You’ve decided to publicise your museum online, and an excellent decision at that!
The digital sphere represents a fantastic channel to get people talking about you and to interact with various audiences. One of the first things you’ll need to do to develop your online presence is to choose the name for your website – a crucial step.
An Internet address is composed of a prefix “www” (World Wide Web) and a domain name, itself composed of a string of characters of your choice (letters and numbers, in particular) and a TLD (.fr, .paris, .museum, etc.). A domain name allows your audience to find you online. It is therefore a key component of your digital identity, that you’ll retain over the years and that you will capitalise on.
A well-chosen domain name contributes to raising your museum’s profile.
So that nothing is left to chance, here are a few recommendations to guide you in making this decision.
Make it short, clear, and coherent
A concise domain name is easier to remember. So make it short and simple. However, make sure you include key words in the domain name of your museum for greater precision, and therefore greater understanding. Adding a location or activity gives Internet users additional information.
Lastly, don’t forget that you will also convey your museum’s domain name in verbal form! By phone, in meetings or video conferences, in radio adverts… Make sure it’s easy to pronounce so that people can easily remember it and retype it into an Internet browser.
Improve legibility with hyphens
If your museum’s name is comprised of several words (which is usually the case) or if you decide to incorporate one or more key words, adding a hyphen can greatly increase legibility and consequently understanding of your Internet address among your audiences.
Keep in mind that a website does not only appear in the address bar or search engine. Emails, social networks, television, radio, posters, flyers, business cards… the communications materials you use also promote the website, so you need to think both Online AND Offline!
As an example, it would be much simpler for the Musée National du Cristal et de la Minéralogie de Paris to indicate “museeducristal-paris.museum” on the back of a brochure rather than “museenationalducristaletdelamineralogiedeparis.museum”. We could even imagine a cristal-paris.museum or crystal-paris.museum according to the language!
And to improve your chances, you can register different spelling variants, with and without hyphens, for example, to protect your brand. And remember to redirect them to your main website!
Your museum is naturally not just open to visitors from your country. The same goes for your website, which acts as a digital showcase for Internet users from around the world.
What makes sense in your language won’t necessarily do so in others. Which is why you need to check that your museum’s domain name does not have any rude, negative or even absurd connotations.
Likewise, beware of risky abbreviations! Choosing a short domain name may be a good practice to encourage understanding and memorisation, but check that the chosen abbreviation does not have another meaning: you don’t want to give free publicity to a third-party company or, conversely, be lumped with its bad reputation.
Choose the .museum TLD
As stated above, a domain name comprises a suffix to the right after the dot known as top-level domain, or TLD. There are a number of them, including .paris, .fr, .com, .org, and .museum, for example. Choosing which one is appropriate for you requires careful thought. Your domain name TLD not only allows you to target a specific audience, but it also highlights your museum’s activity and, in some cases, its location. Carefully selected, a TLD enhances your visibility and credibility.
The choice of .museum is the most effective way of showing your place in the museum world with transparency and pride. In addition to gaining recognition for your activity with a prestigious and unequivocal TLD, users are able to identify your positioning before even visiting the museum website. A valuable asset when it comes to attracting new visitors!
The .museum TLD also has an international profile. By registering your domain name under this TLD, you will be joining the leading global community dedicated to museum professionals: a great way to promote your know-how and expertise, and instantly stand out.
Already hit on the perfect domain name for your museum? Check its availability now as domain name purchases are on a “first come first served” basis!