I've seen a lot of top questions from this site recently, and it always confuses me because I didn't know what "ell" was (I thought the English one changed their name at first). The other Stack Exchange sites don't use acronyms, even when it results in a long URL (graphicdesign.stackexchange.com, codereview.stackexchange.com, salesforce.stackexchange.com, etc.).

Since the URL is used to tell people which site a top question is on, I suggest using one like englishlearners.stackexchange.com, so it's immediately obvious what this site is about.

EDIT: I made a suggestion for the whole network to use site names instead of domain names in the hot questions dropdown. If that gets approved, it will fix my original problem. This change may still be useful either way though, since bare URL linking is fairly common.

  • 3
    I am not sure the URL can be changed, at this point.
    – apaderno
    Feb 8, 2013 at 16:35
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    Totally agree with this. ell is easy to remember once you're a member of the site and actively participating, but not for new people we're trying to bring on. If I meet someone I think would benefit from the site and say "Yeah, you should check out ell.stackexchange.com" I think they're much less likely to remember than if the "ell" was in word(s), like the "englishlearners" you suggested. I'm definitely a proponent of this. No reason to ditch the ell--it can redirect. But why not add "englishlearners" as well, for clarity? (That could be the redirect even, I don't much care either way.)
    – WendiKidd
    Feb 8, 2013 at 23:09
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    Making englishlearners (or something similar) the primary URL and leaving ell as a redirect would have the advantage that other SE members will know what the site is about when they see it in top questions. Feb 8, 2013 at 23:38
  • Yes, 'englishlearners' is better than "ELL", especially if someone change in 'englishexperts' the ELU's url.
    – user114
    Feb 9, 2013 at 1:38
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    When constructing a link for somebody who knows our site you can get away with using a "plain" link like http://ell.stackexchange.com/. When constructing a link for people who might be confused by that then you should use a "proper" link like English Language Learners (I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find a better adjective than "proper"...) Feb 10, 2013 at 9:41
  • @WendiKidd: If the "ell" isn't confusing enough, in-joke "stackexchange" should finish them off. (Especially as I think "something.other.com" confuse people more than "another.com".)
    – Hugo
    Feb 13, 2013 at 20:52

2 Answers 2


We are going to look into implementing your suggestion posted on MSO.

Far as the actual URL of ELL goes, though, we won't be making any changes. When someone visits the site, its name is shown right at the top in big letters and that will have a bigger impact on visitors than the raw URL somewhere up in the address bar.

In general, if somebody is linking to this site, I hope they provide a bit more context around the link. That would go a long way towards eliminating any potential issues with the URL.

As hippietrail says in the comments, you can always construct the link using the site's name instead of just the URL. If you're linking to the site from a comment somewhere on Stack Exchange, you can also use the [ELL.SE] shortcut and it will get automatically expanded into a linked site name.


How about:


This site isn't about English Learners (who are people), it's about the act of learning English.

Also "learningenglish" is more active and doesn't use the uncommon noun "learners".

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