Programmers was one of the first StackExchange sites and seem to be one of the most popular.

I was wondering, now that it's been "launched" why are we still programmers.stackexchange.com and not it's own unique domain name?

  • Just a correction - Programmers wasn't one of the first Stack Exchange sites. It was the 13th SE 2.0 site - the list in the footer is in chronological order. – ChrisF May 5 '11 at 9:22
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    @chris Lucky thirteen! – Jeff Atwood May 5 '11 at 9:44
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    I actually like them without its own domain. I can enter anything (Cooking, Programming, Gaming, etc) followed by .stackexchange.com to see if it exists or not. Its actually how I found the cooking one :) – Rachel May 10 '11 at 19:40

To answer this, I need to provide a little background:

When the first Stack Exchange sites went into beta, it was expected all sites would get their own site and domain name. All sites in beta had boilerplate questions like:

  • What should our domain name be?
  • What should our logo be?

Web Applications.SE, the first non-trilogy Stack Exchange to launch, even launched under the moniker "Nothing to Install" with the domain name nothingtoinstall.com.

Now, branding and naming is hard. Nothing to Install is an okay name, but certainly not a home run. And nobody had a better name for it; so you had this site, an important milestone in the Stack Exchange network, launching with a forgettable name. To make matters worse, there were several Stack Exchange sites ready to launch, most with equally eh names.

So that got the gears turning at the mothership that perhaps rapidly launching sites with mediocre names wasn't the best idea. At that point it was decided that unless a site has an absolutely fantastic name and had traffic levels comparable to Server Fault (i.e. several times more traffic than even the most popular non-trilogy site), the Stack Exchange brand is worth more than any forgettable name that might come up in beta.

All this (and more) is covered in the Stack Overflow Blog post, Domain Names: The Wrong Question.

See also the discussion on Meta.Webapps.SE: Webapps.stackexchange.com versus Nothingtoinstall.com

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