Guard Your Domain Name, Hosting and Web site
Across the United States and internationally there are companies that sell and re-sell domain names or ‘website addresses. They are referred to as a ‘Domain Registrar’. Some domain registrars include; Go Daddy, Host My Site, Host Gator, iPower, Host Dime, Network Solutions, Register, Yahoo! hosting, Tuscows and thousands more.
I have a few website clients whose domain names and web hosting are controlled by a 3rd party such as their web designer, public relations person or IT support person. This is all fine, but not a very wise thing to do. Even if you have the login or passwords to your domain registration account(s) you must be sure that YOU or your business are primary registered person of record for your website domain-name account; that the billing for payment comes to you. Otherwise the person or business on record could change the password and lock you out. See: Protecting Your Domain Name
No amount of money or legal power is going to help you take control of your domain name so you need to plan ahead. Life is messy and unpredictable; ‘what happens if your web developer gets hit by a freight train?’ On a more serious note here are a few REAL WORLD case studies for a few of my clients who have experienced loss or disruption of their website and/or website domain name in different ways.
a. A national non-profit client’s website launch was delayed for 3 months. A former employee had registered their domain name, left the organization and left no forwarding address or contact information.
b. A large construction company website was off-line for 2 weeks when an employee with their IT vendor made updates to their domain registration accounts. The employee went of vacation and no one with the IT vendor could locate the login credentials to help correct the problem.
c. A well-known technology company acquired a new technology business along with their website. The website had been live for many years, had good Google ranking thus adding to the value of the purchase. However no one could find or contact the person who had registered the domain name resulting in the domain name expiring.
Never put the power and control of your domain name in the hands of a 3rd party. Life is messy: Companies go out of business, companies change address or location, employees leave for new jobs or get fired, accounting departments miss payments, emails get changed, email servers go down and so on. Any of the reasons above may result in your website going off line or worse yet result in you loosing your domain name altogether. If you have to acquire a new domain name read How to Select a Quality Domain Name.
Be sure that you and you alone are ‘master of your domain’.