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Branding you and your website with WordPress, Part One

Welcome back to the ongoing blog series of branding you and your website! This is the beginning of a series of blog posts about branding an idea, whether it be: novel, comic book, on-line comic or gardening blog and getting a website either through WordPress, WordPress.com or any other platform like Squarespace.com

For those who missed Part Zero, it can be found – here.

Reading this post assumes you have a name for your brand.

For the sake of conversation I’m going to stay your brand a lot.

Your brand can be a novel, comic, website, a pyramid scheme or any other type of thing you need a website for.

Once you’ve checked Google to make sure your name isn’t taken we move onto . . .

Part One of Branding you and your website!

What do we do now?

We would generally register the name with a domain registrar so you can claim your little space of pixel grass on the internet for a website.

I say generally because we’re not going to do that quite yet.

Yes Dorothy, websites are still relevant.

If anyone tells you a website is passé and social media sites is where it’s at, feel free to knee them in the nards.

That’s not the graphic designer in me, that’s honesty.

And, speaking of honesty, do you really want to pay to buy back your domain name? Nope.

Remember, even if your audience is on social media it doesn’t mean they’re all on social media.

Social media like blogging has certain stink to it as of late but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a website to go along with your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google + and Pintrest account.

All of those accounts should funnel back to your brand’s website.

Social media is just one leg of the stool you’re trying to make.

So, what makes a good website? A good address.

How does one find out if a website address is taken?

Swing by register.com or whois.com.

Get your list of names and start typing them in one at time. Which names aren’t taken?

And what name makes a good, short address?

Again, simplicity is the key. Don’t over think it.

Your brand name should be in the address or some variation.

A few good examples of branding in website addresses: CNN. QVC. MSNBC. PvP Online. Penny Arcade. Machall. Megatokyo. Questionable Content. LfGComic. Sequential Art. Cartoon Frolics.

These are some good addresses. Most are short n’ sweet. They fit well on your brand’s business card.

Yes, http://www.yourname.com is perfectly fine too and is completely taken judging from whois.com

A good real world example of branding is to using your initials.

During my senior year at NEIT we had reached the point in graphic design courses where our teachers had us brand ourselves.

I decided to go with Studio ’75.

My first branding attempt.

I went through a few iterations of the name and settled on something.

One of my branding attempts...

And then I looked it up on Google. Guess what?  It was taken!  As you can see – here.

So, I went with simplicity: RKB Writes and RKB Studios.

RKB Studios’ current logo:

header 2014-01

It’s perfectly fine to add a verb in there like Mattshoots if you’re photographer.

The reason I keep harping on your address is one simple thing: Where does your brand’s website rank on Google?

Yes, Dorothy, google is a verb.

You’re potential customers shouldn’t have to go to Facebook or Twitter to find your brand’s website.

The website for your brand whether it be an on-line comic, novel or pot hole filling class has to show up on google or no one will ever find you.

Getting back to you searching register.com and whois.com for names….should you impulse buy your awesome brand domain name now?

Nope.

What you should be doing is making an excel sheet of domain registrars, their renewal costs and stumbling down that lovely rabbit hole called:

Who should host my awesome brand website!

We’ll cover this and alternative hosting options next time…

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