choosing a domain name

I’ve decided to build a social networking website focused on the Korean martial art of Hapkido. I have ten good domain names to choose from and I cannot decide. Can you help? I’d really appreciate any suggestions.

Half of my Hapkido-related domain names are parked at Sedo, and the other half at WhyPark.com where they display Adsense ads. Here are the stats from the last 12 months, except for Hapkido.info which has only been parked 10 months or so.

Stats for Hapkido domain names
March 1st 2007 to March 1st 2008
SEDO.COM            
Domain Uniques Clicks CTR     Earnings
Hapkido.info 102 5 4.90%     $1.33
HapkidoNet.com 89 4 4.49%     $0.34
HapkidoStyles.com 33 1 3.03%     $0.15
HapkidoWest.net 65 1 1.54%     $0.05
HapkidoNet.net 67 0 0.00%     $0.00
HapkidoWest.info 8 0 0.00%     $0.00
ADSENSE
(WHYPARK.COM)
           
HapkidoArts.com 25 1 4.00%     $0.10
HapkidoBoard.com 166 8 4.82%     $0.78
HapkidoDojang.com 148 4 2.70%     $0.96
HapkidoFighting.com 78 2 2.56%     $0.23
HapkidoVideos.com 131 24 18.32%     $3.32

I’m going to create a website where Hapkidoists and other Korean martial arts practitioners can discuss, share photos, share videos and make friends. I will most likely use Ning, though I am considering Drupal. Ning is so much less work, but doesn’t offer the same degree of control.

I have narrowed it down to the four in red. Out of those, HapkidoVideos.com cries out to be developed into a video sales site, perhaps an Amazon affiliate site. So that leaves the other three: Hapkido.info, HapkidoBoard.com, and HapkidoDojang.com.

  1. Hapkido.info – nice and short, and will look awfully good up there in a website header. I worry, however, that many people are not familiar with the .info extension and may not remember it.
  2. HapkidoBoard.com – gets the most traffic of all my choices, and it’s precise and relevant. Only problem is, well, it’s kind of boring. I feel “board” already, ha ha.
  3. HapkidoDojang.com – “dojang” is the Korean word for dojo. This is what the Korean arts call their training place. I think this domain has a nice ring to it, but I’m concerned that it might be too long or that the spelling might be challenging for some.

So, what do you think? Which of these would you choose to develop? Which is the easiest to spell and most memorable?

Are These Domain Names Dogs?

As you can see, none of these domain names are profitable on a purely parking basis. Several have made nothing at all, or very little. On the other hand, they get some traffic, and I never got around to optimizing them. I parked them and forgot about them, until I decided to tackle this social network project. Still, even if I were to optimize the parked pages they would probably do no better than break even.

Does that mean these domains are a waste of money and should be dropped? I don’t think so (ok, I might drop HapkidoWest.info. But not the others). Once I choose a domain to use for my social networking website, I will build the site, then forward all the other domains to that destination.

Adding them all up, these domains get almost 1,000 unique visitors per year. Build a website, use some Facebook-style viral marketing tactics to grow the membership, some linkbait, maybe a low-key Adwords campaign, and within a year I could see significant traffic. And that means profit.



12 Comments to “Which of These Domains Would You Develop?”

  1. Jeff | April 15th, 2008 at 4:50 am

    I actually like Hapkido.info the best, because it is short and because I think it conveys exactly what you are trying to do. Yes, the .info is something extra to remember, but so are the extra words on your dot com’s. I agree that HapkidoBoard.com sounds a bit boring. I don’t see any overture for “Hapkido Dojang” – so while I’m not familiar with the market, that would suggest to me it’s not a very intuitive term. I know that a lot of people would go for a dot com over what is a perfect .info, but I don’t think that for a social networking site you need that “blue chip” image that you might for many types of business.

    ***REPLY FROM DOMAINERPRO***

    Thanks Jeff, I really appreciate the input.

  2. Jeff | April 15th, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Also, whatever you decide – good luck with the website. That’s very exciting!

  3. Flaming | April 15th, 2008 at 5:34 am

    In my opinion I think you should go for HapkidoBoard. I don’t find it boring at all. Also, it’s a .com and the suffix “board” explicitly tells everyone that HapkidoBoard.com is a forum or social networking web site. Good luck with it!

  4. spinoza | April 15th, 2008 at 5:55 am

    I like Hapkido.info very much, but i think you should consider HapkidoNet.com as well. you are developing a social NETwork project…
    I would never drop a domain that breaks even or if it gets nice traffic. forwarding them to your website is the way to go.
    Good luck!

    ***REPLY FROM DOMAINERPRO***

    Yes, I almost shortlisted that one as well.

  5. Jamie Parks | April 15th, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Honestly, I’d choose HapkidoNet.com because it’s your shortest Hapkido dot com domain, and the word Net automatically conveys social network. You should also point the HapkidoNet.net, Hapkido.info, and all your other Hapkido related domains to your developed site. Just my 2cents.

  6. fizz | April 15th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    IMO Hapkido.info is the best choice.

    G/L with your project with whichever name you select.

  7. Jason Davis | April 15th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Hi, I think in this case the name does not matter. I have a Ning community for recruiters called RecruitingBlogs.com. There are almost 6000 members and I don’t think the name has much to do with it.

  8. damir | April 16th, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Hapkido.info – short and straight to the point domain name

  9. Connie Nicole | April 16th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Why don’t you develop the site and have all the names forward to the one domain name you decide on?

    Just looking at your stats, it appears the click through is very high for videos, it also appears to be your biggest money maker.

    *****REPLY FROM DOMAINERPRO*****

    Thanks for your comments Connie. Yes, I do plan to forward all the domains to the website, but for the actual name of the site I want to choose the domain that people will remember for return visits. And you’re right about HapkidoVideos.com, but I think I will develop that separately as an Amazon.com affiliate site. Not sure yet.

  10. webwatch | April 16th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I kinda agree with Connie. You can develop HapkidoBoard.com seeing that it had more visitors forward HapkidoNet.com to this site (if you decide to keep it). The ones that hardly got any visitors can be dropped.

  11. W.H.A. | April 18th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    So, based on the comments I’ve got the following tally:

    Hapkido.info 3.5 (I counted Spinoza’s comment as half a vote)

    HapkidoBoard.com 2

    HapkidoNet.com 2

    Even though Hapkido.info got the most votes, I’ve decided to go with HapkidoNet.com because the arguments made by Spinoza and Jamie Parks were compelling. Thanks everyone.

    – DomainerPro

  12. Cat Behavior | June 15th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Describe the kinds of evidence that were used to develop the three domain classification scheme and explain how the evidence was used.

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