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Home : Articles : Keeping Your URL The Same

Keeping Your URL The Same

The URL of your website is, in some ways, the most important part of it. It is usually the first thing people see and will be the bit they are most likely to remember (apart from your name). The problem that many people find is that, if they are running a site in their spare time, it doesn't really seem worthwhile buying a domain name for their site. This isn't going to be another article telling you all the reasons for buying a domain name. I will explain to you why it may be a mistake to use your hosting company URL and some of the alternatives you have.

You may be wondering what I meant by 'not wanting to use your hosting company url'. This may seem a bit stupid because you have the URL from them, so why bother looking around to find another one? The most convincing reason to do this is when your hosting company gives you a long URL like: www.hostingcompany.com/sectionname/area/843843/~yourname/ This is obviously difficult to remember for your visitors and will cause you problems too. How do you tell someone that URL? How many people would know what the tilde (~) is?

The second, less obvious reason to get a separate URL is in case you move to another hosting company in the future. When using free web hosts, this actually happens very often and you will find it a major job to update any links to your site to your URL. Also, even if you have redirection in place on the old URL, many people will leave when they see these, because they can't be bothered wait to see the content they want.

So what can you do about this? Well, there are a number of available redirection or 'short URL' services which you can use. Some of these are better than others. Two of the best are CJB.net and V-3 Redirection services. CJB.net are one of the longest established providers of short URLs and are reliable and offer a lot of extra features. My personal favourite, though, is V-3 Redirection. Although their services are not as good as CJB's (you must display advertising and there are not as many extra features), they offer hundreds of URLs like come.to/yourname and go.to/yourname. Before I got a domain name, I used them for my sites.

Although I said that this would not be a 'you must buy a domain name' article, I must end by stressing the usefulness of a domain name. It is exrtremely memorable, much shorter than a redirection or hosting company URL and is not as expensive as many people think. I would suggest buying a domain name from 000Domains and then (if your hosting company can't do this) point it to MyDomain who will do the forwarding for you. Its now less than $15 a year for a domain name so there is really no excuse not to get one!



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