Five Kids in Six Years, No Multiples. Our House is Always Crazy, Rarely Quiet, and Full of Love.

Five Kids in Six Years, No Multiples. Our House is Always Crazy, Rarely Quiet, and Full of love.

what’s in a domain name?

A couple weeks ago, I made the decision to convert my web design business into an LLC. As a result, I have received mail from some local companies offering their services. Today, I received a letter from a lawyer who offers a variety of legal services to small businesses. Since my field is web design, the first thing I usually look for on any advert is the website address. As I’m skimming the letter, and scanning for the non-existent website address, something does catch my eye…. the email address. My hand raises to cover the gasp escaping my mouth, and I shake my head in disbelief. My eyes wander back over the email address – maybe they failed the first time – oh no, the eyes don’t lie. There it is.

LawFirmName@hotmail.com

Does that address scream professional or what? um… what?

Now, there is nothing wrong with using hotmail for personal email. My husband uses it, I use it, & I have several family members that use it. But I urge you, don’t use it for your business email. Consider this Business Smarts 101: if you’re going to use email for your business, pay the $10/yr to buy a domain to match your business name. Most domain registrars offer cheap email hosting services (if you’re not wanting to start a website), or you can even set-up gmail to send and receive your business email – using your domain name email address. Trust me, it will do so much for your credibility, especially if you’re a lawyer.

What’s your take on this? Are you more likely to contact LawyerFirmA@hotmail.com or info@LawyerFirmB.com?

In the case of this firm, it gets even more interesting. A quick google search informed me that the firm does indeed have a website (it is one of those build it yourself Intuit ones – don’t get me started on those, as a web designer I am not a fan). So now I’m baffled, because the firm does have a website, but they aren’t using it on their marketing material. How does that make sense? Maybe the owner is worried that you may find the Simpsons clip, on the site, to be unprofessional…

Want to purchase a domain? I recommend namecheap. [I used to use GoDaddy, but their ads clash with my Christian morals.] Namecheap domains are $9.98 +$.018 (ICANN fee). And they offer PositiveSSL (encrypting for low-volume websites – more protection) & WhoisGuard (protects your identity) free with every domain. If you purchase a domain this month (August 2010), you can use the coupon code HARVEST to get a little discount. — And those are affiliate links.

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