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Four things to do with a domain name that don’t involve building a website

Andrew Moore-Crispin on September 28, 2020
A person at a desk is smiling because they can point a domain anywhere with Hover

Getting a domain name is step one in carving out your own little space online.

Buying a domain name doesn’t necessarily mean setting up a website though. It can, but it doesn’t have to.

Whether you registered a domain name and don’t know quite what to do with it or you’re looking to hang your shingle online but don’t know the first thing about setting up a website (FWIW, Squarespace, Wix and others make it easy and with Hover Connect, you have a simple way to connect your domain to these and a host of others), this one’s for you.

Here are four things to do with a domain name that don’t involve building a website. We’ll be using as our examples but with over 400 domain extensions (or top level domains, TLDs) to choose from, .COM is far from the only option.

Send ‘em anywhere

With Hover, you can point your domain name to anything online. I once bought a mildly offensive domain and pointed at a friend’s social presence, just for a laugh. Remember that one, @benlucier? I bought in an attempt to earn some Reddit karma. It’s a long and not terribly interesting story. It also didn’t work.

Point is, your domain can point anywhere you like, practical or otherwise. A social network, your Google Business listing, your reviews on Angie’s List, just about anywhere online. is way easier to remember and share than Any recognition you build with is yours to keep. If you do decide to set up a website later, you’re not starting from square one; you have a domain name with some history behind it.

How to point your domain at a site or service

  1. Log into your Hover control panel
  2. Select your domain name from the list
  3. Click Create a Forward
  4. Select 
  5. Enter the destination address and hit Save
Your domain can point anywhere. Create a forward to another service

Link aggregator

Services like (bonus points for the domain hack), ContactInBio, and others let you assemble a collection of important links in one place. Rather than sending people to your personal or business’ Facebook, Instagram. Google Business, LinkedIn, whatever site individually, just send them to your chosen aggregator. This makes your domain name the one-stop-shop for everything you might want to link people to.

Use the same steps outlined in the previous entry on this list to point your domain at your link aggregator and visitors to get seamlessly redirected to your list of links and can choose from there. Bonus: you can update the links shared in your aggregator of choice at any time. You can also switch aggregators if you like. Just change the domain forwarding in Hover.

Peter Murage does a good job of delving into the benefits and detriments of various link aggregators (including several free and freemium options) on his site.

Get specific

In your Hover account, you can set up as many forwards as you like. You can only redirect once, but there’s no practical limit to the number of or forwards you can create. 

How to set up a forward:

  1. Log into your Hover control panel
  2. Select your domain name from the list
  3. Click Create a Forward
  4. Select or
  5. Enter the destination address and hit Save

Then, 6. Attempt to process your complex feelings

Get custom email

You don’t need a website on your domain to get a more memorable and/or professional email address. This one works in conjunction with (or without) a website or any of the other tips listed above. Add email to your domain and either use Hover’s email service or just use your custom email as an alias with free webmail services like Gmail, Outlook or any number of others. It costs between $5 (for a forward) and $29 (for hosted email and a big inbox) per year.

How to add email to your domain

You can add email to your domain during the check-out process when registering a domain name with Hover. If you already have an email-less domain with Hover:

  1. Log into your Hover control panel
  2. Select Emails in the top navbar
  3. Tap the green + symbol
  4. Select the domain you want your email on
  5. Choose Forward, Small or Big mailbox and quantity, then check out

What else?

These are a few tips that spring to mind and that we, eating our own dogfood, have used ourselves. But again, your domain can point anywhere you choose. We’d love to hear your ideas. Perhaps something we haven’t thought of or ways you’ve used any of these tips to make use of your domains. Feel free to comment or share with us on social. Twitter | Facebook