How to Pick a URL for a Personal Websiteby Contributor
Some people use their websites to post news and pictures for far-flung friends and family to enjoy. Others use a personal website to post a resume for employers to access during the recruiting process or to advance their freelance careers and businesses. The first thing you must do when you set up a personal website is to pick a personal URL.
Determine whether you want to use your own name as your website URL. If you have an uncommon name, the URL may be available. If you have a common name, it may already be taken. If you plan to use your website for career networking purposes, you should use your name and not the nickname Aunt Mabel gave you when you were 3 years old. If you will use your website strictly for friends and family, a nickname is just fine.
Check the availability of your personal URL at domain name registration sites, such as Network Solutions, GoDaddy.com or Register.com. Any one of these sites can tell you whether your URL is available for registration in a matter of seconds.
Select a different extension for your personal URL if the common extensions are already used. For example, if www.YourName.com is already registered, try www.YourName.net, www.YourName.info or www.YourName.us. Alternately, you can try inserting periods (www.Your.Name.com) or hyphens (www.Your-Name.com) between your first and last names to see if that URL is available.
Register your personal URL with a domain name registrar once you have determined its availability. If the URL is already registered, check out the site to see if it's in use. Sometimes entrepreneurs buy up blocks of URLs to sell at a profit later on. If you're really bent on a particular URL, you may be able to buy it from the registrant.
Consider adding private registration service to your personal URL when you register it. It is possible to track down the owner of a website using databases of public access information. If you would rather not have people know your physical location, telephone number and e-mail address, you should purchase private registration services for your URL. If someone tries to look you up, they will be directed to the registrar's contact information, and the registrar will then notify you of any legitimate inquiries.
- close Protect yourself when setting up a personal URL and website. If you must include contact information on your website, use a post office box for an address and exclude telephone numbers in lieu of e-mail addresses to ensure your privacy and safety.
- close Remember that even though you may intend for your personal website to be used strictly by friends and family, prospective employers will probably do an Internet search on your name. Make sure your website doesn't include inappropriate, unprofessional or even just goofy content.