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https://crafts.meta.stackexchange.com/a/23/96

Robert said:

But in picking a single word for the URL, a site about crafts is much   less likely to cause misunderstandings and confusion.

The main reason why I am concerned about having only crafts in the title is that I think that Google produces results based on URL names.

So, if a person interested in drawing searches "Drawing forum", will this site be on the front page of Google, or because of only crafts word in the url, Google will not show it in its top results?

P.S. I know this is not a forum, but many people out there won't know any such thing initially, so they are likely to use the word forum while searching.

So, please share your thoughts on my concern.


Word craft does not hint drawing(arts) also.

If you specify crafts.stackexchange, people won't automatically understand that it is about drawing(arts) also.

Arts include drawing and painting.

Can the url of this site be renamed as artscrafts.stackexchange?

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    Drawing is a craft... Why do you think the site name is bad? Why are you so focused on drawing? This site is about dozens of topics, not just drawing. Also, the full site name is "arts and crafts", not only "crafts". – Catija Apr 27 '16 at 0:27
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    I would like some insight from the powers that be as to why "crafts" was selected over "art" or "arts". I was surprised by the decision, at least. – user24 Apr 27 '16 at 0:59
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    @Zizouz212 The URL is "crafts.SE". I'm wondering why they went that over "art.SE". My interest is academic. – user24 Apr 27 '16 at 1:08
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    @CreationEdge that is at least a better way of framing this question. The specific focus here on drawing solely seems a bit short sighted. I would suggest an edit to reflect this if I could. – Catija Apr 27 '16 at 1:10
  • @Catija what edit do you suggest? – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 1:36
  • Something like "Why was it decided that the site URL should be crafts.SE?" – Catija Apr 27 '16 at 1:50
  • There is precedent for a URL which only reflects half the site scope, e.g. Science Fiction & Fantasy at scifi.SE or Movies & TV at movies.SE. However, in both of those cases the scope was expanded during the beta stage. – Rand al'Thor May 21 '16 at 19:05
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Naming is hard. Whatever we picked, someone was going to be "sad".

The word arts was simply too ambiguous to convey the meaning of this site concisely. In academia, arts typically includes the study of languages, literature, history, music, etc. In a social context, arts typically refers to creative and social activities like theater, music, and dance. And, yes, art is the product of the traditional "artist" who works in media like painting, sculpture, etc.

The site is called Arts & Crafts to help overcome that ambiguity. But in picking a single word for the URL, a site about crafts is much less likely to cause misunderstandings and confusion.

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  • Thank you for the thought process. That is exactly what I'd assumed was the decision, but it's great to hear it from the horse's mouth. (No offense meant by "horse" there) – user24 Apr 27 '16 at 1:49
  • Fine, but people cannot automatically assume that drawing experts would reside on a site named crafts. Could you not really rename it to artscrafts.stackexchange? – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 2:13
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    @TheIndependentAquarius The site is not called "Crafts" and we chose not to enumerate the entire scope in the URL. We've had these types of discussions many times, so experience shows that requests for inclusion would not stop with this one addition. You'll have to trust me on that one. It becomes untenable to keep expanding the URL to be all-inclusive of the scope. That is why we resolved to keep the URL as short as reasonably possible. – Robert Cartaino Apr 27 '16 at 2:23
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    @TheIndependentAquarius Look at SciFi & Fantasy. The URL is SciFi.SE, but Fantasy is just as important. – user24 Apr 27 '16 at 4:20
  • Robert - I have some concerns about this decision of yours. Here the space is quite limited. I will write them in a new question. I request you to address them there. – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 5:49
  • @CreationEdge SFF is a special case... It was scifi first and fantasy was added later. – Catija Apr 27 '16 at 6:28
  • @Catija I suppose. But we have "mechanics" and "bricks" and "anime" and "boardgames" and more for the URLs, but take a look at the actual stack names. The point is that the URL != the stack title or scope. – user24 Apr 27 '16 at 6:39
  • @CreationEdge I'm not saying I disagree with you... I should think my other comments show the opposite... but I still think that accuracy is important and your new examples are better. Another one is my home site, Movies & TV. ;) – Catija Apr 27 '16 at 6:41
  • Robert - I have added my new concerns in this question itself now. Please address them. – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 6:43
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    @TheIndependentAquarius I have already posted my response to this issue. – Robert Cartaino Apr 27 '16 at 13:52
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Google does not produce results based on the url of a site... The url of a site has little to do with search results. People looking for knitting and crocheting projects find Ravelry.com just fine even though neither "knitting" nor "crocheting" is in the site name. Search engine optimization does all of the important work by using keywords and site content and SE should be pretty good at it by now.

You really don't need to worry about this.

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  • so, basically you are saying url of a site is not important in any way. It cannot effect any major thing. that's a relief. – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 7:18
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    The first sentence seems to be incorrect. moz.com/blog/seo-cheat-sheet-anatomy-of-a-url. Of course, once this site has enough content about knitting, it doesn't matter that the URL doesn't say 'knitting'. But in the beginning this might be much more important. – Keelan Apr 27 '16 at 15:16
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Arts & Crafts

That's the name of the proposal, that's the name of the site.

I don't see anything wrong with it. Arts is already a vague term that will encompass any form of drawing.

Is the URL so endearingly important to you that the lack of a word will mean life or death for the site?

A craft is an art. An art is a craft. Not having one or the other will mean the site will die. Yeah, it may be a nuisance, but minor at most. Besides. Do we need such a long url anyway? The [supposed and weak] advantage doesn't cut it.

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    @TheIndependentAquarius My argument is still the same. It's basic enough to convey the meaning. I don't have an concern or worry. – Zizouz212 Apr 27 '16 at 0:42
  • Edited comment. Url does not mention arts. – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 0:46
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The main reason why I am concerned about having only crafts in the title is that I think that Google produces results based on URL names.

URL may influence Google results, but only by a very tiny amount, if at all.

If it worked the way you were suggesting, companies selling merchandise would always name their website URL with the merchandise type, instead of the company name. But they don't.

Note that "Stack Overflow" is www.stackoverflow.com, not www.questionsaboutprogramming.com, yet it does just fine.

So, if a person interested in drawing searches "Drawing forum", will this site be on the front page of Google, or because of only crafts word in the url, Google will not show it in its top results?

They will find this site if there are questions that discuss drawing.

P.S. I know this is not a forum, but many people out there won't know any such thing initially, so they are likely to use the word forum while searching.

I think this is an assumption based on your search habits, and is likely not applicable to the general public. I expect most people would get here from searches like "what is the difference between cheap and expensive oil paints?" or "why does my ink bleed into the paper when I draw?".

Word craft does not hint drawing(arts) also.

The site isn't "Crafts". It's "Arts and Crafts Stack Exchange". Again, I believe you're placing way too much importance on a single word in the URL. That's not how search engines work. That's not how people are likely to find us.

If you specify crafts.stackexchange, people won't automatically understand that it is about drawing(arts) also.

Again, I feel you're making a broad assumption I don't necessarily agree with.

When it comes to people visiting new websites, the interaction generally is a repeating cycle of them saying "hrm... I wonder if this site has what I'm looking for?" Imagine that every couple of seconds that question goes through their head. If, at any point, the answer is "probably not", they'll likely leave. But so long as the answer is "maybe", they'll likely continue looking.

But context is everything. People aren't going to just see a URL, with no context. If you email your friends about the site, and just say "crafts.stackexchange.com", yes, they'll likely ignore you. But you're more likely to say "Hey, check out all the good information about drawing (or ceramics, or knitting, or whatever) on crafts.stackexchange.com."

Arts include drawing and painting.

"Arts", however, also includes things that aren't on topic. "Liberal arts" is a broad type of education. "The Art of War" is a famous book on warfare. "Pickup artists"... well, I won't even go there.

The point is that the word "arts" is not a magical bullet that will clearly and consistently remove all confusion about what the scope of this site is (which hasn't even been fully defined yet, anyway).

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  • Thanks for the detailed response. I agree about the part where you mention the searching technique used by people. I hope you are correct. – Aquarius_Girl Apr 27 '16 at 15:00

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