Does a photographer need a domain name? Does anybody really need a domain name? What is a domain name? Why are they important? What are they used for? How much do they cost?
In answer to the above questions, a domain name is simply a short way to find the webspace upon which something is hosted. It's much easier to type "bongo.com" than it is to type "bongo.flibbertygibbet.com". There is a school of thought that it's important for a business to have a website and thus a domain name that reflects the name of the business. Usually the .com names are held in greater prestige. In terms of cost, what's happening is specialised domain name companies are selling a series of numbers that corresponds to the domain name chosen (which in themselves have no value) for increasingly large sums of money. Thus a "lowly" domain such as fliffleflaffle.org that might be solf for $5.99 might go for many thousands of dollars if the name spelt something popular like BostonCreamPie.Com. The only importance related to a domain name is the "prestige" associated with it. Webspace provided by a webhost is usually a subdomain of the webhost name. Thus if there was a webhost called "myhost.com" then flibbertyflabbet would be flibbertyflabbet.myhost.com which is known as a subdomain. Nobody really needs a domain name. The possession of a domain name is usually just a matter of pride and nothing greater.
Many times in the choosing of the domain names, britphoto.us and britinthe.us, consideration was given as to the worth of bothering with a domain name. Dot US domain names are among the cheapest at $3.99 and they're still grossly overpriced. There are some well-known sites that are actually subdomains such as strobist.blogspot.com. The only bonus with a short domain name is that it's much easier to type. That is about the only benefit of a domain name in many instances. Another method would be to have a simple code phrase on various webpages on a subdomain website which would lead Google straight to the site.
Do domain names have a value greater than $3.99? Not really - not unless the purchaser is desperate to acquire that particular domain name. When searching for something online, it's usually far easier to search for a product number or name to find it than to find the manufacturer's website and then hunt though that.
It is rather surprising that the domain name scam has continued for so long. Not many years ago, companies selling things that didn't actually exist in the physical world would have found their directors tarred, feathered and run out of town. It's beginning to look like quite an attractive option.