I have come across this problem way to often when taking on new customers:
They don’t own their domain name
This is the scenario. I take on a new customer and they want a new website designed. A few years ago they paid someone for their first website. I check the domain and see that it is not registered in the business or owner’s name. They previous web design guy or web hosting company has registered the domain in their name.
Lets start with what a domain is and why it is important:
- A domain is for example mybusinnessdomain.com or mylocalbusinessdomain.co.za
- It is your virtual address for people to find you
- Your email is in most cases linked to this domain
- A domain is registered and belongs to someone after registration
- This domain points to the server that hosts your website and handles your email
So why is it a problem if you don’t own your domain:
- Your customers are used to this domain name and will use it again
- You can’t move your website to a new host if something goes wrong or your current hosts go belly up
- All your marketing material and business cards already have this domain on
- Your email usually goes through this domain
- You could lose lots of customers if you lose control of your email / website
- If the guy who did your web design disappears or something happens to him it is a long drawn out process to get control of your domain name. Sometimes this process is close to impossible.
What should you do?
- Check today if you own your domain.
- Do a whois check on your own domain.
- For a .co.za go to http://coza.co.za and click on whois on the left.
- For .com you can use http://whois.com
- Check that the registrant is you or your business. The registrar can be a different company. Check that your own email is the registrant email.
The service I prefer to use for domain name registration is GoDaddy
Do not use them for hosting your website though. There are better hosting service providers, but GoDaddy is great for managing your domain name.
For hosting it is better to use either Afrihost or Bluehost. Use Afrihost if your target market is South Africa. Use Bluehost if your target market is international.
If any of the above is a problem you need to sort it our ASAP before something happens.
Need any help with domains? Just contact me.
Any comments on this? Just post below.