Startups · Website design

How important is it to use the hyphen that exists in our start ups domain in our logo?

Sam Johnson Mgr

November 25th, 2015

Our website uses a hyphen in the name and one partner says it's imperative we use it in the logo as to not confuse our customers and my other partner who owns a branding company says it's not imperative and our company will come up with SEO once it's live as we have a lot of content on the site. I need to make a decision....

Alex Eckelberry CEO at

November 25th, 2015

There continues to be some bizarre myth that a hyphen in a URL is a good thing. It is wrong. I had a hyphen at one company (because we couldn't get the URL we wanted, so we did the hyphen). I danced a happy dance when we finally got rid of it. 

If you can't get the name you want, consider using other options, like .co, etc. 

No hyphen. Make the URL simple enough that people can type in your URL and get your site. 

Nick Gray Co-Founder / Sales / Data Architecture

November 25th, 2015

branding = better without

Robinson Kelly CEO Clay Tablet Technologies Inc., President CSC Inc.

November 27th, 2015

All good advice, avoid it if all possible. But here's a tale of a start-up WITH a hyphen. And I sold it for millions. ; )

When we founded Clay Tablet Technologies in 2005 - we loved the name we'd struggled to come up with. It fit our (at the time) revolutionary approach to content management in multiple languages, was catchy - tablets weren't yet huge, so confusion was minimal and our designer came up with great artwork. But the URL wasn't available!

So we went with I've said and typed that SO many times in the last decade that it flows effortlessly. But I too fretted over the "friction" it would cause in those very early days. Further - there was another (unrelated) firm using 

But we went for it. If your idea, team and timing are right - hyphens, while avoided if possible, won't stand in your way.

We went on to drive millions in revenue through web leads, built a global brand and landed many of the world's largest web properties as clients.I sold the firm last year for 5X. And the hyphen's still there. ; )

The moral of the story is that if the vision is crisp and compelling, and the name is perfect for the brand you're building - while certainly adding a bit of friction - a hyphen won't kill you.

Good luck!!


PS. To technically answer your initial q - our logo omits the hyphen.

Rowan Richards Business Developer at Rowan Richards

November 25th, 2015

I agree with Alex. Remove the hyphen if possible.

Sam Johnson Mgr

November 25th, 2015

Thank you everyone for your comments. Based on everyone's comments and  little more research on the internet which states if possible, stay away from a hyphen in a url. As a startup, I want the best foot out the door, so back to basics to finding a url that works! Thanks again!

Lee Stein Owner, Stein Writes, Inc.

November 25th, 2015

The point that is missing: If you used a hyphen in the URL, that suggests that your URL without a hyphen was not available, meaning in use or potentially in use by someone doing something similar to you. So what's going to happen, even if you carefully brand everything without and include the hyphen in your URL branding, many people will still enter the URL without a hyphen, therefore losing traffic. Even one prospect entering the incorrect URL (even though most will as Ben noted probably be clicking on a link) may cost you considerable business. I'd recommend a URL without a hyphen that does coordinate with your brand. 

Thomas Kaled Business Development Consultant @

November 25th, 2015


Purchase both domain names (with and without hyphen) point them at the same IP address (or have the hosting company do it on your behalf) and your partner will never know the difference.

I'm applying for Solomon's job...just don't ask me to settle any further (potential)  conflicts.

Carolyn Goodman President/Creative Director at Goodman Marketing Partners

November 25th, 2015

I agree with Nick. Lots of brands weren't able to own the exact URL for their name, so as long as you display your website URL on materials so customers/prospects don't have to guess, you'll be fine.

Eric Fransen Strategic, Digital Marketing | Lead Generation | Marketing Automation | Ecommerce | Paid Ads Expert

November 25th, 2015

Remove that hyphen :-)

Alex Eckelberry CEO at

November 25th, 2015

I just realized that I misread this original post -- your hyphen is already in the URL -- that's a bit of a different story. 

If possible, avoid having your company name or URL include a hyphen. 

A company name with a hyphen is generally a bit more confusing. 

But it's really hard to tell without knowing what your company name is...