In the early days of the World Wide Web, the untouched land of domain names led to the last great gold rush. Everyone wanted word.com, and when those went away, commonphrase.com was the next big thing. Now, with tens of millions of domain names in existence, and harvesting companies snatching up everything that might resemble an existing word, phrase, or even sentence, those who want a good URL for their web site are faced with a question that no one would have even asked 10 years ago: do you even need your own domain name anymore?
The argument for “yes”
Thanks to the above phenomena, as well as the old monopolies on registration having long been broken, getting your own domain name is dirt cheap. Thus, you do not always need to have a word that is found in your dictionary to be taken seriously. Get a good site going, and “Plebno.com” might be considered a brilliant, memorable name (and yes, it’s available). For instant domain name search and availability check visit pcnames.com.
A domain name is a name that will always be with you (assuming that you didn’t accidentally strike someone else’s copyright). Additionally, you can have every address associated with email@example.com, and you won’t be tied down to a single host. Finally, there is a certain level of web site, mostly business-oriented, in which there is still a strong association between a domain name and a minimum level of professionalism.
The argument for “no”
If you are doing something simpler, then not only is most everyone on the web aware of all of the above problems with having your own name, but there are so many web hosts out there that can host a strong, well-done site under their own banner name that no one thinks any less of, for example mysite.blogspot.com, even if what you are hosting isn’t really a blog.
Also, there is the hassle of having your own domain. The registration is often typically painless but, if you are trying to change the owner, or nameservers, or trying to do anything complicated at the registrar level, you could be starting at a labyrinth of emails, confirmations, credit cards, security questions, CAPTCHAs, and so forth. If what you are running is a serious business that needs that kind of branding, then of course that is a small price to pay. But if you are just running a hobby or educational site or even a small business site like, say, counseling, that’s just more fuss than you’re likely to want to have to deal with.
One last piece of advice. If you choose a domain name and then change your mind and let it go, you are not likely to get it back. A harvester will snatch it right up. But don’t worry. If plebno.com gets taken, there’s always trozdoz.com (that’s available too).