It's time for a new versus article! This time it's domain names!
For about eighteen months my website has been www.epiphany.gallery. It was something I chose that was kind of personal to me - Tiffany Epiphany - it rhymes, it's cute, it's been with me since high school.
The only problem is that tiffanyepiphany.com was taken, epiphany.com was taken, etc. There were some new domain extensions available at the time and epiphany.gallery seemed like a good one, a great one even!
Unfortunately there were some realities about alternate extensions that I hadn't realized:
- This domain is impossible to use for e-mails. Most websites do not recognize epiphany.gallery as a valid domain, so my e-mail is invalid for registering in many places.
- Some devices still do not recognize these alternate domain extensions. For example, my Kindle Fire cannot find epiphany.gallery to this day. This is terrible for mobile visitors who may not be able to actually access my website.
- Confusion. People don't know if that's really a website address or just the name of my website when they see it written down. Sometimes people are confused about whether I'm an independent solo artist or a gallery operator.
- Epiphany has nothing to do with my art. I obviously don't sign my work with it, and my art isn't particularly epiphany-centric.
Ever since I got married and changed my name, I've struggled to decide how to brand my art. My entire name is now ridiculously long to sign on paintings, which made me want to come up with a shorter way to sign my art. I also did not want my website address to be tiffanytolandscott.com - too many people misspell my last names (Tolland and Scot are not correct!) and it's just so long. I would never want to type that in on my phone!
Around Christmas time it dawned on me that I should just use Tito. TITO is how I frequently show up on art show paperwork. Many shows use a combination of initials and numbers to identify artwork and make sure that the pieces always get credited or returned to the correct artist. For some shows I'm just TT, but for others I show up as TITO - the first two letters of my first name and the first two letters of my last.
I'd been wanting to use Tito for years, but I wasn't sure what people would think. Would they think I was changing my name permanently? Would they think I was transitioning genders? Would they just be confused because Tito is typically a man's name?
Now I feel like Tito is an unusual, cute name for a girl, and I'm an unusual person, so it fits. I won't be changing my name to Tito, it's just how I'll sign my work, and my new website address and all materials will be branded Tito: The art of Tiffany Toland-Scott.
I have more work to do to completely rebrand everything on my site and all of my projects, but I had to start somewhere and this seemed like the easiest and most obvious place to begin.
If you're considering registering a domain with an odd extension, I would urge you to reconsider. Unless your name is John Smith, using the name you sign your work with shouldn't be an issue. FirstnameLastname.com is always a good choice, or if you can make a cute nickname out of your initials, that's a good option, too.
In the end, as cool as some of the new extensions are, if they don't work then they're as good as not having a website at all.
I hope that clears up any potential confusion about the new logo/banner for the site and the new domain name that will start showing up soon: titoland.com!