There are many benefits to owning your own domain name (www.yourdomain.com). Here are a few.

1.) Domains are Forever As long as you pay your $8/year, it’s yours. You don’t have to worry about your ISP going out of business or you moving out of range of your service provider, you domain can go where you go. Your email ([email protected]) and your domain (www.yourdomain.com) are yours to keep. This can also be a huge cost savings especially for a business if you printed your old email address on 4,000 business cards and you need to switch–and print new cards, and stationery, and that great embosser.

2.) Your Domain, Your Calling Card, Your Business Card [email protected]? [email protected]? Come on. Especially if you run a business, a domain name says something about who you are and how you run things. When the law firm uses [email protected], are you really going to take them seriously? If you use your domain for both business and pleasure, you can use both [email protected] and [email protected] You’ll get them both. Or better yet, get two domains, one for personal use and one for business use.

3.) Spam Prevention When you have your own domain, you have access to all email addresses that use the domain, i.e. you’ll get [email protected] and [email protected]–and all that’s in between. How can this help prevent spam? When you sign up for your account and Amazon.com, use the email address [email protected] as your login name. Any mail you get to your inbox that’s for [email protected] should be from Amazon. But when you start getting spam to that address, you know either (1) Amazon sold your email address, (2) Amazon lost your email address or someone stole it, or (3) it just got onto some other list that Amazon made available–willingly or not. So now what? First go to your Amazon account and change your login to [email protected] Then make a (spam) filter in your email program that deletes all mail coming to [email protected] Finally, you may send Amazon an email letting them know that your email address (that you gave ONLY to them) was stolen/borrowed/etc. and you’re not too thrilled about it.

4.) Record Keeping Along the same lines as spam prevention, you can also more easily keep track of your emails by knowing which email address they’re going to. If you have a newsletter you send out and people respond to that email address ([email protected]), you can file those easily in a folder for the newsletter.

5.) Your Website, Your Home, Your Business So far, it’s only been about email. Having a domain means you also have a website. Personal When you own a domain name, you “own your home,” you’re not renting. You can do what you want with it. Paint it purple, tear it down, start over, open a shop, etc. If it’s a personal domain, you can have photos of your holidays and a job resume (maybe in separate sections … ). You can have subdomains (holidays.yourdomain.com) that act as separate sections of your website. If your domain is your last name, you can also share the site and email acocunts with family if they also have the same name: [email protected] and [email protected] If it’s a nightmare cousin, you can charge them a monthly fee … Business If it’s your business domain, you also have the freedom to do what you want with it. Of course, for your business, you certainly wouldn’t some backslash-ridden URL (www.cheapie_domain_hosting.com/loserusers/r-z/t/~trekkiefan … ). If your business name is hard to spell, you can just buy another domain and use them both: www.schlystock-consulting.com and www.wepayyourbills.com and have one redirect to the other. If it’s snappy and/or easy to remember, even better.

6.) Investment & Birthday Gift Ideas If you’re thinking about maybe getting your own domain, but want to wait four years and discuss it with your attorneys, just buy it today. At $8 per year, as a New York photographer client of mine says, “Hey, it’s cheaper than a Manhattan cocktail and lasts an entire year–my cocktail doesn’t last me ten minutes.” Maybe more important, if someone else buys it, you’re pretty much outta luck. You’d need a pretty convincing reason to explain to the judge as to why you needed that domain name–just think of the attorney fees. $8. Also, if www.yourdomain.com isn’t available, there are some new types of domain names around now: .name (personal use), .biz (business use), etc. Want to give your three-year old a birthday present he’ll love you for by time he’s, well, four? Buy www.hisname.com.