Seven reasons to buy your own domain name
Create a custom email address
Owning a domain means you can switch from a boring Gmail or Outlook email address to a personalised one, such as firstname.lastname@example.org . This looks more professional than a standard webmail address and is easier for people to remember. Also, you can keep your existing email account and use the new one to forward messages to it. We used 123-reg.com which offers perosnal email address for £1.19 per month. ( www.123-reg.co.uk/email-hosting ), including 1GB of storage.Set up a personal landing page
If you don’t want to create an entire website to make use of your domain, you can just have a single page. This can serve as an online business card, containing your contact information, career history and links to your social networking accounts, and will ensure there’s at least one positive search result when someone Googles your name. it also gives you a public online presence that you control, and which you can build on later. 123-reg offers a free one-page site with all its domains, which you can customise using 10 different templates.
Experiment with different domains
If you ideal “co.uk” or “.com” name is unavailable, consider a variation that uses a less common domain suffix. Domainr (domai.nr) covers the “entire global namespace of domains:, so you can try URLs from different countries. For example, although “www.charming.com” is taken, “charmi.ng” (based in Nigeria) is still available to buy. Domainr links directly to domain-registration services so you can buy your dream URL, but you should expect to pay more than you would for a “co.uk” address.
Buy multiple domains for your site
Domains are cheaper than ever, and you can get a “.co.uk” site from 123-reg for just 5 pounds per year (inc VAT), so it might be worth buying more than one to point to the same site. For example, you could buy commonly misspelt variants of your main domain so that visitors are directed there, even if they mistype the URL.
Wait for an exciting new domain
This year sees the reease of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLD) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These will reflect the content ot the site rather than just its geographic lcoation, spanning categories such as business, food and drink, and health. Our favourite proposed gTLDs include “.tube” . “.pizza” and “.cheap” ; see bit.ly/domains324 for the full list. You can get alerted when pre-registration for the new domains opens from Go Daddy’s New Domains site and reserve through 1&1 .
Order a Domain on the move
Several domain name registration companies, including 123-reg and 1&1 Internet, offer free mobile apps that let you search for and buy domains on your phone or tablet So if you think of a brilliant domain name while you’re out and about, you can bag it immediately. you can also save your searches for later if you’re unsure whether to order the domain now.
Use your domain with a blog
Although most web-hosting companies include a domain name and web-design software in their packages, you may find it cheaper and more flexible to buy a domain separately and use it with a free blogging service. WordPress (wordpress.com) , Blogger (blogger.com) and Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) all let you use a personal domain rather than their standard URLs, and offer a wide variety of templates and customization tools. You can even earn money from your name using Google Adsense.