Signing up on Domain of One’s Own

Welcome Aboard #

So, you want a Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) account? We are glad you are here! Before we get started, we wanted to tell you a little bit about the platform.

What exactly is a “Domain of One’s Own?” #

Yes, we know the name might seem unusual, but simply stated:

Domain of One’s Own provides everyone in the UMW community with a free domain (a web address that YOU choose, like “”) and web hosting (a place to store the files and data for your domain).

Once you claim a domain through Domain of One’s Own, it is yours. You can do whatever you want with it, and even take it with you when you leave UMW.

At other schools, you might find locked-down e-portfolio systems or other publishing platforms that limit your control. Here at UMW, we love giving people agency over their digital identities. A Domain of One’s Own is one way we do that.

If you aren’t familiar with how domains and web hosting work, we recommend reading “Getting to Know Your Webspace” to learn a little bit more about how it all works.

Getting Support #

Before you create your account, we wanted to let you know where you can get support for Domain of One’s Own as a student.

Get Help from Other Students #

Here at UMW, we have the Digital Knowledge Center (DKC) to support you in a variety of digital projects, including Domain of One’s Own, which makes this the best place to go if you want help getting started or get stuck along the way. You can book a consultation with a student consultant on the Digital Knowledge Center website. We also provide support for how to get started with WordPress, one of the most popular ways to start developing your website.

Help Yourself #

Sometimes you want to read through a few guides before you reach out for help (or it is 2 am and all the consultants are asleep). In our guides section of the site, you’ll find a series of articles on different aspects of using Domain of One’s Own including getting started with WordPress. Check it out to see if you can find your answer there!

Choosing Your Domain Name #

Choosing your domain name is the first step in getting started on Domain of One’s Own. Your domain name is a unique web address that can be used to build out your own digital presence. As you make your choice, keep in mind that you cannot change your domain name once you sign up, so choose carefully!

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • This is your domain!
    • Even if you are making it for a class, you’ll want to consider using something that is unique to you. Whether it is your name or something else, remember that this platform is for YOUR digital identity. If you are using it for a class, the DKC can show you how to set up a subdomain to use just for that class.
  • Your domain name (URL) must be available.
    • The domain we purchase on your behalf is available from the publicly available pool of domains. If you attempt to pick an unavailable domain during sign-up the system will not let you proceed. If you want to do some research before you sign up, there are lots of domain availability tools out there to help you see if a domain is currently available.
  • You must choose a top-level domain (TLD).
    • What is a top-level domain? The TLD is the suffix (or ending part) of your domain name. On DoOO we allow you to choose from four TLDs: .com, .net, .org & .info

Remember, you cannot change your domain name once you sign up! #

Choose a domain name that you feel you can live with during your time at UMW. We encourage you to make it personal to you rather than related to a class. You never know what you might use it for!

If you would like further guidance on some best practices when selecting a domain you can review our Best Practices for Choosing a Domain Name guide.

Terms of Service: In Brief #

You’ll have to agree to a Terms of Service when you go through the check-out process but we wanted to give you a brief overview of key things you’ll see.

  • The honor code, our ASPIRE values, and the network and computer use policies apply to Domain of One’s Own.
  • While making money is a great thing, you can’t use your Domain of One’s Own account to make money.
  • We make it possible to take your domain name and content with you after you leave UMW. You have 90 days after you leave the University to complete this task before we delete your account.

All the details are on our TOS page.

What You’ll See on the Sign-Up Page #

Below is a description of the steps you’ll go through during the sign-up process so you know what to expect.

  1. When you go to the create an account page, you’ll be asked to sign in with your UMW NetID and password.
  2. You’ll choose what domain you want us to register for you, and then click Checkout Now (don’t worry, it’s free for you!).
  3. Review the Terms of Service and click the check box at the bottom to indicate you agree.
  4. Click the Register Now button.

After you complete these steps, your account will be live! You are now the proud owner of your own domain and web hosting space.


Before you go off creating, there is one last crucial step!

Domain Verification #

After you’ve registered a domain through Domain of One’s Own you are required to verify it with ICANN within 14 days or it will be suspended.

If your account gets suspended, all the sites and content you’ve created still exist, but they are not available publicly online until you complete the verification process.

“How can I avoid this terrible fate?” #

Click the link in the IMMEDIATE VERIFICATION e-mail. Ideally, the verification email should show up in your UMW email inbox shortly after you complete your domain registration, but it could take up to 30 minutes. If the message is not in your inbox, then open your Junk Email folder.

The verification email message will be clearly marked with a subject line similar to “IMMEDIATE VERIFICATION required.” screenshot of verification e-mail

Click on the link in the message to verify your email. A web page will appear notifying you that your email has been verified.

If for any reason the e-mail does not appear in your inbox after 30 minutes please feel free to contact us via the UMW Domains support form.

“Why do I need to do this?” #

Don’t blame us! Starting on January 1, 2014, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) mandated that all new domains must be verified within 14 days of registration by the owner. Our Domain Registrar (a company called eNom) enforces this policy as part of registering your domain with them.

What happens when I leave UMW? #

Ninety days after you are no longer an active student at UMW we delete your DoOO account, domain, and content. However, if you want to take your domain and content with you, we do allow you to do this!

You can find out how to do this in our migration guide. The DKC also offers a “Domains Migration” consultation where a consultant can walk you through the steps of how to take your website with you when you go.

Ready to Go! #

Now that you know what is involved, you are ready to get started!

Want help getting started? #

If you would like assistance setting up Domain of One’s Own, including installing and getting started with WordPress, we encourage you to book an appointment with a DKC consultant.

Book an Appointment

Ready to go on your own? #

If you are ready to create your account right now, click the button below to start the process!

Create an Account

Reviewed by Anastasia Zanyuk 08/07/22

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