Personal email address domains?

I’m curious: what’s your approach to your personal email address? Or your family email addresses?

For years, my “personal” account has been username\at\gmail. Now that I’m moving away from Gmail I’m considering using a domain for this stuff. However, my professional domains are a bit awkward for personal use (,

So, I’m debating. Should I use a service provider domain (e.g., @fastmail)? Create a personal domain—if so, what to choose? Create a family domain—if so, how to decide what to choose?

(Note: it’s probably a bad idea to actually write your email out here—web crawlers eat that right up.)

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I went with a personal domain name years ago (all the good permutations of my last name were taken, even 15 years ago, so my domain is (lastname) I decided to go bland with the name, kind of for the same reason I never got a tattoo when I was younger — I didn’t know what my state of mind would be in 10 or 20 years.

I started hosting it using my website provider, but their tools were clunky and also, since it was a shared web host, subject to having its email blacklisted by various spam filters. When Google first rolled out GSuite, or whatever it is called now, I signed up for the beta. I think it was called Google Apps back then. Early beta users are still grandfathered in on a free plan, and even though Google creeps me out, it is too good a deal to pass up. The only semi-tricking part was setting up the name servers with the web host to make sure email pointed to Google.

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I’ve got my last

I figure I’ll always enjoy development and it means my email is first name @ last name .dev which is neat

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I have my name dot me and have used it for years. My wife hers at dot me etc. We also have a shared one but don’t really use that. I was on Fastmail but last week moved them over to Apple as I have icloud+ already and figured what the hell.

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@Evan, Google Apps. I am grandfathered into that too. $10 a year for 50 user accounts. Nothing can beat that.

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I am also grandfathered into a free Google Apps (or whatever its called these days) account. The one thing I might have done different is change the domain I registered. Back in the early 2000s, when they first became available, I registered lastname/dot/name. Over the years, I have regularly encountered various sites and services which insist that I do not have a valid email address (it seems that .name mostly went under the radar when it was introduced). Although, as we have gotten a lot more options in recent years, that has become less of an issue. So, 20 years ago, you needed to stay with a mainstream TLD (top level domain). Today, maybe not so much.

That said, it is really nice to have firstname/at/lastname/dot/something for an email address. Same goes for my family members which I share the domain with.

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I’ve had for a couple decades now. I was too slow to get which went to a company. Almost all my close Almy relatives share the domain and either get mail via forwarders or have mail accounts at my provider. What’s neat for me is thanks to my short first and last names and the two letter TLD I’ve got a very short email address, actually shorter than my first domain address* I had on the job back in the early 1980’s, toma at tek dot com. (Actually no reason to spell that out since it probably doesn’t go anywhere.)

*Prior to domain addresses the addresses were called bang addresses and specified the route from major “hub” systems.

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Just get one that you can use no matter who provides your email service.

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I still have a Gmail but I hand out my Hey account for most personal things now, as well as some small freelancing. I have a company email account. And then I have a personal .me email and a branded freelancing domain. Products also usually have their own email addresses but are forwarded with a free/cheap service like

I’d like to do a good lastname domain for the family but they’re hard to find for me. If I were five years older I don’t think I’d have had that problem.

I am jumping down the rabbit hole this week with this idea as well. Unfortunately, my last name is taken almost everywhere, so I need to be a bit creative with how I will do this. The idea is that I am creating a system for my family, when the kids get older, etc.

  1. Use Case - who should receive this e-mail address, where should it be used at, so that it doesn’t turn into another \at gmail\ address.
  • Does this become the new Apple ID?
  • Does this become the new login for financial institutions?
  • Amazon? Target? Subscription-based areas?
  • Close friends and family? Accountant?
  1. Proper TLD usage. How acceptable is it to use….
    dot family
    dot us
    dot me
    dot home

It would be super annoying to set all this up, and then find out some places don’t accept these TLDs for login.

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This is a big deal for some of us! I have collected a few domains over the years, including <surname>.org and <fullname>.net, but I’ve given up on using those as my primary domains because my surname is so weird. Thankfully I’ve been able to register claudinec.<tld> as well as claudinec as my username in most places.


I have for the family and for my business. Family is run through Namecheap, because their plans were economical for sharing with 3 other people. Business address is through Hover. I’m underwhelmed by both in terms of feature sets, and neither has made any noticeable changes in the last couple years. But I rarely use the web clients, so it’s fine.

My goal is that my kids never have to deal with having multiple accounts, as I have a separate iCloud account plus an older one with @gmail for iTunes purchases. :crossed_fingers: we’ll someday get to merge those. I’m also interested in seeing how Apple handles the custom domains, as I’m paying for iCloud+ anyways. But I will wait an see how the dust settles on that.

Much like password management, my wife has little interest in using this domain. Although now she feels weird when filling out forms with both our emails :laughing:


So everyone is just doing the last name thing, eh? I guess I’ll just pick up


I would go for it @ryanjamurphy … The renewal is very reasonable lol


I’ve recently moved my domain from Godaddy to Cloudflare. What many people do not know is that Cloudflare renews at cost. They don’t markup at all. I think you all should consider this as well. I’ve also set up the domain in Cloudflare to use iCloud+ email domain. Easy.

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What did you end up doing?

No decisions yet! But I will not be buying, if anyone was wondering…

I am trying to avoid the last name thing. My wife and I do not share a last name (down with the patriarchy! etc.) but even if that wasn’t the case, there are a lot of Ryan Murphys in the world.

Just this past month we collectively won an olympic medal, launched a new TV show (or three), and published a new blog post on Integrated Thinking Environments!


I hear you @ryanjamurphy on the multiple name thing: the three people in my immediate family have three different last names — I have mine; my wife has hers; and my daughter has our names hyphenated — I finally decided to go with a neutral, and easily (and quickly) spelled domain name. (For those who are fans of the original Ocean’s 11, it’s the song that Sammy Davis, Jr sings with io attached.) I have found CynderHost to be smashingly good at making infrastructure easy to spin up – at one point I was decent at all of that, but I don’t do it often enough to maintain those chops so their easy interface is much appreciated.

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Ah, songs and lyrics are a great idea. Thanks for the tip!

Same here. After much deliberation, I decided on the first four letters of my wife’s surname and the first four letters of my surname.

Edit: Sorry John, I meant to quote rather than reply to your post.