Domain names are critical to the freedom of the web.
That idea comes from Matt Mullenweg, WordPress creator and Automattic CEO. Speaking at last week’s NamesCon conference in Las Vegas, he said it’s imperative that “every man, woman and child” have their own domain name.
Below we’ll examine the reasons why you might want to own your own domain.
Who Owns Your Content?
Many people rely on third-party platforms for their web presence. Rather than register a domain and set up a website of their own, many businesses use a Facebook page or another social media platform.
But you don’t really own your presence on Facebook or these other platforms. Your content could be used by the third-party platform for marketing purposes, and you must adhere to the platform’s often limiting terms of service. And the platform, not you, controls all opportunities for e-commerce, advertising, and other means to make additional income.
And when you’re on another platform, that company decides who can see your content. In particular, when you set up pages on Facebook, you only reach a fraction of your audience with each post unless you pay money for advertising.
When you own your own domain, you own your content, meaning you have considerably more freedom on the web.
Democratizing the Web
Domain names are a great equalizer on the internet. While some businesses may have fancy offices in high-dollar neighborhoods, when they’re on the web their ‘address’ is no more important than any other. There’s no benefit to locating a business “next door” to someone else.
Furthermore, when someone types in your web address there’s no filter or gatekeeper between that user and what you want to present to them. You don’t have to rely on Facebook’s black box to determine what’s important for your audience, and you don’t have to rely on Google’s search algorithms to lead customers or fans to the content they want.
A New Domain for Blogs
At NamesCon, Mullenweg noted that Automattic introduced the .blog top level domain name last year in part to encourage people to register their own domains. That means that now in addition to domains like yourname.com, you can now register yourname.blog.
Over 45,000 .blog domain names have been registered so far and over half of them have been put to use for new websites. For example, Mullenweg noted that self-help author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss recently changed his domain name to Tim.blog.
Register Your Own Domain
Contribute to the ongoing democratization of the web. Register a domain name for yourself and your children on Namecheap. We have domains starting at just 88 cents.
Andrew Allemann is editor of Domain Name Wire, the longest-running blog covering the business of domain names. Domain Name Wire has covered the business of domain name investing for over ten years.