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About the big name 2014 change from to

Paul Ingrahamupdated

I never really liked the domain name “” It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I’d outgrown it only a few years into the project. Practically from the moment I started selling some of my best content, I started to get uneasy about the connotations of “save”: it smacks of a healing promise I can’t keep.

Plus it sounds like Jesus might be involved somehow. Jesus saves! Nothing against Jesus — well, nothing relevant here anyway — but He is just not what this website is about at all. is about pain and science … now just like it says on the tin.

Effect on customers

Almost none. For many years I have delivered books to e-book customers with a special link that gets them past the pay wall. The many old links to are still out there in people’s email archives and bookmarks and will be forever — and they will continue to work.

Customers might want to bookmark the new, official locations of the books they’ve purchased, but they don’t actually need to. The server will keep redirecting traffic for as long as the business exists.

Gravitas, baby: is more dignified is a much weightier domain name than was. In fact, it seems so important-ish that I even questioned whether it was ethical to claim it. Shouldn’t it belong to an institute or something? Or at least an actual pain scientist?

Naw. Finders keepers, losers weepers!1 It captures the soul of my content: this place is about the science of pain.

But I do have a great sense of responsibility to live up to the seriousness of the new name.

Oh, Canada!

Another reason I moved: sadly, the Canadian dot-ca was holding me back. Google assumes that domains tied to a nation are most relevant to that nation. More to the point, Google assumed was less relevant to everyone else — which means it was harder for my content to rank outside of Canada.

My Canadian-ness has been an important part of my business, and I always liked wearing it on my sleeve with the dot ca. But not at the expense of being able to reach readers outside of Canada.

The timeline

Moving sucks: it took roughly two full weeks of hard work to pull it off. It’s a big, complex website with a bunch of custom tech. I manually reviewed and changed more than 5000 references to variants of


  1. Lots of people have expressed their surprise that I was able to secure the domain name It was a classic bargain, like finding a priceless antique at a garage sale with a masking-tape price tag of $20. The seller simply didn’t know what they had. Based on comparisons with similar domain names, I conservatively estimate that should have gone for at least $6000, if not much more. But I got it for — drum roll, please — just $600. Better still, the domain was unspoiled: that is, it never had crappy content on it that got penalized by Google, which can make a domain useless. And one more better: I was also able to secure the corresponding Twitter handle, @painsci (also @painscience, but shorter is better). In a way, that was even more shocking.