The Importance of Securing Your (Domain) Name

At Domainly.co.uk, we believe that a person should secure their name in a domain whenever possible, especially if their sole First Name, or if their First Name/Surname is available for purchase in the domain aftermarket. Given the limited number of names, and the millions of people who may have an interest in owning the name, it is imperative that a person ensure they own a domain name on the Internet that they can build on. This might be a personal website, a professional page with a resume/cv, or a business on one’s name.

There are many great articles discussing why one would want to purchase their domain name. Below we highlight various pieces that help illustrate the importance of owning your name in a domain name.

To begin, as Robert Mening (2017) notes, one’s domain name is “your “First Impression:” Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression, while a bad domain name can send visitors running.” What better way to make a memorable, positive first impression then saying you are [first name] from firstname.co.uk? That is surely something I would remember.

Marketing Expert Troy Hollenbeck also highlights just how great owning your own personal name in a domain name is by saying:

No matter what the other benefits, having your own domain name is awesome. Assume your name is Mary Jones. When you purchase the domain name “MaryJones.com”, everybody in the world is going to know how to find you online. It gives you a distinction, almost a kind of power, expert status thing.

Another essential point to remember is the actual scarcity of personal names available in the domain name market. Here is a commercial of John Malkovich at SquareSpace, and the importance of getting your personal domain name (before someone else of the same name beats you to it).

Here is the follow-up commercial to this one, in which John Malkovich calls John Malkovich to enquire about the domain name, JohnMalkovich.com

Now, if he was able to secure JohnMalkovich.com, or [FirstName].com, this would not be a problem. But again, the moment someone else registers the name, and they use it, the odds of you getting the name are quite slim.

Here is an article from Harry Guinness at LifeHacker entitled: “Why its Worth it to Purchase Your Own Domain Name.” In the piece, Guinness talks about the value of owning FirstnameSurname. He argues that once the name is gone, no other person with the same name can own it: “they’re going to have to settle for some alternative…”. He went on to add that, “Whoever wants HarryGuinness.com is going to have to pry it from my cold dead, keyboard gripping, hands.”

And, as Tim Brookes (2013) similarly notes, “Not only are domain names under current top-level domains running out, but it’s often near-impossible to reclaim a domain once it has been taken. This means you should act fast and grab your domain now.”

This is an important point. For most people who own their first name or surname, no amount of money will get them to depart with it. So, the moment a name like Mary Jones is registered, “no other Mary Jones on Earth is going to own that domain name. It’s like being the sole and rightful owner of the online version of your name” (Hollenbeck, 2015). 

This might leave you having to find your name in some new, alternate extension, which would greatly decrease the likelihood of someone remembering your site, while leaving you still missing the “authority” that a .co.uk or .com command.

Among the tips Robert Menning (2017) explains when offering advice in his article How to Choose a Domain Name (10 Tips and Recommendations), he also advocates owning your own name as a domain name. He writes:

If you’re starting a blog or your personal website, it may be best to use your own name!

This helps you become more recognizable. What’s more, simply owning the domain of your name can be a good strategy.

If your blog/website/speaking career makes it big, you may just become a household name – and that domain, “YourName.com” just may become a hot commodity. You’ll be glad you have it!

Again, what people in the United Kingdom have going for them is that the .co.uk is highly popular extension, at only a fraction of the cost of the .com.

More “Common” Names

Securing your first name in .co.uk, or you FirstName/Surname in the .co.uk or .com quickly is all the more important when your full name is more common. The reason? There are many other people who would be potential end-users for that specific domain name. Elizabeth Garone has written an article for the BBC entitled “Standing out when your name is John Smith.” In the article, Garone discusses the difficulty of being able to distinguish yourself form others with a similar name, and the implications that this can have when you are looking for a job, writing: “If a recruiter has to work too hard to figure out which John Smith is you, he or she might just move on to the next qualified candidate.”

She therefore argues that it is imperative to rank well on Google, and to have your presence in various outlets. 

Thousands of people might be named Kathy Smith in the United Kingdom, but there is only one KathySmith.co.uk. Once that name is gone, then, unless someone is willing to pay very high prices for Kathy.co.uk, Kathy.com, or KathySmith.com (if they are even available for purchase), then every other Kathy Smith will have to settle for a secondary domain name. And no, including a middle initial in the name, or adding an additional word after the name (such as artist or banker) is not anywhere near as good as owning the First Name/Surname combination outright. 

Standing Out in Competitive Job Market

Today, more than ever, job candidates need a well though out online marketing strategy to get noticed. Now, many do this in the form of professional social media sites. However, it is much more important to ensure that you have a personal website to help illustrate your skills and work experience. As “Ted Clohosey, branding expert and co-founder of United Kingdom and Ireland-based Your Brand Academy” notes, ““It provides (a) shop front window to display their skills and personality.” Clohosey goes on to say that ““There is such intense competition in the jobs market, and you have to create a branded website to assist you in standing out (Garone, 2013).

Thus, while it is of course a good idea to have profiles in many social media sites, we believe that nothing tops owning your exact name as a domain. Unlike a Linkedin account, which will show dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people (in your own country, let alone the world, with the same name), only one person in the United Kingdom can possibly have the [first name] or the [first name/surname] .co.uk domain name.

This is a highly valued-rarity, and will surely separate you from all of  others. A freelancer? You will stand out by owning your own name in a .co.uk or .com. Applying for a job? Having them view your resume at [YourName.co.uk] and you are going to be in the front of the mind of executives and other employers. 

Your goal should be to be remembered, not average.  Owning your personal domain name is one way on this path.

Controlling Your Own Online Presence

Controlling your online presence with your own domain name, instead of a sub domain name is essential in a continued digital age. As more and more people are going online (with Internet penetration), we may continue to shift our expectations towards individual websites. Thus, why not secure a premium domain name, instead of settling for a horrible remaining domain (Guinness, 2012) because you were not proactive and did not have the foresight to act on the digital revolution? It’s one thing not to know. It’s another to know and do nothing about it.

Furthermore, even if you have a Facebook account, LinkedIn, or Twitter, worst case (if you don’t “need” your first name or FirstName/Surname) domain is that you can merely point it towards your current social media account (Guinness, 2012). Its very easy to do, and shows a person you understand the value and importance of a premium brand and domain name. Plus, one never knows when a social media platform begins tightening restrictions on posting, or if they fall out of popularity with the general public. Your own domain name and site are yours; you do not have to rely on a social media site.

As Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire explains in his article “Why Everyone Needs a Person Domain Name,”

“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.”

Another mistake people make regarding their online presence is that they are only known by the current company they work for. As Professor Niklas Myhr explains to his students, “I caution my students about the risks of only being associated with their current employer given that people in their twenties change jobs every 18 months or so. That is, if their current employment were to be terminated, they would need to rebuild their online presence basically from scratch. I would rather see them maintain some personal online platforms that are not directly associated with their current employer.”

So, it is not only about protecting your own person brand, but also ensuring that you have freedom and complete control of your own content.

Personalized Email

Another great benefit of owning your first name, last name, or firstnamelast name in .co.uk or .com is the personalized email that you get with the name. Some believe that this is the gold standard of email addresses. While we agree that this is among the top two best options, we also highly value having an email with your first name, at your first name.

For example, say you own Firstname.co.uk. This allows you, and only you to own First Name@FirstName.co.uk. For example, one of the domains we own for example is Johnny.co.uk. So, whoever also purchases Johnny.co.uk would get the ability to have the email address: Johnny [@] Johnny.co.uk. This is not only professional, but it also makes a very clear statement; your brand and/or company are not settling for second-best, and you also have the digital skills and the wherewithal to back this up. This exudes confidence and creativity (we discuss the importance of this, especially for those in the marketing field below in the next section).

So, get rid of your non-professional email (Guinness) and switch to something more meaningful, and that sends a much better message to your employer/future employer/customer. As Brookes (2013) notes:

“If you’re on the job hunt, are a contractor or freelancer or simply want to diffrentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, class or field then a “smart” email address might just help your cause. It’s not going to get you a job, but it might just make your application that little bit more memorable. It will also make the address itself a little more memorable, and that’s never a bad thing.”

Don’t think that employers don’t care. There is indeed a preference for people who have a personal domain page. For example, “Roughly 80% of people would like to have their own website, but only 7% actually have one, according to a 2012 Workfolio-commissioned study of 3000 people in the US. Some 56% of 250 hiring managers said that they were more impressed with a personal website than with any other branding tool, according to another Workfolio-commissioned study” (BBC, 2013). I would not be surprised if this number only grew, as an personal and professional online presence becomes more and more important.

Showing You Understand Branding and Marketing

Another important reason for owning your personal name in the .co.uk (or .com) extension is that is shows your knowledge about the importance of not only Internet real estate, but also . This is crucial for those in business and marketing, who are looking for jobs in this field. As Niklas Myhr writes in his article “Personal Branding Domain Strategies If You Have a Common Name,” say a company looks you up in a search engine like Google. If a company sees that “that you are not even competitive in your own name brand space could start wondering how you would be capable of helping them buildtheir brand?”

Why do we bring this up if most people are not going into marketing as marketing managers for brands, digital content manager, social media manager, advertising, branding, or search engine optimization? Because we have found that there are so many people who are working exactly in these fields, for well-known companies, and yet, they don’t even own their own .co.uk name, even when it is available for hand registration, or in the aftermarket for a very reasonable price.  What sort of message does this indeed send to a company? It seems difficult to believe that a person really does understand marketing if they don’t value domain names in today’s age. You looking to hire someone who can get your brand awareness up, yet they don’t have the wherewithal to purchase their own personal .co.uk domain name? This is not someone who you will want to hire, when there is someone else who understands the value of a great domain name. 

What is the Price of a Rare Name Domain Worth?

One of the questions that we often get is regarding the price of such a rare domain. While the .coms of short, more common first names can run in the tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars (if the name is even for sale), what is great about the .co.uk market, and strong cctlds (such as .co.uk) is that someone living and working in the United Kingdom who wants a short, one word-domain name can buy their personal domain name usually at 1/6th-1/10th of the price of owning the .com.

Guinness describes a challenge with securing the .com of your name that is also very applicable to the .co.uk domain names. He writes:

“the odds are that someone shares your name somewhere in the world. No matter how uncommon it seems where you live, the chance of someone having it in a different country or on a different continent are staggeringly high. If you’re curious, just plug your own name into a Facebook search and see how many others show up. That will search about one-eighth of the population of the world so it should give you some idea.”

While people in the UK might think they are better off scoring their first name.co.uk or a their FirstName/Surname.co.uk since the UK has a much smaller (relative) population, the number of people still interested in .co.uk domains can be over 80 million people (along with others who might have an interest in having a .co.uk presence for their brand or company). The UK is a serious market for domains and businesses. Thus, I recommend people do the same thing Guinness mentions: Go to Facebook, or Linkedin, and type your first name and select the “United Kingdom” as your location and see just how many other people have the identical name as you. You may be surprised to see hundreds, or thousands of people on LinkedIn alone with the same exact first name, or FirstName/Surname as you.

Here is an article from NameBio (What is a First Name Worth) where they look to answer the question of “What is a First Name Worth?”. Here are just some examples of first names sold in the .com, and the prices in which they sold for:

  • Jasmin.com          310,250 USD
  • Alice.com              250,000 USD
  • Amber.com           180,000 USD
  • Lela.com                100,001 USD
  • Dora.com               100,000 USD
  • Jake.com                100,000 USD
  • Kathy.com              65,000 USD
  • Violet.com              65,000 USD
  • Britt.com                64,980 USD
  • Pat.com                  63,000 USD
  • Katie.com               62,120 USD
  • Jane.com                60,000 USD
  • Diego.com             58,830 USD
  • Murphy.com         50,000 USD

Here are just some First Name, Surname, and First Name/Surname sales prices of .co.uk domain names.

  • Macleod.co.uk         3160 USD
  • Georgina.co.uk        1130 GBP
  • KevinGreen.co.uk   850 GBP
  • Fran.co.uk                433 GBP
  • Zach.co.uk                250  GBP
  • Mcqueen.co.uk        238  GBP
  • Tasman.co.uk          170 GBP

Yet, despite the availability of purchasing these types of names, time and time again I meet people who have little to no interest in owning their first name, or their first name and surname when it is available, even when it is in the two or three figures (we currently have a special where many of our names are reduced to only 99 pounds). They seem content only having a profile on Linkedin or Facebook. Then, of course people eventually end up second-guessing themselves, wishing they had purchased the name. But in many instances, it may be too late, as someone else could already own it, and have built a company around the name.

Another great aspect of owning a first name, or even a FirstName/Surname domain name is not only that it can be your own name, but that a corporation or company may want to brand around the name. Names are easy to remember; they are in the front of mind for customers. Branding yourself as a first name, or First Name/Surname and then owning the .co.uk or .com will make you stand out from everyone else, and will allow your buyers to remember who you are, and what it is that you do.

The Opportunity to Own Your Name

What we at Domainly.co.uk are offering is the opportunity for you to own your first name as a domain name in the .co.uk extension, surname, or FirstName/Surname in the .co.uk. The moment someone else buys their name, that is usually it for that name coming back on the market. We cannot stress this enough. First name domain names and First Name/Surnames are not domains that get traded frequently. People want to own their name in the .co.uk, and when they buy them, most don’t want to think about selling their name. The .co.uk is a highly trusted extension, and is even preferred to the .com in the United Kingdom. Plus, the prices are much cheaper than the similar .com. Now is a great opportunity for securing such prime Internet real estate.

Our site offers the opportunity for someone to purchase their name before it is gone forever.

As Aja Frost states in their post on The Muse, ” If someone had come along before me and purchased “ajafrost.com,” I probably would’ve never gotten the chance to own it. When potential clients, employers, and connections Googled my name, another person’s site would come up—and who knows what type of website it would be.”

This is what many fail to realize: an opportunity to own such rare domains does not usually come more than once, if at all. If you have a name that someone else owns, and its their name, then you may never have the possibility of owning such prime Internet Real Estate.

Interestingly, some are even registering names of their children, or future child, to ensure that they will have the top domain name(s) for their future online platform. Again, if you have more of a common name that you hope to name your child, there are going to be more people who will have the same name. What is great about purchasing a name for your child is that ” you do not necessarily have to do anything with the domain name until your child is ready to take advantage of it. Instead, you can simply own and protect their right to use it when the time is right” (Myhr, 2014).

So, feel free to take a look at our premium first names, surnames, and first name/surname combinations and send us an email to enquire about purchasing your name in the top .co.uk extension.

We can be reached at info [@] domainly.co.uk, or through our contact us page.