Tech Tip: Owning your own Domain Name

Tech Tip: Your own domain name gives you a personalized email address & website. It doesn’t cost much and can forward to your existing email

What is a domain name and why should you have one? 

First, a domain name is what you type into your web browser almost every day to find a web page.  Most people don’t realize this, but everywhere you need to go on the internet is actually based on a numerical address, similar to a phone number, known as an IP address.  Most people know an address like 192.168.1.1 (which is reserved for local home networks), but every webpage, server and place on the internet has a numeric address.  Since remembering more numbers is hard for some, we have something called Domain Names.  These are the easy to remember names for websites and locations, like Google.com or Facebook.com

A domain name can be purchased by anyone and isn’t that hard to set up.  Even if you don’t have a website to connect it to, or a company to run, a domain name for a person or a family has a lot of benefits.

Do you have a hotmail email address?  How about another provider like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or perhaps you have your email through an internet provider.  While a web based email address can live on for a long time, and wherever you go, if you get tired of the interface, or if another provider comes out, its hard to tell everyone your new email address and switch everyone over.  Likewise, and even worse, if you have an email address with your internet provider, what happens if you decide to cancel their service and move to someone else?  You would have to give up your email address and then tell everyone your new address.

If you have your own domain name, you can then also have your own personal email address.  If you purchase http://www.yourowndomain.com, then you can also have yourname@yourowndomain.com.  As long as you keep your domain active, your email address will work.  You can either use the email solution provided by the domain registrar (The company that will register the domain on your behalf) or you can forward the email address to the email platform of your choice.  For example, my email address uses my own domain name, but all my email forwards to my Gmail account.  I also have it set up so that all mail sent from Gmail goes through my domain name, so the outbound emails always come from my allsop.ca domain name instead of the Gmail address.  This allows me to have all the benefits of Gmail while maintaining the single email address everyone knows for me.

Having your own domain streamlines your communications and provides a level of professionalism.  Whether you are a small business owner, or a family looking to keep everyone connected, a domain name is a small cost with a large benefit.

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