I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “changing your name” before, but it’s an important decision. When dealing with online accounts or even just social media sites like Facebook and Instagram there are many considerations that need to be made before changing one’s legal first and last names on these platforms.
Not only that but in physical spaces where one may have associated themselves publicly under their new persona rather than sticking close by unchanging identify standards set out within law documents such as probate court proceedings here in the United States.
Changing Your Name or Username Online
The dog is always right! This phrase holds true for more than just the family pet. You should also think about your username carefully before getting started on any new social media accounts or email addresses because some websites/networks reserve those names and will not let you change them after registration has been completed.
So be sure that whatever name fits best in terms of style goes ahead with it (even if there isn’t much difference). Think about your username carefully!
Some websites/networks will not change your name or the URL you originally started with!
How to Change Your Name on Facebook
The biggest social network was probably the easiest to change but one thing to beware of – Your Facebook URL will be changed and if you used any posts from Facebook, the links will be broken. An easy fix though here on WordPress.
However, be sure it’s changed on your business accounts as well. Learn how to change it on Facebook below:
- Review our profile name standards
- Click in the top right of Facebook and select Settings
- Click Name
- Enter your name and click Review Change
- Enter your password and click Save Changes
Keep in mind, you can only change your name every 60 days. Your profile name should be one that appears on an ID or other official documentation.
Twitter Only if Available
Twitter – I really wanted to change my Twitter handle to Lisapats but it was already taken by someone who never used it. They set it up in 2009 and only had 1 tweet. Their tweet explained that they were chilling. I think that person is still chilling since they have tweeted since.
I had thought of adding a number or two to it but learned that is not a professional-looking Twitter handle. I did not want to appear spammy with my Twitter username and numbers can do that!
LinkedIn Simple To Do
LinkedIn was simple like Facebook and the URL was the same way. You must change the URL of any links you have pointing to it after changing your profile name.
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View Profile.
- Click the Edit icon in the top section of your profile, to the right of your picture.
- On the Edit intro pop-up window, update your name in the First Name and/or Last Name text boxes.
- Click Save.
Where Else Should You Look for It?
Emails – If you change your email address and change them on the social networks be sure to verify your new email address when the emails pop in. Gmail is a difficult one to change your name.
Bookmarking Sites and Other Networking Places – There are many of these you may belong to so check each one and see if you can make the change on them. Try to keep it as uniform as possible online throughout all your networks and channels.
Your Gravatar – You know how important having a gravatar is when leaving blog comments on other blogs, right? That is easy to change on their website and it’s free to use.
Domain Name – Some bloggers and website owners use their name in their domain name. That can be tricky to change. You have to change the domain and point the nameservers to the correct one once completed.
Other social media accounts. You may also be on Pinterest, Medium, Substack, MeWe, Parler, Gab, etc.
Conversations with Different Names
I can’t tell you how many interesting conversations came about from my recent different last name, in person, at work, and online. Some people thought I remarried, others didn’t know what to make of it.
One customer actually called me to be sure it was my voice, the Lisa that they knew. Another emailed me, “I don’t mean to ask a personal question but why the name change?” I wrote back “Well, I am a person and it’s okay to get personal with me” and then I went on to explain that I had gotten divorced a year earlier but hadn’t the time to change the name till after my mom’s passing and getting things in order to do it.
I had been putting off knowing how much work it would be offline and online to make the change.
Have you had to change your name? How did you go about it? Did you know how to change your name on Facebook? (Were you able to?)
Or did you change a username when you changed your blogs or website’s name? I’d love to hear about your experience with your different name.
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I’ve only changed my name in a couple of places, but the biggest was on my blogs. For years I went only by “Mitch”, but I decided going by “Mitch Mitchell” instead might help me stand out a bit more for name recognition. That and because it shortened the list of well known people with the same name down to 2, even if one of those guys was Jimi Hendrix’ drummer. lol
The other change was on Instagram. I changed that name maybe 4 or 5 months ago, mainly because my birth date was associated with the name, and since I never tell anyone when my birthday is I realized that even if most people hadn’t associated the two things it was still a dead giveaway to anyone paying close attention.
Hi Mitch, nice to see you back here. How have you been? I did not notice that on Instagram, interesting! Did it change your followers or anything else that you have noticed since doing that on Instagram? Thanks for your input on this topic Mitch. I can see why you would use your last name for the blog. There may be many mitches out there!
Truthfully, I don’t think anyone noticed it. Everyone connected with me stayed connected to me after the name change, and by changing my name it changed the name on all previous content. Not upset one bit! 🙂
That’s great to hear Mitch! 🙂 Thanks for sharing here with us about your experience with an Instagram name change.
Finally got a chance to read your post. This is great info. Although I don’t need to change my name presently on anything, I would like to change my Facebook name. When I originally came online I put a business name as my handle, but didn’t know anything about business. Now that FB account is more personal. I need to change the name and this is good info.
Thanks very much for writing such a post. It’s good info for everyone to know.
Hi Barbara, I know how that goes with time 🙂 thank you.
Changing your name on Facebook should be easy unless someone else has it, love to know how you make out with it.
Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful day!
First thing I want to say is this: Are people stupid or what? They’ve never heard of a name change before? Especially for a female? That question you’ve got is weird to me to say the least. Duh!!!
Here is my story about name change and one that told me to never again change my name.
When I got married it took me about 2 weeks to get a strange name (meaning one of a stranger, also called a husband), however, when I got divorced, it took me a year to get my maiden name back (meaning the one I was born with :)). I remember that they kept my SS card for a year, so while I still had a number I didn’t have an actual card for all that time.
I couldn’t believe it, but that’s when I decided to never change my name again, no matter how many times I’d marry 🙂
I am not surprise that it’s not easy to change your name online, as indeed, many times a username or url cannot be changed.
Thanks for using this experience of yours to let us know that.
Hey Lisa, this is an interesting read of the day and I’m going to share it with my followers. I must agree with the fact you added here which should be considered while changing names of our digital profile. Unless you’re a brand face, chances of getting forget are high once you’ve done changing your name.. This decision must be taken considering lots of facts..
Hi Pawan, thank you. Yes, that’s why it took me time to do it. I was really thinking hard whether or not to but in the end I’m glad I have thought it’s been a lot of work, time and some money to change it both online and offline. Thanks for coming by and I hope you are having a great weekend!
Yes sometimes it happens that we find i tough to change names online.
Regarding your twitter name, it will look professional. Just add something unique to your personality. For example, most fo the celebrities name had been taken so they added a twist and it looks professional.
For example, since Amitabh_bacchan was taken, he named his twitter profile as SRbacchan since he is senior in industry.
Try and you will find one.
Take care. 🙂
I won’t be changing my name. Yep, Smith is my married name but I kept it only because when I got divorced 25 years ago the phone books were still around if you’ll remember. My maiden name is very unique so we were the only ones in that town with that name. I went to an unlisted number but still had people finding me. I thought at least this way they’ll have a problem finding me with the last name of Smith.
I’ve kept my maiden name only because I don’t have a middle name so I made it my middle name. I also told my parents that I was so tired of spelling my first and last name all the time. No one ever got them right.
I can only imagine now being online everything that you would have to change and there will people some ladies out there still needing to change theirs. Appreciate you putting this together and telling us what to expect. I’m sure it was a big chore.
Enjoy what’s left of your weekend and hope your year started off well.
Hi Adrienne, very interesting. You always have a good story to share 🙂 That waas a good idea to keep your name for those reasons. I do remember the phone books. Now I just put them in the recycle bin. You are welcome and I hope it does help some folks out there that may have to change theirs or who are thinking about it. I had a great weekend and am trying to get back in the swing. I hope you are doing well Adrienne and getting the stuff done that is needed at home.
I find the whole name change process discrimnatory. To set up an account on any of the networks you don’t need to prove who you are, but to change after divorce or marriage nearly always means having to prove you are you! And it affects women more than men!
I changed my name on Twitter and mine was free, so it was easy enough. However, FB is a different kettle of fish and I never truly got to change it to what I wanted.
Your post is really, really useful for when people have to go through this, and use your post as a guideline.
Hi Sarah, I know, men have it made right? LOL. True about having to prove who you are after – hadn’t thought of that one Sarah. I’m glad you found it useful. I appreciate your shares and comment on this one Sarah. I hope you have a good rest of the week!
What a handy list you have given us for a name change. Thank goodness I changed my name three times with three different marriages before the internet was around he he he. But if I had to do it now, it would be a project.
You have given us great advice of how to do it and I appreciate that to share with others. What a job, but one that needs to be done. And I’m sure that it was a big conversation attraction. I was sitting back quietly wondering why you changed your name. But I just figured you would tell us when you wanted to in due time 🙂
Thanks and I will surely blast this one out to the social sites.
Hi Donna, Thank you. Oh my – lucky you it was before the internet. It certainly is a project as I’m not totally complete with mine. It really is a conversation attraction. I’ve gotten to know others well too as they share their stories. I did it because I got divorced. I didn’t do it at time of final divorce which is a long story but wanted to change it since and finally got the time to get around to it after my mom’s death.
You are welcome welcome Donna and I appreciate your coming by to comment on this one. By the way, your last post was so Inspiring!!! Enjoy the rest of the week.
Love this response of yours ~ “Well, I am a person and it’s okay to get personal with me” 😉
Now this is something uncommon, but isn’t it beautiful how that experience turned into a post? 🙂 I can’t speak for all the social networks you have mentioned, but did you try changing your Google+ nickname from Account settings? I’ve changed it once for a friend of mine without any questions being asked.
Plus, if you wanna change your Twitter username and if the desired username is already in use for a inactive account, you can contact Twitter Support and ask them if you can change your username to that. If that user doesn’t seem to use that Twitter account (inactive for a long time), I think they will consider after contacting that user via email. I’m not sure as I haven’t done that myself, but I recall reading a similar story in a forum a few years back 🙂 Still… you can give it a shot, eh?
Talking about Gmail, you can create a new account with a new Google+ account, but then delete the new Google+ profile while keeping your new Gmail account 🙂
Hope you can try ’em out if you didn’t already and start 2015 with new usernames 😉
Wish you a very Happy New Year with every happiness and success on your side dear 🙂
Your 8 points are very clear, it is very necessary not to change your name online, it helps your credibility over the years.
Hi Emebu, i really hesitated a long time before doing it but it was necessary, thanks for coming by this post.
Hi Lisa, Yes, changing your name can be quite challenging. I haven’t changed my personal name, other than when I got married many years before social media. but I did change my Twitter ID after I started The Wonder of Tech. I had been on Twitter for 2 years before I started my website as @carpathia16. I wanted to have a single brand so I changed my Twitter ID to @wonderoftech. I wrote an article on how to do that: How To Change Your Twitter Name Successfully
I agree with Adrian, your Twitter ID shouldn’t have numbers. Also try to stay away from _underscores. If you can use a single name across social media you’ll be much happier.
I hope I never have to change my name legally, but if I do, I feel that people would recognize my maiden name because I use it as my middle name.
Thanks for this primer on how to change your name. I know this will help many people, Lisa. Good luck with the process!
Hi Carolyn, very interesting advice. Glad you also agree not to use numbers. How I wish Twitter would flush out old unused accounts/usernames! You and Adrian have me thinking about changing name of blog too. I know Ryan went through that and was very succesful with it. Thanks for coming by and sharing your input Carolyn. I hope you have a great 2015.
Happy New Year, Lisa!
Changing the name shouldn’t be difficult, but I guess it’s a nightmare to change the usernames and URLs. Broken links, suddenly your profile has no connections (no backlinks to other profiles from the same network), profile’s authority drops, etc.
Here are my tips. Business tips. (For hobby accounts there are no tips and no rules. Everything is OK)
1) You’re not a number, you’re a free human being. So don’t use numbers unless that’s a business account and the brand includes numbers itself.
2) Make it easy to remember. To the others, not only to you, your family and your close friends. Lisapatb or lisapats aren’t easy to remember usernames 😉
3) Make it short. On Twitter, the more characters you use for the username, the less space remains for the manual retweets of your content. Sometimes even one space is important.
4) Try to brand one single name/username. Being lisapatb on Twitter, lisasicard on Facebook and some other username on G+ may confuse everyone (except for you, your family and your close friends). Add to that the fact that someone else may use on Twitter the username you use on Facebook but don’t use on Twitter and the confusion created is even greater.
Hi Adrian, not so much difficult but time consuming. Oh yes we are not numbers. What do you suggest being a good username for me? I do have the business accounts with InspireToThrive as username.
Thanks as always for your input Adrian and I hope you have an awesome 2015.
First of all, an answer to a question you didn’t ask: on Twitter I would change your name from Lisa to Lisa Sicard. A first name (and that’s all) doesn’t sound like business, does it? Lisa who? It’s like you’re hiding, or you don’t care (hobby-like account) or you’re pop star. You aren’t a pop star, are you? 🙂
The best username is lisasicard. But that’s not available. So next choice is… I cannot say it unless I know what your goal is. Is it rebranding? Is it, “I wanna get rid of the letter b”? Or both of them?
Since lisasicard isn’t available I would think twice before changing anything. It’s not a very useful rebranding if you don’t use the same username everywhere. Are you ready to do that? Is it really useful to you?
If you still insist… well, do you have a middle name? It may solve the issue. Don’t you have one? Get one! Common, be creative! 😎 LisaPSicard would be way much better than lisa.sicard123 😉
Hi Adrian, you have given me more to consider. I know the name was taken on Facebook. I like your idea of middle name (initial) with it. I will check it out. Thanks Adrian.
Wow….there is really so much to consider after reading this, Lisa. It sounds like a lot of work. I think I will keep my nickname “Irish” . Hope you had a fantastic holiday. Happy New year. Thanks for sharing the gobs of resourceful info you share. I learn so much here from you.
Irish aka Lisa 😛
Hi Irish, yes – I would for sure if I were you. It was a lot of work and time. I am glad the holidays are past us now and a new year upon us. Glad you have learned some things here too. Have a fantastic 2015 and thank you for coming back again.
Thanks for sharing these tips with us. The only name change I made was to our Facebook profile. Luckily I haven’t had to change my name on any of my profiles but I’m hanging on to this – just in case :).
I hope you had a lovely holiday! Glad to see you back :). Have a great day and week and see you in the socialverse :).
Hi Corina, well I hope you never need to but we never know where life may take us. I am glad the holidays are past us and that we are in a new year. Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a great 2015 Corina.
Very good to know Lisa.
When Kelli and I get married soon – like really soon – she intends to keep her name as is.
I’ve no issues with that but in case she goes traditional and becomes Mrs. Kelli Biddulph this will be a handy list to reference.
After G Plus closed down my account like once or twice I said the heck with it and went with RB Biddulph as a gag. Of course now the account’s becoming semi popular lol!
Hi Ryan, a smart lady indeed 🙂
I think more and more women are keeping their own names or at least hyphenating them. Why did they close down your account Ryan? Thanks for coming by and Happy 2015!
I can only imagine the hassle you must have went through, and continue to do so. Thankfully, I haven’t had to change my last name but I only use that for email purposes. Across the interweb I try to keep it with Brenda Lee, first and middle. I hope you don’t have too many more networks to change. I think I’d be frustraded by now. BTW, that irritates me with Twitter. They should deactivate accounts that haven’t been used in like a year or so, don’t ya think?
Happy Monday girly!
Hi Brenda, it sure was not easy. That is great that you never included your last name. A good tip for any other females out there 🙂
I know, I wonder how many years before Twitter would flush out old non-users?
Hope your Tuesday is going well Bren and thanks for taking time to comment on this one.