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Long URLs and mobile devices

August 2021

Having spent some time in hospital away from both a laptop and a tablet I found that some of the pages I had authored were not easily found and not easy to read just using a phone. The primary reason is that that sites can only be found by making a search for them and that this is not easy using a mobile keyboard.

It is also an observation that the majority of Internet users are both likely to be mobile users and not accustomed to making searches.

Long URLs and Search

When I started out on this venture the Internet was a different place. Before mobile phones came to be the dominante access method for content it was quite common to have a domain name that reflected the content of a website. Today this is less of an issue due to the evlolution of search and the general useage of the network. In fact, a domain name is pretty much irrrelevent in the mobile era.

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If you are viewing this on a mobile phone then you will get more menu options if you turn your phone on its side.

Taking the case of the Village Hall website that I currently am the webmaster. This website has a couple of domain names associated with it. The first was registered when it was started out life as a Wordpress site. At that time there was much debate about having a domain name that could be easiy remembered and was descriptive of what the site was. (Actully this debate did not take place and the decision was made pretty much unilaterally). The thought was that the village name and that it was the village hall website should feature both in this name. It was also not understood that the Village Hall is not a company and the .co.uk tld desgnation was not really necassary and that there are other shorter tlds available. The concept of a tld, Top Level Domain name was also not understood.

As a result the domain that was registered was belchampwaltervillagehall.co.uk - that is 32 characters not including the https:// and or www. , which both are redundant today.

Of course, as the site was hosted on a Wordpress platform, there was an in-built SEO nature and the site could easily be found by searching for the village name and village hall. This would be the case if a much simpler domain name was used. This is why when I took control of the site I registered bwvh.uk that has similar search characteristics. I rest my case that 7 characters is a lot easier to enter than 32 in any shape or form!

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