Do domain names matter is a question you might have been asking yourself for a while. The following blog post is a modified version of an article which was first published on Medium in January of 2020. It tries to shed some insight into this question of whether domain names still matter in 2020.
I’ll never work with computers!
I’ve been in the domain industry for much longer than I ever thought possible. I always said I would not work with computers. My dad taught informatics/ computer sciences at university so I wasn’t particularly interested in the topic.
Straight after completing my Masters degree, I joined two friends and their startup which set out to rid the world of spam emails. This is when I first heard (I mean really heard) about domain names and their importance and how the internet works. We succeeded making the business a success. It sold to a company which one year later got listed at the NYSE. Spam seems to not have gone away… but you can fight it with our software SpamExperts.
Feeling burned out, I took a short break and then decided to join the second largest domain registrar in the US. My day-to-day was creating new business and negotiating contracts with and about domain names. After about two years there, I was invited to join the team of one of our suppliers and to move to sunny Santa Monica (CA). The supplier was a registry operator, which is something like the wholesaler of domain names to a registrar. My mission to escape “computers” was nothing but a faint memory.
Online, Simple & Secure
I started SafetyNames about a year and a half ago. My mission was simple: get small businesses online. Or, to be more accurate, get small businesses that don’t have a clue about domain names, web hosting, SSL certificates, email etc., online.
I’ve heard many people ask me over the past year or so: does generation Z still need domain names? Should I not just start my business on Facebook or twitter? In short, do I still need a domain name in 2020?
While my view certainly isn’t unbiased, the answer is a strong and resounding: YES! Domain names matter very much! Even if you’re a social media influencer, chances are that your income from this do not pay for rent, food, and new gear you might need now and then. Sooner or later, you will want to start not giving the lion share of the profits from content you create to the owners of the platform. Instead, use social media only as a channel to bring people to your own business. I’ve noticed that lots of social media influencers share their “gear recommendations” etc. via Amazon’s Affiliate program and other platforms.
But the people that are truly killing it, they have their own website. Their own shop. Their own brand that isn’t exposed to being kicked off a platform with no chance of ever getting access back. The merely use social media as a channel to drive traffic to their website, which, as it turns out, is attached to a domain name.
And choice has become abundant. While your favorite .com may not be available anymore now, there are many cool new domain endings such as .me, .online, .xyz, hell there even is a .horse if that’s what you focus on.
What do you do? Do you have a social media following and use it in conjunction with a domain name? Do you think domain names are totally 2019?