(And you almost certainly do!) Make sure you have control…
Your domain is the most important aspect of your online presence. It controls who can get to your website, your email and your blog! It is your address on the web and ‘points’ to your website just as your physical address points to your premises.
The domain name system is not terribly complex, but it’s just complex enough that not everyone understands how it all works. For that reason many businesses allow their domain names to be registered by their IT or web design team. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, but when it comes to domain names we always help our clients to register and retain control over their own domains and here’s why…
Here’s a surprisingly common scenario: your IT people or web designer registers your domain name on your behalf, not under your name or your company’s name, but under their name. Most IT companies have a single portal through which they will manage many of their customers domains. Now that’s convenient for the service provider, but what happens if they move to Antarctica, or close up shop, or you decide to move to an alternative IT or web design company? Alarm bells!
Now your domain name is expiring and you don’t know how or where to log in to renew or update your information. Maybe you don’t even find out about this until your domain has already expired and suddenly your website is unreachable. Believe it or not this, this is not uncommon – even the mighty Google lost their domain for a while when eagle-eyed Sanmay Ved snapped it up for just $12!
So here’s what we suggest as best practice. Make sure your domain is registered under your name and your address. Your IT or web designer can still be technical contacts, or give them the login details if they need to make any changes. Make sure you have both the registrar’s name (e.g. 123-Reg or GoDaddy, for instance), and most importantly, the login details.
If you’re unsure, then your IT or web design team will help you, although they might not like it much. A hefty percentage is often levied for managing a domain name – although of course there’s a ‘value-added’ element to take into consideration. After all, it’s much easier to login to one portal rather than faffing about trying to obtain various usernames and passwords.
In summary, something as sensitive and significant as your domain name should be under your control – not a third party, no matter how much trust you put in them.