We’ve worked with several business owners who wanted to avoid website technicalities like the plague. Although we’re flattered that they trusted us enough to do the work, we’ve always known that letting someone else take care of your domain name is a big mistake.
It’s a bit like having your accountant do you books, and you never look at them again.
Let us say that again: if you own a business, however big or small, you should always be in control of your domain name. No one else. We don’t make the rules, but we can tell you how they work: if anything goes wrong, you could lose your domain name for good.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’ve allowed a trustworthy tech guy to register your domain name on your behalf. Or a web designer. Or a tech-savvy friend, or even a coworker. No problem with that – they’re people you trust. But what happens if your coworker quits and cut contact with you? Or if your tech guy, for some reason, changes their number and you can’t get a hold of them anymore?
In a lot of cases, it will be possible to regain access to that domain name. But why go through the headache of relying on someone else to regain control of your domain name? It would be like asking the Netflix owner for their password, and we all know how annoying that can be.
Thankfully, that trouble is 100% avoidable. Today, we’ll go over why it’s so important that you take full control of your domain name, with a few things to keep in mind.
Always Have Full Access Control
It’s your online business. Why would you let someone else hold the keys?
We say “keys” because your domain name is one of your most important business assets. If you own your business, you should own every last part of it, delegating only that which needs to be delegated. Access to your domain isn’t one of the areas that should be managed by someone else.
Don’t Allow Someone Else to Register Your Domain For You
We hear phrases along the lines of “set it all up for us” quite often. And we are happy to do this. We also explain that while we don’t mind registering their domain on their behalf we need the right details to ensure that the domain is in their name, and they have legal ownership of it.
Even though you could have others manage your domain name down the road – be it a tech professional or someone who must have access to that domain – you should be the one labeled as the “owner”. Either as an individual or a business.
Now, here’s why that matters…
If Someone Else Registers, That Could Mean Bad News
In order for someone to register a domain name, they must claim to be the owner of that domain. Again, either as a business or an individual. That makes them the registrant, or the person who has the right over that domain in every angle. That includes domain renewal, transfer, or any changes associated with it.
If, for whatever reason, that person loses their access to the domain name, that means you’ve lost it, too. That could turn a simple situation into a tricky one. For instance, if that domain isn’t renewed in time, it becomes available for someone else to buy. If someone buys it, you’ve lost it forever. Unless, of course, you try to negotiate it with the new registrant. Which may be, quite frankly, impossible.
Keep Your Login Credentials Safe
Though this may sound like Internet Safety 101, we’ll say it louder for the people in the back:
- Don’t hand over credentials like usernames and passwords to people, even if you trust them. However nice they may seem.
- Always grant access to your account using the user management facility. This way you can also turn that user off when required.
- Use a password manager to store one master password. Not only will a PM suggest hacker-proof passwords, but it’ll also keep it stored and ready to be autofilled.
- Keep your login details safe to your domain registrar.
This is solid advice coming from us, as we’ve dealt with cases in which people have had their domains transferred out of accounts. Most of them went through a rough patch to get those back, and we don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
Never Ignore Reminders From Your Registrar
However ignorable they may look, don’t swipe up on reminders from your domain registrar. Plus, always make sure that these email reminders reach your inbox.
Because you’ll be the one in control of your domain name, you need to renew it whenever you get a reminder. Fail to do so, and you could lose access to both your web and your email domains.
So, How Can You Make Sure You Never Lose Your Domain Name?
The 3 basics:
- Ensure its your name and email address as the registrant contact
- It’s your account with the domain registrar, and you pay the bills for it
- Pay attention, and read carefully, emails regarding your domain names
There are more than 40 other things you should do to your domain name to keep it safe, and give it the best life supporting your email and website.
With the heaps of things you have to do in a day and the hundreds of pings you get, that one high-priority email could get buried. That’s all it takes for your domain to be at risk.
If actually remembering to do things is the hard part for you, don’t sweat it. Grab our interactive Domain Name Checklist by filling out the form below and keep it handy. As long as you can check all those boxes, your domain will be safe.