What should I consider when choosing a website name?
Thread poster: GP Translations

GP Translations  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 17, 2014

I a a freelance translator and editor with Proz membership. I have been thinking about creating my own website to perhaps get more clients (although I know that's not easy) and to have something on my business card and for existing clients to refer to.

I have browsed available website names and found some I like; however, some that I like are similar to existing translation website names. Not the same, but similar. I am worried about the legal implications of this. How different does the name have to be? If my website has a similar name to a French website and I register it as .com, what are the implications? Should I play it safe and go for something completely original, although not as catchy as I would like it to be?

[Edited at 2014-02-17 19:48 GMT]


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 11:13
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Be Original Feb 17, 2014

Geraldine Pugh wrote:

Should I play it safe and go for something completely original, although not as catchy as I would like it to be?

[Edited at 2014-02-17 19:48 GMT]


I think you should. I think something original is more attractive than something that resembles another name. Also, it helps if the name is simple, easy to remember with as few letters as possible. Good luck.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some thoughts Feb 18, 2014

Geraldine Pugh wrote:
How different does the name have to be? If my website has a similar name to a French website and I register it as .com, what are the implications?


Well, if you register a .com domain, then you are subject to two sets of laws, namely Mexican law (because you're a Mexican resident) and USA law (because they administer the .com namespace). I'm not lawyer but I would speculate that when you have a web site with a similar or nearly identical domain name, then the question is to what extend you are trying to (or appear to be trying to) counterfeit the original company. The worst that can happen, I would guess, is that the French company would ask the USA namespace administrator to delete your domain registration, but the USA organisation isn't going to do that unless it is a high profile case, I think.

I have been thinking about creating my own website to perhaps get more clients (although I know that's not easy) and to have something on my business card and for existing clients to refer to.


Since you're a freelancer, I think that you're personal identity is most important, so your web site address should contain something about your name.


 

GP Translations  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Personal name better publicity than business name? Feb 21, 2014

Do you think that it's true? I feel like it looks like you are just some guy in his basement rather than a serious business when you put your name instead of Proz Translations or whatever. What do other people think?

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Don't get upset... Feb 21, 2014

But if I were you I would not use your name directly.

Then non-English world will have trouble pronouncing it... and it puts them off phoning you!
(I have heard of an amazing number of of Hugs and Huges on Danish Radio over the years, I think even a Huff or two, when they mean Hughes.)

Your initials might work - I suggest adding a middle one if you have one.

I use my married name, which functions... but my own name, an English cathedral city that even the English find difficult to spell, was not an option in my eyes.

You could mention which languages you work with - that seems to be a blind spot among us translators! You are sometimes expected to handle everything if you sweepingly say 'translations'.

But it has to be something you can live with long-term, so if it is gimmicky, it has to be really smart...

My name was a temporary measure until I thought of something better, but I have to admit I am not going to.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It certainly needs to be something personal, not 'off the shelf' Feb 21, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:
But if I were you I would not use your name directly.

Then non-English world will have trouble pronouncing it... and it puts them off phoning you!
(I have heard of an amazing number of of Hugs and Huges on Danish Radio over the years, I think even a Huff or two, when they mean Hughes.)

Certainly something to bear in mind. I feel really sorry for internationally-known people called Hugh, and even more so for the famous Vaughans out thereicon_frown.gif. I don't use my registered first name, Shelagh, here or anywhere else for professional purposes, for that same reason.

it has to be something you can live with long-term, so if it is gimmicky, it has to be really smart...

Don't do what I did! I paid for a domain name for 10 years, without ever actually getting a website up and running. Good job, too: it was a French/English play on words, and now that I live in Spain it would have been very confusing. Remember that your domain name will also be in your email address, on your business cards...everywhere.

On the other hand, you won't have the right to use it on contracts, invoices etc if you're a self-employed freelancer rather than a registered company. On those, you'll have to use your own name. So it does simplify things for the client, and you, if everything at least bears some relation to your name.

If you are going to choose something other than your name, then make sure it has real relevance to you, something that sums up your business offer or your niche market.


 


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