How to Name Your Developer Site

There is only one acceptable way to name a web site intended for developers and I’m going to tell you what it is. Give your developer web site tertiary DNS name of "developer". So if your consumer site is mysite.com, your developer site should be developer.mysite.com. Simple.

Do not call your developer site mysite.com/developer or developers.mysite.com. People will not know how to find it.

Do not under any circumstances call your developer site something like SuperFunNewDevZone.mysite.com. No matter how clever the English majors on your team are, you should not permit them to give your developer site a DNS name that developers will find difficult to remember.

It’s always driven me crazy that I can’t quote off the top of my head
what Amazon.com’s developer web site URL is. (There’s absolutely nothing at
developer.amazon.com; for that matter, developer.google.com doesn’t work either.)

There’s nothing at developer.salesforce.com, but at least developer.salesforce.com
redirects to a sensible page. Adobe does the same thing. But the problem with a redirect is that it doesn’t reinforce in my mind what the URL of the site is; after the redirect takes place I’m confronted with something like http://mysite.com/super/fun/devzone/ instead of http://developer.mysite.com.

The URL is part of the interface of your site; it should have good usability characteristics. This seems like it would be basic and easy to fix, but I’m surprised nearly every day about how often people try to re-invent the wheel without looking at what’s out there and what works today. All these rough patches waste the one resource that developers can never make more of, which is time.