3 Reasons to NOT Buy Trending Top Level Photography Domains

Recently GoDaddy, Hover and other domain registrars haven started selling the new TLDs available for photographers. For example, at Hover you can purchase:


While these domain styles can look really cool for your photography business, I want to talk about 3 very important reasons why you should pass on using them.

Why not all Top Level Domains (TLD) are worth it

To get the point across I will be using John Doe Photography as the example.

Bad For Branding

You have a business already called John Doe Photography and you made business cards up, your marketing, doing Facebook ads and so on.  People now know your brand, identify with the logo, the colors, your photography and services.  They have been to your website, johndoephotography.com many times in consideration for purcashing it.

Now all of a sudden you switch your website to johndoe.photography.

At that point in time you are very likely to be questioned about what happened to your .com website.  Why your branding is different.  Are you legitimate for not having a .com?

Which leads me to number 2.

Bad for people knowing what to type

I do not care whether your TLD is .net, .org or .camera.  It does not matter.  People will type .com because that is the most common domain. Heck even hyphens catch people off guard.  In fact, the one thing we wish the Photographer’s SEO Community had different was no hyphen but the domain was taken.

So forget about what you think looks cool and go with what your customers and audience will type easiest and most naturally.

Which leads me to number 3.

Don’t think people are as knowledgeable or smart as you

That might sound cruel but it is true.  People do not stay on top of the TLD technology.  Your wedding photography clients do not care if you have a .photography domain.  They care that they can find you, see your photography, and know you are a legit business. So go with what they know, what they type in.  Ok, so this one kind of similar to number two, but whatever.  It gets my point across.

Basically, do not assume that because you are using johndoe.photography that people will type it.  You are much better off assuming you wil be using johndoe.photography and people will be typing johndoephotography.com

In Summary

Would it be cool for Strobist to be Strobist.lighting?  Sure!  Or Nikon.camera?  Sure!  Although that might happen – people will type .com majority of the time.

So if you plan on getting one of these TLDs, get it for a project or fun security or for fun.  But do not get it with the intention of using it for your business.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. While I don’t disagree with what is being said here in the article there is one reason to buy them as well. To protect your brand. Someone could come along and put in jondoe.photography and it wouldn’t be unbelievable to create content enough to steal away SEO to have that show up first instead of jondoephotography.com. .com domains are likely to remain the number one way for people to search for you but do you really want to have someone come along and have the name that you really want? It is really just an insurance policy. I bought the domains that relate to my photography business (I didn’t buy camera or gallery as I didn’t think they were a good fit for my brand) but I did get .info, .photography and just repointed them to my http://www.luminaryphoto.com domain. So it is something that you want to think about and I wouldn’t suggest changing your brand around it but as a protection for the future.

    1. Without a doubt protecting your brand is valuable and worth buying it for. But definitely not for much else.

  2. More curious about this: But does it matter what the name of your company is? I mean in regards to in Dave’s instance it’s not his name. And majority of us have unique names. There aren’t too many Colin McAuliffe’s in the world. There are even less doing photography. Since my company name is my name do I need to worry about this as much then in terms of protecting my brand?

    1. Hi Colin,

      That comes down to personal preference and protecting your name. For example, I purchase scottwyden.photography because my photography business name is my own name.

  3. Doesn’t pointing a domain at another site mean that Google thinks your domains have duplicate content or do you not index the new domains?

  4. I think that number 2 and number 3 (and actually number 1 in many respects) are only worries if you want to find reasons to worry. In reality, people don’t type URL’s, they search in google (mostly), and just so long as your website is found with the three words ‘john’, ‘doe’ and ‘photography’, it doesn’t matter if people aren’t familiar with anything except .com. I kind of get your rebranding reasoning but actually, unless your business name is johndoe.com rather than johndoephotography.com then johndoe.photography will be seamless if it gets neatly redirected by search engines, and it’s a more elegant URL too. Just my thinking, but I’m not resistant to change.

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