A Personal Domain Name is a pretty unique present to purchase someone, I certainly wouldn’t say it’s your average Birthday / Christmas present anyway. That’s exactly what I did last Christmas, I purchased my parents and brother their own Personal Domain Name. I managed to get them all firstnamelastname.eu domain names which I was quite pleased about.
With “Hill” been a word in the dictionary and none of us having particular uncommon names the .com .net and co.uk domains had been taken way back in the mid 90’s. However the eu. domains were all available, what I like about the .eu domain extension is that .eu is shorter than .co.uk, which is great as I prefer my domains to be as short as possible.
I was quite surprised by my family’s reaction to their Personal Domain Name, they seemed really pleased and are all now using their Personal Domain Name for various things. My parents have switched from their ancient pop email account from our ISP to using their own Personal Domain Name powered by Windows Live Domains. This means my parents now have web based access to their email, push email on their mobiles and can use it from both their PC, Laptop and any other internet connected device with a web browser.
Personal Domain Name Benefits?
Having email at your own Personal Domain Name is a great benefit, you have your claim to your email address out right. As long as you renew your domain you can never loose your email address. In addition you also have the freedom to use which ever E-mail service you wish with your Personal Domain Name, this allows you to switch say from Gmail to Outlook at a later date and still keep the same email address. You could even host your own email server if you wanted to get really advanced. Another benefit I can see is that someday my parents might not be with the ISP they have their email address with at the moment, which would mean my parents had a problem as they would likely loose access to their email accounts. However with their own domain they can slowly transition everything over and are not tied to any one company / service provider for email.
I’m personally a fan of Microsoft’s Windows Live Domains, as you get Exchange Active Sync, meaning you can get push email on your phone and the ability to sync your email, contacts and calendar seamlessly between devices.
I currently use Outlook 2013 on my PC, the stock Android email app on my phone and the web interface on my Macbook Air. Unfortunately no email clients for OSX support Exchange Active Sync yet. That will probably soon change as the next version of the Outlook desktop email client will likely support this on OSX. Overall that’s not really a big deal to me as my PC is my main computer which i usually use when at home and when out on the go my phone is fine for email.
Anyway were getting off topic here, another benefit of your Personal Domain Name is you can host a website, blog, photo gallery and anything else you can think of on it. That web presence is yours so you can do what you want it with, if you wish to put adverts on it you can. However most importantly you are building up your own page rank which will be associated with your domain name, meaning it will eventually appear higher on search engine rankings. This is important as say you built up a blog on Blogger, then switched to another blogging platform it would be essentially like starting again. Where as with your Personal Domain Name you can freely move from WordPress to another blogging platform without loosing all your page rank (presuming you redirect existing page URL’s if they happen to change).
My brother has been taking advantage of his Personal Domain Name by hosting his own blog, I set his domain up on my server with PHP + MySQL and installed WordPress for him. He’s happily been blogging away each week and is getting a fair few hits now. That’s probably something he would have never done if he didn’t get a domain for Christmas, however he’s quite enjoying it now.
In conclusion I personally think having your own Personal Domain Name is a great investment in your own digital identity. It allows you to be in control of your on-line presence and gives you the freedom to use different services for email, web hosting and the content management system you use. When you give someone your email saying [email protected] that both a lot more professional and is likely to be remembered a lot better than [email protected].
If you want to start blogging, building up traffic to your own domain is a lot more better than building it up on blogger.com or wordpress.com, then deciding you don’t want to use them any more and start blogging again on some other service. Start on your own domain and be in total control from day one.
It had never really occurred to me to purchase someone else a Personal Domain Name for a Birthday / Christmas present, however if you want something unique to purchase someone I highly recommend a domain name. A Personal Domain Name is a great investment in your digital identity and doesn’t tie you to one service which you might decide you don’t like in a couple of years time.