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A personal domain name is one way of registering your own small slice of the Internet. For a nominal yearly fee (or one, larger outright sum) you can loan or own a .com or similar for use with a website and email address You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths Have you ever considered having a personal website? You know – a place where people can go to read about who you are, what you do, your goals and aspirations, and of course to contact... Read More , among other online activities.

These days I think it’s important for everyone to at least register (if not use) a domain that is personal to them. Not only are domain names under current top-level domains running out 5 Events That Have Triggered A Domain Name Registration Gold Rush 5 Events That Have Triggered A Domain Name Registration Gold Rush There’s gold in them there domain names. Some are sold for seven digits – Pizza.com, for example, famously sold for $2.6 million back in 2008 – this after the original owner paid only $20 for... Read More , but it’s often near-impossible to reclaim a domain once it has been taken. This means you should act fast and grab your domain now.

Read on to find out just why that is.

Because Someone Else Will

You don’t want someone else getting their hands on your domain name, do you? The fact remains that for as long as your desired domain is available, someone else is able to snatch it. If it’s your FirstnameLastname.com, then stop what you’re doing and register that domain right now – who knows what you might need it for one day.

If you’re lucky enough to have an unusual name consider it a blessing as there will be far less competition for your domain name. In addition to the usual FirstnameLastname.com you might want to check FirstinitialLastname.com as well if you’re serious about personal representation online.

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The Best Email Address

If ever there was a good reason to purchase your surname as a domain it’s so you can have firstname@lastname.com. It really doesn’t get much better than that in the email world, but any “professional” looking email address is better than the scrappy @gmail.com or @hotmail.com accounts everyone else uses.

If you’re on the job hunt, are a contractor or freelancer or simply want to diffrentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, class or field then a “smart” email address might just help your cause. It’s not going to get you a job, but it might just make your application that little bit more memorable. It will also make the address itself a little more memorable, and that’s never a bad thing.

A name-based email is also ridiculously easy to quote on the phone or face to face, particularly if the person already knows your name. “My email? Oh it’s me at my surname dot com.”

Personal Branding

Businesses need little introduction to the world of online trade and marketing – most new businesses now have websites before they have offices, but just because you’re not necessarily a business owner doesn’t mean domain names shouldn’t still be important to you. The rise of personal branding through placeholder websites like About.me Five Tips To Create A Cool Looking Personal Landing Page Five Tips To Create A Cool Looking Personal Landing Page Read More has given way to the online business card, which provides a great use for a personalised domain: an at-a-glance snapshot of you How Your Profile Pic Is Damaging Your Online Personal Brand [INFOGRAPHIC] How Your Profile Pic Is Damaging Your Online Personal Brand [INFOGRAPHIC] These days, we are identified and judged more and more by how we appear to others on social networking sites. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow us to brand ourselves in any image we choose... Read More as a professional.

Even if you’re not thinking of doing anything with the domain now, in a couple of years it could form something as important as an online resume, and you’ll thank yourself when you remember you have a personalised domain name ready to use when the need arises.

Don’t forget that if an employer (or potential employer, past educator, law enforcement official – and so on) happens to Google you, having FirstnameLastname.com is almost definitely going to work in your favour when it comes to the SEO value. If you want to be found by search engines, this is the easiest trick in the book. You can effectively control a search result, and in this day and age that’s like playing God.

Because You Can Use It Everywhere

We used to have to buy web hosting in order to use proper domain names, but now many of the world’s busiest platforms of expression are able to make use of them. Blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr are all compatible with custom domains, which means you can retain the convenience of an active community and a free, hosted blog while having the outward-facing professionalism a proper domain name affords you.

Better still you can use one domain name in a huge number of places through the use of subdomains. Your registrar should be able to help you set up subdomains like blog.FirstnameLastname.com for your Tumblr, photos.FirstnameLastname.com for your Flickr and even redirects for Facebook or Twitter. You could even set up simple redirects for all your online personas, like yourname.com/facebook so that new acquaintances can quickly find you.

Because It’s Cheap

Domains are priced competitively, and if your registrar is charging more than the going rate then you need to use a different company. Many hosts offer a year of free registration when signing up for a hosting package, while a year’s worth of .com ownership should set you back around $10. It’s possible you might be able to buy your domain name outright, a more cost-effective option for longterm users or businesses.

The other bonus that cheap domain names offer is the opportunity to register more than one. Don’t just settle for FirstnameLastname.com, get creative and experiment with top-level domains (TLDs) to create names and words. An example would be FirstnameLastna.me using .me or FamilyNam.es using .es. Consider removing vowels (all the rage these days), shortening to initials and using numbers if you’re strapped for choice.

Have you got a personal domain? Why not? Didn’t you read this article? Add your comments below this post.

Image Credits: Many colorful domain signboards (Shutterstock), Denial (cesarastudillo)Briefcase Silhouette (Vanessa Arn)$10 Note (Chrissy Wainwright)

  1. sulos
    July 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    yes now i ve acknowledge myself to create my own domain name..for my own career prospect.......MR.BROOKES...thanks a lot..your postings has really emboldened me to propel.............................hail yoooooooooooooooooo

  2. Austin F
    July 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    owning a domain is relatively cheap, but unlike this article i wouldn't sweat it if your name [dot] com is taken. theres about to be like, a few hundred new TLDs.

  3. Grace H
    July 6, 2013 at 4:58 am

    personal domain name is very important for any business.

  4. Grace H
    July 3, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Domain name is very important for any business because domain name reflect your business. So choose the domain name in the proper way so that it contain some text related to your business.

  5. Kev Quirk
    June 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I have soooo many domain, but having "quirk" as my surname really helped. So I have kevquirk.com and kevquirk.co.uk I also recently got into the short URL game and bought kevq.me.

    I've always thought that name@name.com sounds so stupid, so usually have somethinge like mail, hi or hello as the email prefix.

  6. Josh VanMeter
    June 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Good idea, especially if your name is common.

  7. macwitty
    June 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Mine was gone before private people could register a domain - a company has bought it under nearly all Top-level domain

  8. Joel Benson
    June 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    One reason you missed is that domain names are commonly used to define unique namespaces for things like XML and Java programming. Having registered pagebenson.com, I can now create Java com.pagebenson.whatever and XML http://pagebenson.com/XML/whatever namespaces with reasonable assurance that they will be unique for as long as I own that domain.

  9. Yiannis
    June 21, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I think the best example of why you should register a domain name comes from the recent developments in Greece. The Greek government closed down the state television (ERT - equivalent to the British BBC) and tried to open it again under a new name (NERIT). When they announced their plans someone found out that the domain name was not yet "taken" and so s/he registered the domain name in order to sell it afterwards. That was a fail of big proportions and lack of professionalism/planning ahead from the Greek officials, and a smart move the individual. Nice article.

  10. Taha Baba
    June 21, 2013 at 6:17 am

    The tip of best email is cool, but the problem that there is no way to get "lastname.com" at least of me, im not able to buy "baba.com" so I've bought "tahababa.com"

    Now what is the best choice to take for making a good email ?
    What should I create info@, mail@, me@ or what ?

  11. Chiranthaka Jayakody
    June 21, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Well I thought of that a long time ago !

  12. Junil Maharjan
    June 21, 2013 at 5:22 am

    we get one personal domain for free with the country cctld. i've got mine and have a small blog. nothing much but at least i can use it for anything i want.

  13. yellowchilli
    June 21, 2013 at 1:39 am

    any advice for reclaiming parked domains from places like godaddy without having to pay a hefty fee??

    • Tim Brookes
      June 21, 2013 at 2:44 am

      No, I can't really help you there. I think they have a lot of power in that situation, however you might want to tap the community's knowledge by submitting your question to MakeUseOf Answers: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/ask

      • yellowchilli
        June 21, 2013 at 3:01 am

        thanks, i will.

  14. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    June 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    No. I really want to, but as for now I doubt my parents will be happy to know that I spend so much money on something I will use much later, exactly when I need money for more urgent needs. Domain name is cheap, yes, but not everywhere.

    • dragonmouth
      June 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Think of it as an investment in your future. /grin/

    • Taha Baba
      June 21, 2013 at 6:24 am

      it's just 10$, get your own domain before someone else do, than look for a host later

    • Guy McDowell
      June 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      $10 a year. That's less than a combo meal at McDonald's - at least in Canada. Don't worry about hosting or anything like that. You can get that anytime in the future.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        June 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm

        Yeah, you're right. I can worry about hosting and whatnot once I've secured the domain name. FYI, using the same comparison, it's roughly 5 McDonald's combo meals here.

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