If your last name is Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown or Jones chances are almost zero that you can acquire a dot-com domain like “smith.com.” In fact the current valuation for the smith.com domain is almost $200,000.00. However if your name happens to be “Ululubean,” as of this writing it’s still available for about 20 bucks.
Don’t fret, Mrs. Johnson, you still have a few perfectly good options for your family website. Before we get into that, let’s answer some other questions first.
What could you do with a unique family domain name?
Used to be we could walk across the village to gossip with a cousin, aunt or grandparent. Not so in modern life! We often live thousands of miles from each other, and until now it made keeping up to date difficult. The advent of video chatting, email, texting, and best of all dedicated websites allow us to see and hear each other in ways that were impossible a generation ago. Our grandmothers did their best to hand write newsy letters or spend a few moments on the telephone with the kids, but now for the almost the same cost we can not only read or hear the news, but experience it long distance in real time!
Almost all family domains are dedicated to a private website, built and maintained by family members for family members. There are also some whose family business is placed under the domain as well. You probably have some ideas in mind already. Here are a few you might consider:
- Share a Family to do list where you can add and check off jobs, chores, potluck what-to-bring lists
- Maintain a Shopping list / Inventory of food items you have. Before anyone goes to the store, check the website for needed items. Even better, see if you can rig it up to push information out to everyone’s phones or email.
- Photos. Some online websites allow you to post, but not retrieve your amazing family photos. Or there’s just not enough space to hold them all. With a private family domain / website, no problem.
- Blogs. Some of us just like to write, share thoughts, record funny things the little ones said . Your domain and website is a great way to remember and share your family story with the world.
- Archiving documents or pictures. All your precious family photos are stored on your computer’s hard drive. Your important documents are in a file cabinet in the basement. Not good. A fire or flood can make them all go away in an instant. Store images online under your secure domain name so that they are permanently preserved in a way that only you can access them.
- Menus. Ever get tired of hearing “What’s for dinner?” Use the website to plan and shop for meals, especially big family get-togethers!
- Could your family use a better way to keep track of all the goings on among you? There are plenty of calendar apps out there that you could locate on your domain. Coordinate those family calendars so no one misses out on the big Thanksgiving football game!
- Set up video chats, or stream video of recitals, games, birthdays- all the important moments that your extended family are proud of.
- If your friends and family are spread out all over, creating a family website can be just the thing you need to bring everyone back together. A family website can be a central meeting place where everyone can join in and contribute. Meet in the chatroom or carry on conversations using the message board. Post pictures, news items, calendar events or even bios or profiles for each family member.
- Use your domain-based email account to blast out an email when you post the latest photos or summon everyone to weigh in on a family decision. Way better than handwriting and mailing 14 paper letters!
How is a private domain different from Social Networking sites like Facebook or Instagram?
Security is a big deal. No doubt you’ve heard something about sites like Facebook’s complete control over how secure your posted information is. With your own domain name, you are in complete mastery of locking down your website from prying eyes. There are many options and levels of security built into a domain name registration, so choose one with your family’s children in mind.
Creating a family website is one thing; create a safe, secure and private family website is another. Make sure your family website is safe and secure. With moms of young children in mind, a family website service should taken the time to think through and implement safe and secure practices from the very beginning.
The popular social networking sites are highly interconnected. Just about anyone can become your “friend” or “follow” you. With your own domain you have a lot more control over that process. And you probably won’t be on that genius teenage hacker’s list of domains to attack.
Many social networking platforms take ownership of everything posted to their space. Check the fine print of the user agreement to find out! A website with YourDomainPick lets you retain full ownership of your content, plain and simple.
Your domain and website provider should be able to limit your visibility to search engines. There are easy ways to stay invisible to Google, Yahoo or Bing . Your site should allow you to keep access to entries, pictures, videos, calendar and the like, completely restricted. Your stuff won’t be published to the whole world, including advertisers!
You’ve seen all the ads on the margins and sometimes in posts on Twitter and Facebook. Your domain is 100% ad-free! Just pure, unadulterated family stuff. YourDomainPick can assure you that we value you privacy and won’t sell personal information. We don’t like junk email either! Reaqd more about choosing a domain name here: “How to Dominate Your Domain Name Search.”
Now that I have the domain, how do I create the website?
There are countless programs that enable you to create websites with varying degrees of features and complexity. YourDomainPick offers a robust tool called “Website Builder” that you can easily access right from the same site where you register your domain. About Website Builder:
With intuitive navigation, templates, and drag-and-drop functionality, your website will be up and running in minutes. No technical skills or coding required.
For any skill level we take the hassle out of building a website. In 3 simple steps, beginners can build a gorgeous, customized website using our new Design Wizard!
NEW! It’s Mobile
Your site will always look amazing, even on a 4-inch smartphone screen, thanks to our automatic mobile site converter, powered by DudaMobile.
Each plan comes packed with everything you need to build a full-featured website including FREE hosting and email.
How can I register a family domain name that we all like?
For all the Smiths, Johnsons, Williamses, Browns and Joneses out there, it may be time to get a little creative. Think about the purposes of your site. Will there be any commerce taking place with people outside the family? If you need to make positive impressions on customers, them “thesmellysmiths.net” may not work (unless you have a perfume or candle making business).
What are you known for? Cooking? Parties? Philanthropy? Religious activities? Is there a theme to the website? Maybe it’s mainly devoted to photos of far-flung family members. Add “pix” to the domain name.
- “RobertsFamily” may not be available, but “RobertsFamilyRodeo” has a better chance, and all the better if the Roberts do, in fact, keep livestock. When choosing your family domain name, ask yourself:
- Is the family domain for fun or work? Design a name accordingly.
- Is it relevant? If I’m incorporating new words into my family domain name, is it something that my friends/family/coworkers know us for?
- Is it memorable? A family domain that is too abbreviated may lose meaning, become generic, and be difficult to remember, such as “RbsFmly”.
- Is it easy to spell? Keep in mind that family names often already have a wide variety of spellings. If you have an unusual family name, keep the domain simple.
- You can always add a short, meaningful string of numbers such as the anniversary year of the oldest grandparents, (“Robertssince1924”) or the year your team won the World Series.
- Run your ideas (and we do mean ideas- have a lot more than one!) by other family members to get their say and maybe more ideas!)
Have a look around YourDomainPick! Start by searching for the availability of your best domain name ideas. Check out the many levels of service, features and freebies we offer. We sure you’ll find exactly what you need at a lower price than anywhere else.