What is a domain name? Its your website address. You know, businessnamehere.com or .net .org .me etc… Just like chriseggleston.com is my domain name.
Why is owning your own domain important?
Just image, your business is growing. Your social media traffic is increasing. You’re generating leads through your website. Your brand exposure is increasing. People are starting to recognize you as an industry leader.
Then one day it all changes!
You notice your leads stop. People are trying to email you but they are getting bounce back messages that you’re email address doesn’t exist. You try to pull up your website and you see a parked page saying your domain is expired and possible available for sale. People are mentioning you on social media asking if you’re still in business.
Your brand, your reputation, your establishment starts to crumble. Everything you spent the past months and years building is falling apart overnight.
All because your domain expired.
Your domain name is important to your brand and your business. Don’t make the mistake of giving the responsibility of managing it to someone else.
I have seem people lose their domains because their web developer went out of business or was carless and just forgot to renew the domains in their portfolio.
By the time the business owner caught on, their domain was bought through an auction and now the new owner has listed it for sale, asking $10,000, $25,000, and potentially even more.
There are also times when the individual who registered your domain holds it hostage, and uses it as a bargaining chip to get more money out of you.
Is it legal? Yep!
Is it fair? May not seem like it, but it’s your business, your responsibility.
I have personally helped my clients negotiate the buy back of their domain, something that would have been a $15 per year renewal, but now is costing them $2,100, $7,000 and other sometimes higher prices.
You could say, I’m not paying that and go look for a new domain, but then what?
You’ll have to start the process of rebranding your online presence. Updating your listings, social media, backlinks, etc. Plan on losing your search ranking and having to rebuild your credibility.
Don’t forget to tell your customers that you have a new email address and that you’re still in business your websites just…moved!?
What’s the right way to handle your domain registration?
It’s really simple, setup a GoDaddy account, buy your domain for at least 10 years (that’s the max), include the Registration Protection, and don’t allow anyone to talk you into transferring that domain to them or to another registrar.
This is what it looks like when you purchase your domain from GoDaddy:
Now the reason I recommend GoDaddy is because they are huge company and you get domains really cheap through them, they have good support and you can depend on them for help.
What happens when you need to setup your domain?
There is going to come a time when your developer says, hay we need access to your domain to setup/change your website and email.
Here’s what you do.
Ask them for all the information you need to make the changes they need to make, then you call GoDaddy support and ask them to show you how to make the changes.
You can also provide your developer with delegate access into your account, but never give anyone your GoDaddy login info, they can still your domain with that info.
Thats all folks!
The bottom line, this is your business and your brand, so why would you risk that by letting someone else control your domain?
If you don’t have control, get control. If you do, lock it down with a long term renewal and by adding the protected registration.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, use the comments below.