Buying a custom domain without an email address?

I’m currently on Gmail and looking for an alternative. One reason is that I don’t like feeling trapped with my Google account because all my contacts and accounts use my address.

The solution to that aspect seems to be using a custom domain. Rather than having or or something, my email address could use a domain that I own and control. My email provider could change and my contacts and accounts wouldn’t need to be updated.

Here’s the problem. All the domain name registrars I’ve seen (such as Cloudflare, Namecheap, Porkbun) require an email to register in the first place. If my access to my custom domain is dependent on an established email address, then I’ve only shifted my dependence on an email provider, not broken free from it. Do I understand this right?

My best guess to work around this would be change my domain name registrar account’s email after my purchase to literally use the email with the custom domain I bought from them. But I can’t help but feel that’s the wrong way to go about things.

Is there a way to have the kind of sovereignty over my email and domain name that I seek? What are your strategies for using a custom domain for your email?

You haven’t shifted any dependance. Changing your email with the registrar is a trivial process and can be done at a moment’s notice unlike changing it with all of your contacts and service providers.

Also, I don’t think any registrar particularly restrics access based on email address unless you set up email-based 2FA.

So, just create some email address to use with registrar, setup email forwarding on that account to your own domain, and log into it once a year or so to avoid losing the account.

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You can use your own domain email for a domain registrar. Just be careful that you don’t get a code in your inbox to sign in, in case you forget to pay and lose access to that email. They usually send you lots of warnings, and you can enable automatic renewal. If you don’t want to do this, there’s nothing wrong with just using or only for the domain registrar, as you’ll still be using your own domain most of the time.

I can’t recall who but some domain registrars even warn their customers NOT to set their Administrative Contact email at the domain they manage through them, specifically its MX records. Apparently because a lot of people are doing it.