Everyone should own their domain name, preferably in .com, from an early stage in life. Older adults like me experienced the birth of the commercial internet and the increased role that domain names play in e-commerce, communications, social media, and business, when they were in their 20s.
Domain names are a reflection of your personal identity. A digital, online pointer or contact card that you can utilize in so many different ways. It can be as complex or as simple as you want, with elaborate web sites, blogs, public or private for your personal use, your business, or a combination of both.
Personal names in .com are typically a first and last name, or a first, middle, and last name combination.
They can be short or lengthy, depending on your background: Vietnamese names such "Ngo" versus the Greek "Makrymanolakis" are examples of the last name part; add the first name at the beginning and you end up with a domain that can vary from 10 to 30-plus letters.
But unlike generic domains, the length of a personal domain doesn't really matter, what matters is that it's your full name as a domain, a unique, digital identifier of your legal name. It's how you can preserve it and promote it online.
Being born right now means one thing: for a given name, it's harder to secure the matching .com. If your last name is common, to the tune of "Smith" or "Jones," then most combinations of first name + last name are probably already registered in .com; this goes for both male and female names.
So what is the solution if the matching .com domain is taken?
It sounds silly or backwards, but it really is a byproduct of our times: name your child with a first name that would make the full name available as a .com.
It's not a groundbreaking or revolutionary choice—just a strategic move that will make things easier for your kid in the future. It's much better than growing up without the matching .com domain.
Feeling more adventurous and have some extra cash to budget?
Get some additional combinations, such as a domain that includes the middle name or middle initial. Make sure you register them for the maximum time allowed, 10 years. Even if your teenagers decide to tweak their given name, it's still an easier decision to make and forget. Not to mention that domains are slated for an annual increase in price from 2021, so prepaying makes sense.
By registering your kids' domain names you'll be able to get them involved with all things internet related from a young age. It also means that you'd have to secure web hosting, free or at a cost, and use some basic tools to build their web sites. But think about it: by the time they turn 18 they'd have almost two decades of online presence, something that us older adults didn't get until much later in life.
Domain names, unlike social media handles, are—almost—like real estate property, that stays with you and it's part of your online identity that you control. As long as you renew them, that is. The hardest part is to register the domain that matches your kids' name in the first place.
This is a realistic plan, involving both first and last names. But hey, why stop there—you can do better, by securing the first name as a .com. Obviously, the price to acquire such a domain would be astronomical for common names, and more reasonable for less common or rare spellings. Then again, plenty of babies' first names are "creative" spellings and odds are that you can come up with one that is available!