Why bother with a domain name?

Why buy a domain name of your own vs using a subdomain of a hosting provider?

It may be tempting to use a free subdomain from a hosting provider such as wordpress.com or strikingly, but there are many reasons to purchase a proper domain name of your own.

a) A well thought out domain name is easy to remember, you can tell people and they shouldn’t forget and is generally a lot easier to say mybusiness.com rather than mybusiness.wordpress.com

b) Stability – a free subdomain style domain name or blog can be closed by the provider at any time, of course you would likely need to break their terms and conditions for them to close your account, but if they did, then not only have you lost all of your content, you’ve also lost the subdomain you were using, and there’s no way to get it back – you’ll have lost all of the traffic to your website too, and you’ll need to start from scratch. With a domain name, you are free to host your website with any webhost, and if that webhost closed your account, you could just point your domain name at a new webhost.

c) Choice of webhost – if you decide to purchase a domain name you will be able to choose what webhost you wish to use and also what platform you wish to use for your website, whether it be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or another CMS, or just a good old HTML website. If you use a subdomain of another host such as tumblr, you’ll be tied to using them to host the website, and you’ll have to use their own blogging platform, there is no way to move your subdomain away from them now, or in the future.

d) Search engine optimisation – whilst doing SEO on subdomains of the large web 2.0 property providers is possible and can be done effectively, you are effectively puting time, money and effort into something which you do not own, and can not choose to move elsewhere if you want to. Should you decide to switch to a domain name of your own in the future, any SEO work done on a subdomain style website would be lost, and you would need to start over.

e) A domain name of your own promotes your brand, often you can purchase a domain name which relates to you or your brand or product, having a domain name allows you to easily advertise your business, and you can also use your domain for promotional material such as flyers or TV adverts, as well as having a [email protected] style email address, which, for a business looks much better than using a [email protected] type email account.

f) If you don’t snap up a domain name relating to your company or product, someone else will – there are many people out there who register domain names for the sole purpose of selling them to people like you, people who the domain names would be of interest to – of course, they do so at a greatly inflated fee – they will often try to sell you a domain name which cost them $10 for 100s or even thousands! Get in there before these people do and buy it cheap.

g) Domain names aren’t costly, they only cost the equivalent of around 1$ per month which, to secure your business or product domain name is next to nothing. Remember that once you have a domain name registered, keep it on auto renew, because if you for get to renew it at the end of your registration period, there are companies and people out there who’s main business is to register expired domain names, either to sell them on to another person, or to build a website on them – if this happens to you, your domain is lost forever, unless you offer to buy it back for a large price!

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