the only one likely to challenge the .com – and it is often a fraction of the price on the aftermarket.

    So in conclusion it has to be said that many start-ups are wise to go for domain hacks rather than make the .com, and in the future possibly even more so not only for start-ups but for existing businesses as well.

    Reply
  • Alex March 28, 2015, 1:53 pm

    Some domain hacks are confusing and some not
    Check out my domain http://n.et Yes N.et 1 letter domain

    Reply

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