Unless you have been living in a bubble for the last 20 years, the Internet is probably a very large part of your life. From establishing an online identity, to having a personally branded email address that's easy to share. Owning your own domain name has a lot of advantages.
What is a domain?
Chances are you already know what a domain name is if you're looking at this article. However, if you don't, a domain name is the address you type in to visit a website. It's also the part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol.
For example, my primary domain name is kevq.uk, but I also own kevquirk.com (and many more). So, now we have that out of the way, here are some of the reasons why I think you should own your own domain name...
Your Online Identity (Website)
Having your own domain name allows you to start creating an online identity. You don't need a fancy pants website full of bells and whistles, a simple splash page with some info about you and contact details is sufficient.
If someone was to Google your name, it would be nice for a website that you own, that is about you, to be the top hit right? Kinda like this.
Or, you could just redirect the domain to a social media account, like Twitter, or Mastodon in my case.
Ok, this may not be a very enticing option for many, as they don't have the time, skills or inclination to create a website. That's cool, you can just park your domain and use it for email only.
Speaking of which...
Custom Email Address
Xx_prince$$_katie_xX@hotmail.com may have been a cool email address when you were 12 and loving MSN Messenger. But now you're an adult, you need something a little more grown up, especially if you're going to use that address on things like your CV.
Owning your own domain name would allow you to have firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can have anything you like, so long as the domain is available. It looks a lot more professional, and it's easy to share with others. Try giving out that Hotmail address over the phone!
There are also security advantages to having a custom email address. If you get hacked, getting in to your emails would be the keys to the kingdom, as a hacker just needs to generate password reset links to all your online accounts in order to get in. Bad times.
However, if you have your own domain and you get compromised, you can simply forward your email address to somewhere else, like a temporary Gmail address. So the hacker cannot generate any password reset links, or get any of your new mail.
You're In Control
Finally, you're in control. What if Hotmail or Gmail cease to exist tomorrow? Or what if they suddenly start to charge for their service? Well, they can if they want to, and then you're stuck with no email.
However, if you have your own domain, you own the address, so even if it's just a forward to a free service like Hotmail or Gmail, you can re-direct and keep using your mail.
Or, you can pay for email hosting and not have to worry about these free services closing their door. Plus, no ads in your webmail site, and increased privacy for you. Win, win, win.
Domains Are Cheap
You buy a domain from a registrar, and you pay for it yearly. A .com is around £12/year ($15) and a .uk domain is around £8/year ($10). So for less than the cost of a couple of coffees per year, you could have your very own domain name.
Even if you just buy it with no real idea of what you want to do with the thing, do it! They're cheap, and have a lot of advantages. Just make sure you enable WhoIs Privacy so you don't get a load of spam emails and calls!
Do you own your own domain name? If so, feel free tell me why you bought it, and what you do with it...