One of my favorite things to do when a friend has a baby is to register the baby name .com domain name for my friend. I am also happy to register domain names for (and on behalf of) my friends when they get engaged or even when they are thinking about starting a business and want to reserve a domain name in advance.
There are a few good reasons why this is a really nice thing, but there are also some downsides to registering domain names for other people. I want to share some of the pros and cons to registering domain names for friends because there are plenty of both.
Pro – Many people who aren’t in the business of domain names don’t think about buying their baby’s .com domain name when they are born. Some don’t care and some simply don’t think about it. I wish I had my name .com name (not enough to pay a premium for it), and I am sure at least one of my friends’ children will eventually appreciate owning his or her .com domain name.
Con – If you buy a domain name for a baby and they don’t take it for 15 years give or take, that $10 purchase becomes a $150 gift over its lifetime. I would love to give the domain name to my friends earlier than that, but none have domain accounts, and most would probably care less about it than I care.
Pro – Having the perfect domain name for a wedding website is great for wedding invitations and save the dates. Being a domain investor, you can make it easy to get your friends the perfect domain name and set it up.
Con – If something goes wrong in the process, you will be seen as the person responsible for the domain name. If forwarding to the wedding website doesn’t work or if there are other issues (expiration for example), your friends won’t be happy with you.
Pro – As a domain investor, you may have a better purchase and renewal price for domain names, and you also already have an account at a domain registrar. Further, you know how to register a domain name and set up the DNS on a domain name, which your friends might not know.
Con – It can become a pain in the butt to get your friend to transfer the domain name. Sometimes the name isn’t important enough to your friend to go through the trouble of setting up an account and/or learning about domain transfers.
Pro – Friends will be grateful to you when they need or want the domain name you bought for them.
Con – If you forget to renew the domain name, if your domain name account is stolen, or if you face legal troubles and your account is frozen, it could put your friends’ domain names at risk.
There are many great reasons to buy domain names on behalf of friends. There are also a number of cons to consider as well. Your best bet is probably to teach your friends how to register domain names they want because the added responsibility might not be worth it to you to be a nice person. If you are going to register domain names for friends, make sure they are good friends 🙂