Why You Should Own Your Own Domain - The Joys of Email
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If youíve surfed the web for at least a year or two (or maybe even less), you know that itís constantly in flux. A business that is online today may be bankrupt tomorrow and close its web site the following week. Even large companies can fall victim to this, and that includes companies that give you access to the Internet itself.
Let me put aside web hosting companies for the moment; Iím not talking about them, Iím talking about the companies that handle your Internet connection from your home and/or business -- the Comcasts and EarthLinks and other Internet service providers of the world. Usually, when you have an Internet connection, you also have an email account with the company providing the connection, like email@example.com. Thatís fine Ė but what happens if and when you change ISPs? Whether itís because the ISP goes out of business, or you move into an area to which the company doesnít provide service, or if youíre simply unhappy with them, your email address changes, and you have to tell all of your contacts (or risk losing messages).
The same thing can happen if you have a free web-based email account with Google or Yahoo or Microsoft or even Lycos. To give a personal example, I started using a Lycos email account several years ago because at the time they offered the largest mailbox: 5 MB. When Google came out with its Gmail, I wanted to switch, but by then Iíd been with Lycos so long that it would have been a pain. Lycos has since expanded its mailbox, but it took months to do so, and Iíve had some issues with it that it didnít have before the expansion.
If you have your own domain name, you can set up an email address with it Ė say firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can set it up in such a way that it forwards the messages you receive to whatever email address youíre currently using, whether itís with Gmail or Hotmail or Comcast or some small local ISP that gives you an incredible deal because your brother-in-law owns the company. Then the only email address you hand out is the one associated with your domain name. If you change the address at which youíre receiving email, all you have to do is change the redirect that you have set up.
If you have a web site and an online business, another nice thing about having your own domain name is that you can set up lots more email addresses than most free web hosts would permit you to have. When web surfers see that they can contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and others, they figure that theyíre dealing with an established company. From your point of view, this helps you organize and filter your email.
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