On domains and related geekery

The wannabe computer geek in me is excited to see more members of blogville buying or otherwise obtaining their own domain names. Instead of writing from http://crazynaijachick.blogspot.com for example, the blogger is writing from http://crazynaijachick.com. A couple of bloggers have asked me about my domain http://goodnaijagirl.com so I thought I’d put this up.

So why would you decide to buy your own domain?

Well, to be honest, unless you plan to take over the world with your blog, creating an empire like Dooce has (she earns an estimated FORTY THOUSAND US DOLLARS PER MONTH (source) through ads on her site, not that I’m impressed by that whatsoever) or diversifying into a website offering a plethora of services and information, there may not be any real value to owning your own space. One main advantage is having complete control over how your site looks (as long as you can afford to pay someone to implement your vision, or if you have the skills to do so on your own).

There are some cons to having your own domain name though, most of them related to the expense. First, you have to pay annually to own the domain (the website address, crazynaijachick.com in my above example). The cost is actually not too prohibitive, but the fact that you have to pay each year makes it seem more like you’re renting it than owning it. All you own at this point is the website address. You don’t actually have a place to store information.

And that’s where the more expensive part comes in: if you decide to run an actual website from your own domain, you have to pay a hosting company monthly or annually to rent server space to hold your entries, images and whatnot (unless you have a friend who will let you host your site on his or her server…I need to find a friend like this). So, if you’re an occasional blogger or just starting out and not sure if blogging is for you, you can see how buying your own domain and paying for hosting can be a waste of money.

HOWEVER, let’s say you are writing a book, and you want a place to send your readers once you’re published or even before you get published. You want a place to provide updates on the progress of the book, write about other parts of your life or even about the book writing process and create lots of buzz about the book and its author. In that case, it may make sense to for you to buy a domain name that is either your name, your book’s name or any combination thereof. For all the budding writers out there, it might be a good idea to check and see if your desired domain name is still available to be bought when the time is right. To be honest, you don’t need your own domain to do any of the above, but if you’re trying to build a brand or an identity, it might be a good idea to go in this direction. This is because when people hear you’re published, they’ll be likely to search for you online at Yourname.com rather than trying to figure out if it’s Yourname.blogspot.com or Yourname.wordpress.com. Of course, if they use google they won’t have that problem at all!

I personally have a habit of buying domains because I like to own things. I started this blog at a free site (http://goodnaijagirl.wordpress.com) but quickly felt limited by what I could do. I think domains to me are what tattoos are to some: apparently the latter can be addictive. With your own domain you have more flexibility. If you have a flair for web design, or you know exactly what you want and you want the power to design every inch of your site, then you must look into owning your own domain.

So who on blogville has their own domain? Off the top of my head in alphabetical order we have:

Bella Naija
Jide Salu
Nigerian Curiosity (one of two domains)
Shona Vixen
Solomon Sydelle (the second domain!)

There are many others!

And let me not kid you: once you own the domain and are paying for hosting, the fun begins as you are faced with the learning curve of actually developing a website, using a CMS or building something from scratch, all of the stuff that keeps me up until the wee hours of the night trying to figure out. I’m praying God sends me a webgeek for a boyfriend or husband :).

(Oh: if you want to check if a particular domain name is up for grabs, there are countless places to check online. If you’re stuck, try Whois.net. If you want to know if a particular domain is available, just type the desired address (example crazynaijachick) into the third box, click Go! and all will be revealed.)

28 thoughts on “On domains and related geekery

  1. Web hosting is no longer expensive (at least here in the States). Try http://www.godaddy.com. They're relatively cheap and reliable.

    Microsoft Office also offers free web hosting and free domain name registration for 1 year. There is no MS name/extension in ur domain name and nobody would know u're hosting it on microsoft website. They also offer free tools for building the website. But after 1 year you have to start paying. more details can be found on their website – http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/

    If you encounter some bumps in your learning curve of developing your website or if you have questions about web development, drop me a mail – maybe i can help you out.

  2. well… as a typical razz 9ja man.. Until I have something major to talk about, I'm sticking with wordpress.. I'm finding out that with some basic HTML, I can actually emulate a lot of stuff that's out on blogger albeit with a lot of effort……If only they allowed Kavscript.. It would be purrrrfect! I didn't realize afrobabe was on a custom domain.. Was it recent??

  3. Great article.. More people should do the same.. For many of the reasons you gave and more..

    I might do a similar post soon..


  4. I'm just wondering how all this web hosting stuff works out here in naija. It might be more expensive but when I'm ready, I'm sure it'll be worth my while. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. The good thing about owning a domain is that you are treated like Kings & Queens, just like those who can afford to be in First Class…somehow the traffic keeps flowing to your blog because you are a paying customer who bring revenue to the blogging business.

    **but before I decide to take that step, I have to be committed to blogging and not planning to do any disappearing act in the future…

  6. â–ºwebround

    Thanks for these options! I'm too afraid that the world as I know it will end if I try to migrate all my domains from my current web host but perhaps one day I'll get brave and do the deed!

    Thank you also for the offer to help with website development. It is much appreciated!


    What's Kavscript? I guess I can see what google has to say on that matter.

    As far as I know, Afrobabe's domain is new as of this year.


    Thanks man! There are some other great reason to own your own domain and if you do write a post, I'll definitely read and learn from it.


    Thanks darl!


    I'm glad you found the information helpful!


    It sure does, Enkay. As long as you pay your fees, no one cares where in the world you are actually located. If you are thinking about doing this one day, let me know and I'll hook you up with a reputable hosting provider in Nigeria that I know.


    That's excellent! Let us know when you have your own domain, ok?


    Thanks! Does this mean you're thinking of or currently own your own domain?

    â–ºKémi Penélopê

    Actually, you bring up a good point about making money from your blog…I think when you own your own domain you have a bit more control about what advertisers you can lure to you page. Some advertisers will only advertise on your blog if you own the domain.

  7. Hey! Very informative. Thanks. For noe i think i'll pass on owning a domain. I know for sure that i wont be blogging forever nor will i be writing a book- i dont think.

    As for looking for someone to support you domain- i think my Bruv. a.k.a. Bob can do that.

  8. thnx for d info…bt am a lil computer stupid once its past the surface and into html and building sites….

    i might have to study for itt….

  9. good info.

    I do buy domains from time to time, but the frustration stick when I realize i cant still build a website…since ts my purpose for buying these domains. Did you build yours or you paid a web designer?

    oh well, i always say one of my kids is definitely gonna be a tech geek or engineer…else, i will take away their school fees. I cant have tech dumbo running in the family

  10. errrr THanks. But I have no idea what you are talking about. Domains and html and all that sturvs. lol! XOXO GNG.

  11. thanks for sharing. nice info, although i don't think i still understand it fully

  12. I learned from Oz (Mootbox.com) that owning my own domain name is important. I have since come to learn that for branding purposes alone, owning my own domain name was crucial.

    Nice post, as usual.

  13. Im with Temite on this one..lol..

    Thanks for sharing anywayz!

    How are you??

  14. Babe, I'm with you on this. I lovvvvvvve that I have paid for my domain. Telling people to visit http://verastic.blogspot.com is totally different from just saying Verastic Dot Com, you know???

    U know what I wanna do? I wanna learn how to put those tabs up there… like you do. Basically, I wanna create pages; you get?

  15. â–ºJustDB

    Oh! Well that makes more sense. I don't know javascript, but my friend said you can just copy the codes and insert them as needed; that you don't really need to know what's up.


    My pleasure! When can we expect FemiB.com to show up?


    Hmmm, tell me more about this Bob o. Forget the domain support…is he single? ;)


    Hey, if and when you have the time and interest, you should look into it. Your best friend is into CMS's? Cool!


    Oh, no way! Have you tried reading books on building websites? My problem is I read and read and never TRY…so I don't get far. I did build mine but they are very basic in my opinion. I want to build sites that are a joy to visit as the content is to read.

    Don't give up on your plans to build a site though…I bet you're one of those people that once you read a bit you'll get the hang of it!

    â–ºSeye Kuyinu

    Money ko, honey ni.


    Hmm, get outta here jare. When you're ready to launch http://www.Temite.com don't come looking for me…


    You're clearly jealous…pele.


    hehe, anytime you need to know, I'll send you a cute bobo to show you the ropes.


    Thanks lady, and thank for sharing your own particular experience. I think branding is so important too.


    hehe…I'm fine thanks. You and temite sef are trying my patience. When you want to start your own .com don't come looking for me sha because I will deny knowing you ;)

    â–ºVera Ezimora

    Thanks girl! I sure do know and agree that having a dot com means a lot, especially when you're wanting to get your name out there. Next step is business cards abi? :)

    I do get you. I can send you some info on switching to a content management system that will allow you to create pages relatively easily…though maybe Roc has some info on creating pages using blogger, since I think he's using blogger too.

  16. I am still in the process of redoing my page and finally removing the blogspot link….gonna take a lot of work but we'll get there!!!

  17. This is some great info. I have been thinking of registering my domain name recently cos of my book and the other great reasons you have highlighted here. I should really do it sooner rather than later. Having your own website can be a great marketing and networking tool in this day and age….
    Thanks GNG!

  18. great info but for now i think I will stick to blogger, coz my blogging is a hobby at the moment and IT is just not my forte.

    Girl thank you thank you thank you so much for my fridge magnets, i got them yesterday (well they arrived whilst i was in hospital and my sister had helped herself to them…..never mind a story for another day) all the same thank you soooooooo much they are making my fridge door the happiest sexiest fridge door this side of the Atlantic

  19. Well i got my own Domain recently (Obafemionline.com) and it has been wonderful, you tend to have a lot of control on what you do. by the way you people could juist have a look at the site and see what needs to be tidied up. iwould love that you know. thanks a lot.

    Enkay it is quit cheap. i believe you can have your's from as low as 3k and above.

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