In response to my domain name suggestion on meta, Kris said:

Something about having a domain name begin with a digit just feels ... off to me.

  • Does it affect site ranks on search engines?
  • Do you think people will be less likely to visit it?
  • Is this just a programmer response, since most variable names can't start with a digit?
  • 1
    My comment on meta was purely a subjective observation. Domains beginning with digits feel off ... perhaps a bit non-professional. Of course, if you have an existing business that naturally leads to such a domain, that is fine. But otherwise ... I (at least) wouldn't choose such a domain.
    – Kris
    Jul 13, 2010 at 15:24

10 Answers 10


Big downside: Having to spell it to people vocally it's very ambiguous. This goes for having a number anywhere in the URL.

So many times I've heard radio advertisements for websites where they have to spell it out:

To take advantage of this great offer, just go to travelwithkidz.com.au - that's kids with a Z - very annoying for everyone involved.

Take for example, 2example.com

Tech Support: Go to 2example.com - that's the number two, not the letters two, so two the digit example.com

Grandma: It's not working

Tech Support: can you read back to me what you've got?

Grandma (slowly): tee-doubleyou-oh-tee-hach-eee-dee-eye-gee-eye-tee-eee-ex-aye-mmm-pee-ell-eee-dee-oh-tee-see-oh-emm (twothedigitdotcom)

  • 2
    Of course, avoiding two/too/to/2 in domains is a good idea in general.
    – JasonBirch
    Jul 13, 2010 at 5:38
  • 5
    If gramma can't even get the .com correct....
    – gnarf
    Jul 17, 2010 at 9:39
  • 1
    Biz with a z... as opposed to...? :p
    – womp
    Jul 21, 2010 at 22:53
  • 1
    Bis (hey it was just an example) Jul 22, 2010 at 0:25
  • 2
    +1 for avoiding ambiguity. My street address used to be '6 Steen Way' - man was that annoying to give out over the phone!
    – UpTheCreek
    Mar 10, 2011 at 9:21

Well, the people at 37signals or 7dana might disagree with that. If it makes sense to use a number at the start of the domain, use it. If not ... don't. I'd surely hate to type out one-hundred-and-one-dalmations, when 101dalmations would do just fine :)

I think the key here is to avoid nonsensical domains altogether, i.e. something like '303wee' when in fact you are selling designer handbags.

I don't think its going to effect your ranking any more or any less than any other bad name that did not start with a number. A bad name is just a bad name regardless.

  • 1
    ...or 99designs... Jul 13, 2010 at 3:17
  • 4
    ... or 99redluftballons.com ... oh wait, I can still grab that domain! ;)
    – JasonBirch
    Jul 13, 2010 at 4:16

As of this moment, of the top 500 global sites according to Alexa internet, only 11 start with a digit. 2.2% only. So a digit-started domain name can get traffic.

Here's the list (please note: I have not looked at these sites to see if they are safe for work):

  1. 2ch.net
  2. 4399.com
  3. 58.com
  4. 2345.com
  5. 360.cn
  6. 1stcngame.com
  7. 39.net
  8. 51job.com
  9. 1133.cc
  10. 7k7k.com
  11. 1stwebgame.com

For some reason this question reminds me of E-Mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying to Give out over the Phone, which is very funny.

But seriously, any domain name can be successful. Look at woot.com and ebay.com and craigslist.org: ridiculous names; great, successful sites.

  • @simon-hayter I dislike your edits profoundly. You've removed my voice entirely. I will leave it be but would prefer if you ever see my name on an answer you would prefer to gut in this way just downvote my answer and make your own. Also, ink361.com does not begin with a number.
    – artlung
    Apr 11, 2016 at 22:48
  • 1
    Hi, I never intended to remove your voice and have rolled back to your previous answer. However dead links have been removed and the pointless links have been disabled. Apr 11, 2016 at 22:58

RFC 952 says that hostnames should not have leading digits, but this is a document from 1985 and was superseded by RFC 1123 (section 2.1). The earlier rule against leading digits may be part of the reason some people prefer not to use them.

To address your questions though:

  • I doubt search engines would treat it differently, except as a bug condition
  • Not many people would choose to avoid a site based purely on the initial character
  • Any hesitation I've had has been as a result of the fact that an initial digit could also be starting an IP address (not anything to do with variables)

The notion that you can't start a domain name with a number is a holdover from previous internet best practices.

In the early days of the web, it was unacceptable to begin a domain name with a number. In many cases, it would be mistaken for the start of an IP address (e.g.,

Now, all hardware and software products worth purchasing are completely capable of handling domain names that begin with a number.

  • 1
    For those interested, domain names were originally defined to have to start with a letter in RFC1035 and then updated to allow starting with a number in RFC1123.
    – J.Money
    Mar 30, 2015 at 16:36

37signals works because everyone speaks it as "thirty seven signals" and the natural reaction for most is to write larger numbers as digits.

Single digits may be more problematic - 7monkeys or sevenmonkeys? A friend used the domain 2nlight.net a few years ago. He loved it until he had to announce it on the telephone.


Nice thread. I run 123bit.com and 123galactic.com

I thought leading digits could lead to a bug, but seems not... Lots of sites seem to have leading digits.
Yes I was reluctant to get them due to leading digits, but its gotten very hard to get cool domains these days. I also used to think it was wrong due to variables not being able to begin with numbers. But then I realized that domain names are more akin to filenames than variables.


Domain names containing numbers are cheaper for a reason.Numbers will confuse people with the spelling. Suppose you registered Example3.com visitors might mix it with ExampleThree.com then it will redirect to ExampleThree.com only (if this site is available in internet). For getting a good domain name in terms of accessibility you need to follow some factors given below

1.Domain name must be short.

2.Try to avoid too many '_' symbol in your domain name.

3.Get the domain name that related to your business or product or organization.

4.If you want to get the domain extension .com and that is not available means try to register the new domain with the other extension like .org, .info, .edu, etc.

After a choosing a good domain name check the availability of the name. If available means register it with a good domain registrar.


Yes the 11 web sites with domain names started with digits seems to be successful cases,but if you visit the sites, you will find that they are all non-English web sites. So I think that the domain name started with digits will not cause any problem in non-English country because the domain name system does not have their words or characters so they will not be confused.

In my case, my domain name is also started with digits, which is an eCommerce site 66express.com and found no problem with it until now. I don't think that google or other search engine will dislike the domain name started with digits.


Does it affect site ranks on search engines?

No, unless your target keywords are digits like 2, 8 or 100. But who use that keywords anyway?

Do you think people will be less likely to visit it?

Short answer is no, unless the URL is packed with random digits. That being said, depending on what kind languages your web site is for, some languages have very intriguing properties. In Chinese, 8 is a very good number, equals prosperity, and 51 means I want, that is why in artlung's list there are 58.com, 51job.com. In Chinese, those are very good name. BTW 630 means something even in other langues, does not it?

Is this just a programmer response, since most variable names can't start with a digit?

Negative, as far as I know.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.