DEV Community


Do you buy domains for personal or side projects?

scrabill profile image Shannon Crabill ・1 min read

Discussion (33)

Editor guide
cescquintero profile image
Francisco Quintero πŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

No, I use whatever subdomain option I have available with tools such as Vercel or GitHub pages.

The thing is I live in a developing country and the dolar exchange is high these times. I only buy domains for long live stuff.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I bought enough domains for projects which ultimately went nowhere that I became very reluctant to do this... Just out of principle. If you buy 10 domains and do nothing with them it's maybe not a huge expense depending on your economic situation, but I just decided I need more skin in the game first.

(Companies should probably not follow this principle, and just buy the domains if they're at non-premium prices)

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill Author

I hear ya.

I think I only had one other domain that I purchased, did nothing with, and ultimately let go. I've yet to buy a premium domain, so I'd bet i'd "lost" 12-15 bucks a year for a few years.

What I also didn't think of is additional web hosting for multiple domains.


eruizdechavez profile image
Erick Ruiz de Chavez

Every. Single. Year.

Over the years I have reduced the amount of domains I get on an impulse because I know I will end up doing nothing with them. I still have a bunch of domains though and sometimes I feel I've cornered myself, but then I just forget about it.

So far, for my personal use (not counting other side projects), I have my website domain (first name + last name + .com), my last name domain for my email address (lucky enough it was available!) and a couple of short versions of my initials with .co and .dev. I use the .co as a short redirect to my website and whenever I need some trash email address, and the .dev for all my experiments.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill Author

I hadn't thought about getting domains for just my last name or a shortened version of my name πŸ‘€

thatosmk profile image
Thato Semoko

Mostly side projects, some domains a bought, like about 2 out of 6-ish, never got to be used. Some i dont actually buy so much as they were free (Github Education vouchers).

At the moment I have like 3 active domains on my side projects, one of them is in beta so hopefully it will become something serious eventually.

garretharp profile image

Sure if I ever I have an idea I buy a domain. I dont see why not because domains are cheap. I probably don't really follow through with all of my ideas but I think securing the domain is always a good step before I really think about making it. Maybe its just the thought of actually having the domain that makes me feel like it will work out I guess.

castiyeaux profile image
Andrea Castillo • Edited

I got a personal .dev that I am working on using for my online resumΓ©/portfolio. While I have limited knowledge about web hosts, I managed to make a subdomain for my wedding website, so I'd think that I could do that as much as I want to? Could I begin to tell you how? No.....someday, I'll understand - maybe after I find out if my web host is a good one or not πŸ˜… sigh

jsn1nj4 profile image
JSn1nj4β€β€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» • Edited

It depends. I only have 1 semi-active side project right now and it does have a domain. But I could see myself using subdomains too from services like Netlify depending on what I'm doing.

I do know some people who are hoarding domains they bought for different protect ideas though. I definitely can't afford to do that.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill Author • Edited

I purchased a domain for one project and debating purchasing one or two for other projects. I'm debating because the extra expense of having another domain, splitting traffic and what if I end up not keeping up with these projects long term?

Currently, most live under the domain for my personal website with a directory for that project specifically.

mike_hasarms profile image
Mike Healy

Shop Talk Show just did an episode about this:

I think the upshot is that domain prices add up, especially as they are recurring, and that we should bring subdomains into fashion which you can add to one domain for free.

I do have domains for my three main side projects, so I'm a bit hypocritical, but all of those projects are for a non-developer audience. I feel like a subdomain on my personal name wouldn't go as well in that case.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill Author

I'll check out this episode!

mxldevs profile image
MxL Devs • Edited

If there's a possibility that I might want to go public with the project in the future and the domain name is very good and also available right now, I would. I would grab the domain and a bunch of social media accounts as well to reserve them. Social media is cheap (free), domains can be relatively low cost depending on the domain and registrar.

But if I'm flexible on the domain name, like I don't mind adding an extra word like "app" or removing a couple vowels here or there in the project name, then I probably wouldn't bother as much.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill Author

I'm looking at a .app domain too since the .com is too expensive.

brandelune profile image
Jean-Christophe Helary

Yes. I decided to move out of gmail (that I used for personal/not business mails) so I bought myself an appropriate dn ( which I use only for mail at the moment but I'm planning to have something simple there when I have some time. I would not hesitate to buy one if the need arose, as I've done in the past, even though they did not end up being used.

ckissi profile image
Csaba Kissi

I usually do. But recently I've decided to go with subdomains instead as it's starting to be expensive.

Somethings it's worth to get the domain instead if you expect high traffic and want to spread the word better as I did recently with

So it depends.

phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

I only buy domain when I begin to do something on a project.

First, because beginning is the hardest. Second, because I know, when I begin a project, if I will like it enough to bring something online.

codeguppy profile image

I never purchased a domain until recently... and then one day I went shopping spree and bought more that I could use. I imagined lots of projects at that time.

Later I tried to list them ... but I didn't sell any:

716green profile image
Bob Bass

I own 80 domains and only use 4. The other 76 or so read like a list of projects I plan to build.

habereder profile image
Raphael Habereder • Edited

Usually yes.
My preferred tld is dirt-cheap, so I don't see any reason not to. It just looks more professional IMO, even if it's only for a fun little side-project.
Though I am a fan of subdomains and extending certificates with LetsEncrypt is very easy, so I'll make use of as many subdomains as I can technically have before I buy a new domain.

radiomorillo profile image
Stephanie Morillo

I only purchase domain names for side projects that I intend on maintaining over the long-term; otherwise I use subdomains and URL shorteners. And I also have domain names for my site (redirects and the sort).

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill Author

URL shorteners are a good point. πŸ€”

ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

Projects? No. I bought a few vanity-domains for myself and family a few decades ago (to have personalized, persistent email addresses). If I need something for a project, I simply toss that project under one of those domains.

sophia_wyl profile image
Sophia Li

Only for projects I know I'll want to maintain for a while!

sriramr98 profile image
Sriram R

I have one domain and use nginx redirection to setup subdomain on them. For my personal use, this is more than enough.

nicholasroubal profile image
Nicholas Roubal

One domain for the consulting company, but free hosting of both the primary site and most linked apps via Netlify.

eljayadobe profile image

I just use to host my static web pages.

mikgross profile image

Yes! For every meaningful side projects.

rsa profile image
Ranieri Althoff • Edited

I did it once for a project where I got a funny URL that made sense. The rest of my projects I just host under my personal domain, or even

sarehprice profile image
Sarah Price

I haven't yet unless I know I'm going to use them for sure! Otherwise it's just spending money where I don't need to.

francoscarpa profile image
Franco Scarpa • Edited

I bought the domain for my website,

dowenb profile image
Benjamin Dowen

I've only got one so far. For my blog. But considering another.