It’s always a concern, but no longer a surprise, to me when business owners come to us seeking help, support, and eventual development of their websites, that the first hurdle we encounter is getting access to the domain, usually followed closely by figuring out where a site is hosted, then getting access to that too. Yes, they are two separate things.
If you’re a business owner, your website is a significant business asset, and your domain is your title to that piece of internet real estate. Stop now and consider; do I have access to the domain registration, could I access it right now if I had to (in an emergency), do I even know what all this means?
If you answered yes, great, you probably have better things to do than read the rest of this post, if no, then read on.
Look, when faced with the nerdy nomenclature of domains, their associated DNS Zone records and the distinction between domain, and hosting, it’s quite understandable that you would delegate this responsibility to someone else to take care of it but, unless done properly, this can be a recipe for disaster.
In many instances we see business owners who have got themselves in strife because they have let someone else register things, including their domain, on their behalf, usually because it appears too complicated.
But, what if something happens, like a falling out, an employee leaving, a family feud (it happens)? You can be left in a position where it’s very difficult to regain control of your domain.
Here’s why it’s important to keep control of your domain name.
Always control access
Your domain name is like a title, the closest analogy being the title to land. It’s your legal title to occupy a space, in the case of a land title the physical address where you can build a home, in the case of a domain, a space on the internet where you can build your brand. The longer that domain has been in use, the more you’ve invested in your reach and authority the more valuable it becomes, and the more impact will be caused by losing access to it.
You must control the access to the domain and make sure that your business fully owns the name.
Don’t rely on someone else to register your domain.
Don’t let someone else register your domain name on your behalf. You should ensure that you are registered as the domain owner, changing that detail can come at a cost. At WebFoundations we can provide Clients who want it access to a domain portal where you have complete ownership and access control, where we can help you get everything setup right.
What happens if someone else registers your domain?
Someone else, probably unwittingly and without thinking it through, may list the owner as themselves, or in the case of a web developer in their own business name. If you’re trying to regain control of a domain you’ve lost access to this can be very difficult to resolve.
Keep your login details secure
Keep the login details to your domain registrar safe, use a password manager and ensure you don’t provide these details to someone you don’t explicitly trust. When a person has access to your domain registrar they have the capability to transfer your domain out and make it very difficult to retrieve the domain.
Don’t ignore reminders in your inbox
Be sure that domain renewal reminders will come to your email address. As you are in control of the domain you need to pay attention to any communication that comes through to you regarding your domain. Don’t ignore these reminders, if you don’t renew your domain you website, and your email system, will stop working.