When you create a website, there are 2 pieces involved – your domain and your host. These are very separate entities but they MUST work together for your website to be successful. Your domain name is the identifier of your website where the host of your website is basically where your website lives.
One of the biggest issues we find people have with their domain is ownership. There are many companies that offer domain registration and hosting as a joint service. They will even let you build your website on their user-friendly platform. However, what they won’t disclose is that they ultimately own both the domain and hosting and if you want to change it, you have to endure fines and headaches. And if you don’t want to follow their rules, you might lose your domain name, which could have terrible consequences.
Not owning your domain will have serious repercussions. First, you would have to start over with a new website. All the content you wrote, images you loaded, testimonials you got….gone. Not to mention you will experience downtime while a new website is being built. Second, you would lose all the SEO work done up to that point. Your new content would have to be optimized, you would have to build new links, and basically start over in the search rankings. Third, you’d be competing with the other website. The company that owns the domain is not just going to take down the site. They will leave it up and it will become direct competition. Fourth, and probably worst, someone else would be in charge of your old domain. There are so many bad things that could happen when you no longer have control over your domain. Not to mention all the places your own domain appears.
So now that you’ve decided that it is important to register your own domain name, we move to the how. There are five easy ways to protect yourself and your domain name:
- Purchase your domain name from an independent company like GoDaddy or Register or Internetbs.net. That way your domain is separate from your host and you are assured that you are the only one who has access to it.
- Register your domain to the business name and not a personal name. That way if you have to sell or step away from the business, you can easily transfer ownership.
- Don’t share your domain registrar password with anyone. Your web developer, marketing agency, or website provider will never need access to this.
- Keep your login details separate and different for your domain registrar and hosting provider so that if you are hacked, they can’t access both.
- If you do use a third party to purchase your domain name, ask lots of questions! Who owns the domain? What happens if you end your contract? Who owns the website and its contents? If any of these answers don’t match with you or your company, walk away!
For help registering your domain and protecting the future of your business, contact us today!