At ProPhoto, we’re always thinking about what makes a business stand out online. Stunning website design and flawless functionality are important and at the core of what ProPhoto does. But people’s impression of your business begins even before they visit your site–it starts with your domain name.
In a sea of .coms, one way to build a strong brand identity and differentiate yourself from the competition is by using a unique top level domain (TLD). For photographers and businesses that serve the photography market, .photo is a great choice.
Why We Chose ‘.photo’ for Our Domain Name
When our company started over 10 years ago, our domain name was a bit of a clunker: prophotoblogs.com. Later, we shortened it to prophoto.com, but there was still room for improvement. When .photo became available, we grabbed it right away. Not only is pro.photo the perfect fit for our company’s name, it’s also easy to remember–and easy to spell. That last point is a biggie.
Ace the ‘Spelling Test’
Even if you won your sixth grade spelling bee, typos happen. It’s surprising to see often people misspell their own website addresses! We see a lot of “potography,” “photoraphy,” and “photograpy” (blame it on those tiny phone keyboards). A simple .photo TLD is less likely to be misspelled or mistyped. We also love how modern our .photo domain looks. There’s no need to list a separate website on our marketing materials, like business cards–the name and the site are a single, memorable graphic.
So, of course, we encourage our customers to get their own .photo TLD for these same reasons. Another plus: Since .photo is newer than .com, the domain name you want to use is much more likely to be available.
Target the Photography Market
Unlike the generic and–let’s be honest–sketchy-sounding domains of years past (think .biz or .net), .photo is photography-specific, pointing to the market you serve and making an instant ink in people’s minds between your company and photography. And don’t worry, Google doesn’t discriminate: It loves all TLDs equally, so switching to a new .photo address won’t hurt your SEO one bit!
Switching From Your Existing Domain is Simple
But what if you already have a .com or other domain for your site that you’ve been using for a while? Not a problem. You can sign up for a .photo domain, get your site switched to that new domain, and then set up a redirect for your old domain to your new .photo domain. It’s pretty painless, and the redirect will ensure that anyone who types in your old website address automatically gets sent to your new one. It will retain your SEO ranking, too, since Google will also be “redirected” from your old address to your new one. Check out our tutorial about Changing your domain name.
Starting from Scratch? No Problem!
If you’re setting up a site for the first time, there are just a couple steps. Once you have your .photo domain, you’ll want to get compatible web hosting (we recommend HostPapa), and then set up your website (we may be a little biased, but we recommend building your site with ProPhoto!). You’ll also want to work with your web host to set up free email addresses for your business with the .photo domain to complete your branded presence.
That’s it! A unique domain name is that little extra touch that can help your business stick in potential customers’ minds and set you apart. It shows that you pay attention to the details and have big-picture vision. And after all, isn’t that what photography is all about? 🙂