Domains – Protecting Your Investment
I always say that the purchase and setup of a domain and hosting should be left to the professionals; diving into something that you don’t completely understand, you’re bound to make a mistake. However, even when using a professional, you should always make sure that you protect yourself and the investment you’re making in your online identity.
Make sure that your web developer registers the domain under your name and that you always remain as the administrative contact on the domain. As long as you’re the registered owner of he domain, you will receive notifications when changes are made to any contacts on the domain. This is very important in protecting your investment – it will also help if you ever decide to move web providers as you won’t need to contact the web company to initiate the move.
Always make sure to obtain the essential login information for your domain and hosting from the provider. This should always include the login information for the domain as well as the hosting (these will sometimes have separate login, but always make sure that you can access all your information with the login you’re provided.)
If you ever decide that you’re going to move your domain away from your current provider, your domain authorization code is the key to this transfer. Without this integral piece of the puzzle you won’t be able to touch the domain. You should make sure even before you sign any agreements with a web development company that you’ll have access to this code. If the answer is no then you should definitely find a new solution. Also, because anyone with access to the authorization code can change it at any time (only with certain providers like TuCows,) you should have direct access to the code, and not just supplied the code in writing. Here are some of the most common domain providers and their sites that you should get login information for:
- TuCows: https://manage.opensrs.net/
- GoDaddy: They have their own admin system – you should make sure a new account is set up and registered for your company that the domain is purchased under and that you have direct access to this. If they set the domain up under their name, unless you explicitly trust them, you should have them create an account and transfer the domain.
These log in pages will also contain the information for managing the contacts on your domain (ie. Administrative contact, Technical contact, Billing contact, etc.)
How Do I know If I’m The Owner?
The first and best thing to do before contacting your domain provider is to run a search on it. You can use a site like www.whois.net to search your domain. If the privacy is not turned on, then your search will show the registrant, admin contact, technical contact, etc. Once you have this information you’ll know what you need to do to gain full control of your domain.
Although in many cases, being the owner of the domain may not affect you and a lot of development companies would comply with your transfer requests regardless of your name being down as the registrant – but, it’s always better to be safe. If you have any other specific questions on this, leave a comment or send me a message.