Tatum Hart Illustrations

Portfolio and Projects

What I Learned from Life: Registering Your Domain Name

No art to post today.  Today is all business.

These are the things I learned this week when setting up my domain name:

1. Do not wait to reserve your domain name.  No matter how unique you think it is.  Even if you think there is no chance anyone will ever take it.  Even if you think you have a very good reason to wait.  Go ahead and reserve it.  This is the most important thing I learned this week.

2. Sometimes free things stop being free without any warning.  I signed up for Free Google Apps just in time.  The very next day, Google announced that they will not offer Google Apps for free.  Why did I need Google Apps?  To set up a personalized email address.  More on that below.

3. I know where you live and so does everyone else.  In case you did not know, a good way to stalk other people is to visit whois.com.  At whois.com, you can look up any website, see who owns it, and often see what their real street address is.  But there’s a privacy option when you register for a domain, which will cost a bit more, but is well worth it.  Just do it.  You will sleep better at night.

A Tale of Two Domain Registering Options:

I own two different domain names now.  One is tatumhartillustrations.com and the other is tatumhartillustration.com .  I got one through WordPress and the other through NameCheap.  The plan was for the WordPress domain to be the main portfolio site with bells and whistles, and at NameCheap, I was just trying to reserve the name and redirect people who may mistype the URL.

WordPress:  This was easy to set up.  WordPress does the mapping bit and directs traffic that types your new URL to your blog.  Email was kind of a pain to get going.  WordPress does not host email, but they will collaborate with an email host, like Free Google Apps, so you can have a personalized email address at no extra cost.  It took a little work (pasting codes into the DNS something or the other) and the online instructions assume that you know something about CNAME and TXT, which I did/do not.  I’m still not sure what I did, but it works now.

However, as already mentioned above – Google stopped offering Free Google Apps.  I still have it because I was grandfathered in (barely), but if you don’t have it yet, you can’t, and I’m not sure how you can get a domain name through WordPress and also have a free personalized email account.  But the WordPress folks are pretty smart.  I bet they will figure something out.

NameCheap: This was incredibly easy to get going.  I bought the domain name, pointed the domain name to by blog, and directed mail to my personalized email address to deposit into my existing gmail.com inbox, which works just fine.  If you did not get Free Google Apps in time, maybe try to register a domain through another website and point your new email address to a free email account.

I almost cancelled the WordPress domain and switched everything over to NameCheap, because NameCheap was a little cheaper, and so easy, but do you see the box above where you type in the URL?  See how it says “Tatumhartillustrations.com?”  I couldn’t find a way to use only NameCheap and get that bar to say the preferred domain name without an additional fee, which made the difference between the two options about zero.

I’m not sure if this is going to help anyone, but I didn’t know all these things until this week, and surely I’m not the only one that needs this information.

Anyone else have a tip?  Do share.

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2012 by and tagged , , , .
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