I find myself periodically going on the hunt for a new domain name every few years, and having just completed that same search again, I thought I would write up some thoughts about the process.
Do I trust the "new" gTLDs or some ccTLDs?
[I still find myself referring to the vanity gTLDs as "new", even though they've been around for a while now.]
For this search, I wanted my domain to last. I wanted to be able to use it as an email address (and therefore login to lots of sites) in perpetuity. And therefore, I needed to have complete trust that the domain would always be mine and not be taken away or lost for whatever reason.
My previous domain was james.cx and I love it (I still own it and will do for a while yet). It is so small. It is my name with no other embellishments. The
.cx TLD actually has some resemblance to my surname. It was perfect. Except for one thing. The
.cx TLD is the ccTLD for the Christmas Islands. I don't live in the Christmas Islands, nor work there, nor have any association what-so-ever to it. This always stopped me from using it as an email address because I didn't have complete faith that at some point in the future this domain would be taken away from me. A similar thing happened with
.eu domains when the UK left the EU. Additionally, there was a long period of time when the
.cx official registry website was down and there was a seemingly controversial change of ownership. Not really events to breed trust.
Owned by Google, it is used by lots of people in the Software Engineering community as a vanity URL. It is not too expensive (around £11py) and the name space doesn't seem too crowded yet. This was a strong contender for my new "internet home", but eventually lost out to another TLD.
Also popular choices (but more for businesses than personal domains). They are both quite a bit more expensive than the other TLDs I was looking at. And as with the
.cx TLD, they are both ccTLDs for countries I do not reside in (although both Anguilla and British Indian Ocean Territory are both British Overseas Territory so a bit of a closer tie to me than the Christmas Islands...)
Overcrowded. Need I say more? You are highly unlikely to find anything that is not already registered that you actually want to own.
I finally settled on the good old [.co].uk domain(s). A ccTLD with which I do have a tie (living in the UK). Even though
.co.uk has been taking registrations since 1985, the top level
.uk was only register-able from 2014, so there was the possibility of a name I wanted not having been registered there yet.
The downsides are that the
.co.uk domain is fairly crowded, being the 5th most popular TLD in the world. Also, I felt that if I wanted complete trust in using the domain as an email address, I would need to register both the
.co.uk version of the domain so that a typosquatting issue would not arise in the future.
Oh my goodness. They. Are. Everywhere. Still (not sure what I would have expected to change). I would say that in searching for a domain I wanted, I looked at over 100 domains. About 95% of those domains which were already taken were being squatted on and were for re-sale. Considering the retail price for a
.uk domain is ~£6py the squatters really are asking for a lot. I made contact with a couple of squatters in an attempt to buy the domains from them. One of the sellers wanted £5,500 for a domain, the other wanted around £2,500! I know it is not in Nominet's interest to do anything about this, they get paid whether there is proper content on the web or not, but I really wish it wasn't so much a first-come-first served type deal, especially when the "first-come" don't actually do anything with the purchase.
So, of all those domain I searched for, how come I ended up on
jeeb[.co].uk? A few reasons:
- Nostalgia. I owned the domain
jeeb.co.ukfrom around 2001 to around 2005.
- With only 4 letters, it is really short, especially with the repeated 'e' in the middle, it makes a very small succinct domain.
- As this was to be a personal domain, I wanted it in some way to be close to my name. The 'J' at the start gets me that.
But where did the 'Jeeb' name come from in the first place when I first registered it back in 2001?
J- First letter of my name
ee- I was 11 years old at the time I created the name. The double e's represented that.
b- I had just finished and really enjoy the book The Boggart. The 'B' come from the book's title.
Nice and simple. And so this domain will (hopefully) be my home of content for a long while yet.