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Are Domains & URLs Case Sensitive? (9 Important Facts)

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Your website domain name is important.

As the primary gateway to your brand, the way a website’s domain name is written matters. In fact, the shorter you can keep your domain name, the better.

When choosing a domain name, it is highly recommended to align it with your other online presence.

Choosing a domain name should also mean that it should be easy to read and say. The next best thing is to consider using the upper case for the first letter of each word in your brand.

Are Domains And URLs Case Sensitive?

Domain names are not case sensitive, but there are times when URLs are. This means you can enter a website’s URL in all capital letters, and it will still bring you the designated homepage, but a URL depends on the server that hosts the site and whether or not it supports different cases.

What is the Difference Between a Domain Name and URL?

Domain names are the name you type on your browser’s search bar to bring you to your website, while URLs are the exact web address of a page.

Note that all Domain Names are URLs, but not all URLs are domain names.

How Does This Effect Case Sensitivity?

Servers using Windows operating systems ignore case sensitivity when it comes to URLs.

Meanwhile, servers that run Linux or UNIX systems will identify capitalization on different websites.

If the server of your website migrates to newer machines, this would mean preparing to redirect your existing pages.

If the new server runs Linux, your once non-case sensitive URLs become case sensitive now.

How Is This a Problem?

If one of your visitors bookmarked one of the case sensitive URLs, the migration might make the bookmark inaccessible due to the new server’s case sensitivity of file names.

While you can ask your host to let you redirect, this may be a tedious process, especially if you have hundreds of pages that need to be redirected.

If you are planning the pages of your website, it is advisable to use the lower case, as this has been a standard on the web.

Can a Domain Name Have Capital Letters?

You can type a domain name in capital letters, but this will still result in the search bar showing the URL in the lower case.

Are Subdomains Case Sensitive?

As mentioned earlier, anything beyond the domain name can be case sensitive.

Thus, if you title your pages, it is best to keep them in the lower case, to reduce problems during the server migration.

Can You Register a Domain With and Without Capital Letters?

You can, but there is no need to.

When a domain name registered is given to you, this also includes all possible variations in typing of the name. This includes uppercase, title case, and even alternating upper and lowercase letters.

What you won’t get are variations that include hyphens, and domain name extensions like .com, .net, and other variations.

How Do I Secure My Domain Name?

Your domain name is significant to your branding.

Registering a domain name does not automatically get you all possible variations of your website URL.

This is why it is recommended that you get all possible permutations of your domain name, including .com, .net, .org, among others.

While it may come out as expensive, this brings peace of mind for big brands and businesses who want to protect their brand from misuse by competitors.

Can You Use Special Characters and Numbers in Domain Names?

You cannot use special characters in domain names, except for hyphens.

Also, you cannot use numbers for your domain name.

This is to avoid confusion when spelling the URL of your website.

Can You Make a URL Case Sensitive?

As mentioned earlier, URL case-sensitivity depends on the operating system of your website’s server. If you want to make your URLs case sensitive for the different pages of your site, use a Linux or Unix-based server.

But as mentioned earlier, having case sensitive URLs may cause problems later on the maintenance side.

This is why it is still best to have your pages in the lower case to reduce linking or redirection problems in the future.

Is it Best Practice to Use Lowercase in URLs?

While your browser automatically sets the URL in lower case, it would be best to practice the habit of writing your website’s URL in lower case.

Should You Use Lowercase or Uppercase Letters in Domain Names?

It is still best to use lowercase letters for your domain name.

While your browser automatically shifts the URL into lowercase when you type, writing it in lowercase makes it easier for people to remember.

Remember, people are not going to think about how to type your name; they will just remember what your name is.

Also, another reason to use lowercase is to avoid misspells with letters that look alike.

Remember that the uppercase “I” can also look like the lowercase “l.” That would be confusing if your domain name was “lsle,” which may be interpreted as “Isle” or “Lsle.”

So if your brand name is Isle Resorts, it would be easier to read “isleresorts.com” than “lsleresort.com.”

Are HTTP And HTTPS Case Sensitive?

No. As mentioned earlier, case-sensitivity usually happens after your domain name.

HTTP and https are automatically added to the websites you visit.

So there’s no need to worry about what case to use.

How Do I Choose a Good Domain Name?

Because your domain name is your address on the Internet, you have to choose a good name.

To give you an idea of what to consider, here are some pointers to keep in mind.

1. Use “.com” as the Domain Name Extension:

It’s tempting to use something like “.blog” if you’re a blogger or “.toys” if you run a toy company.

But “.com” is the most established domain name extension. It’s easy to remember, and by default, it is typed at the end of a domain name when surfing the web.

Smartphones have dedicated a key for it on the virtual keypad on your browser. That’s how ubiquitous “.com” is for domain names.

Using fancy domain name extensions can be tricky and may lead your audience elsewhere, especially if you choose a very cumbersome extension that has more than one syllable in it.

In the event you can only invest in one domain name, make sure you go for .com.

2. Choose a Short Domain Name:

Having a short domain name is important in maintaining name recall.

Having a long name contributes to loss of website traffic and is prone to typographical errors.

Remember that your domain name is your location on the web, and every letter you use adds a step for your audience to reach you.

3. Make it Easy to Spell and Pronounce:

Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and pronounce.

To give you an idea of how easy it should be, as you flash your domain name on the screen during a presentation, make sure you can say it as your website name appears on the screen. It should be instantaneous and can be embedded in the minds of your audience in a second or two.

If it takes them a few seconds to process your website’s home URL, it means you need to simplify further.

Also, having an easy to say and spell domain name will come in handy when you get an email to go with your website. A short yet easy to say and spell email domain will be helpful when you drop your contact information in a conversation.

4. Refrain From Using Hyphens:

While you can use hyphens in a domain name, it doesn’t mean that you should use it.

For one, hyphens are prone to typographical errors. Like spelling, not everyone may get your domain name immediately. They may be able to remember your name but may forget about the hyphen.

Sure, they can always use a search engine, but that is still an extra step to get to you.

Also, domain names that have hyphens are often associated with spam. If you observe closely, there’s a good chance that your spam folder in your email has domains with a dash.

You would not want your website’s newsletter to end up in the spam bin, don’t you?

Just because someone else beat you to a domain name, it doesn’t mean you have to add a dash just to use the name. Consider other alternatives.

5. Refrain From Double Letters in Your Domain:

Double letters are prone to typographical errors. Besides, it may be hard to read, and makes your name harder to brand.

You need to remember that your name needs to be read easily, and having double letters encumbers readers from identifying your brand.

References:

Does capitalization and spaces matter in Internet addresses?

Are URLs Case Sensitive?

Can I Buy the Capital Letters Version of a Domain if Someone Else Owns the Lowercase Variant?

How to Choose the Best Domain Name (14 Tips and Tools)

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