In the past year, I have been using Github’s subdomain
github.io for my personal website, and I finally decided to buy my custom domain – a domain that is registered by me. And I’m very lucky that my first+last name combination is still available.
If you are also thinking about buying a domain, I listed few things below that you might want to know.
Some places provide free domains, but I don’t recommend them. Remember — free always comes with a price.
Usually, a domain name costs around $10 - $20 CAD. Domains with high commercial value could be priced at $50+ or even more. But for personal use, it usually won’t get into that.
Note that some registrars might offer a very cheap price in the first year and charge at a much higher price when renewal. So do read the renewal policy before the purchase.
Even within the same registrar, certain domains will be noticeably cheaper. I’ll talk more in Choose A Domain
There are plenty of domain registrars available on the Internet. Here are the ones I found most popular in the web hosting community:
GoDaddy is not on the list because there’re many controversies around them and their renewal price is ridiculously high.
I chose Namecheap because:
- It’s cheap. They didn’t lie
- It’s popular, which makes it easy to find solutions if anything goes wrong
Without a doubt, the firstname+lastname.com combo beats everything else. If you happen to have a rare name and it’s available, go for it. If it has been taken, use your creativity and utilize Google to look for advice.
It doesn’t have to be
.com, although it’s the safest choice. The extension is called Top Level Domain(TLD), and you will see lots of different TLDs when searching a domain name, such as
Like I mentioned above, some TLDs domains might be incredibly cheap, e.g.
.coffee, but they also have some cons.
- It might not be obvious that it’s a website. For example,
.icuis an interesting domain that stands for “I see you”, but many people might find it confusing as it also presents Intensive Care Unit in everyday life.
- Many Email servers block “invalid” TLDs. Maybe you have noticed Emails end with
.xyzoften sit in your spam box because the TLD is not on the server’s whitelist. If you are considering setting up email services for subscribers, your newsletter might end up in the same box.
After buying the domain, the next step is to setup the custom domain on web hosting provider. I wrote another article about how to setup a Namecheap domain on Netlify.