Customizing SMF > Building Your Community and other Forum Advice

Name/Domain - should it be relevant to forum content?

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I have searched and found this topic reassuring, but as it's quite old I thought I would ask afresh.

My forum is at, named, and has a very smart but simple logo at the top.  It isn't named that by plan, but rather because while I was messing about investigating forum software, I used a spare domain name that I already had to try it, found SMF and got carried away with the development before I really thought about it.  I'm quite happy with the name, it's unique, memorable and short to type.

However, one of my members feels strongly that when our forum becomes publicly visible (it's currently a closed forum), the name and domain should be relevant to the content if we want new members to find us and to take us seriously.  I argue that there are no good theme-relevant domain names left and that search engines and new members will find us based on the forum content rather than what we call ourselves.  Also, I feel that having a nonsensical name may be useful in the future if our forum should expand, as we will not be limited to a single focus theme.

I would be grateful for any advice and insight into this while my forum is still young enough to get it right.  If a theme-relevant domain would be better, even though there are already similar ones around and the most intuitive ones are taken, then I am happy to buy one and go for it, but I don't want to waste the time and money if there's no point, or if it's even better to keep my unique domain name.

In case it's relevant, I have no intention at this point of adding advertising to my forum, so playing the numbers game with members isn't important, it's quality members in terms of their contribution to our community that we''ll be wanting to attract, but we'll still need them to find us.

Thanks :)

Let's put it this way.

Would you name your forum The Bacon Boys if it were about a family of pigs?



--- Quote from: Old Fossil on June 10, 2012, 11:17:54 AM ---Let's put it this way.

Would you name your forum The Bacon Boys if it were about a family of pigs?


--- End quote ---

No.... but I think I'm missing your point.  Please can you explain :)

Would you name the Domain the zoo if it were about young kids?

In other words ya want something related to ya forum.

BroadStar Radio is er a forum for my (soon to be live) internet radio station and MKAware is related to my forum about the area where I live.

Now do ya get my point?

The bottom line is that the site's name is branding attached to the site. It's an avenue for marketing. Does 'Google' as a name tell you anything about the content or services offered by the site? No, but it is a brand name and it has value in and of itself. Same, really, with this site - '' does not have any relation to the product offered here, but it is a brand name.

I have no idea what your forum is about, it's closed to guests, which means the odds of getting new visitors in the door is basically nil, but they'll find your site (when it's open) based on the content available to them and whether it interests them and they have anything to share.

For niches that are highly competitive, it can be pretty important to have a domain name with key words related to the content in it, but I'm guessing that's not quite so much the case here, and that you should probably leave the name alone.


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