Are you sure you are the registered owner of your business website name? Do you know when your domain name registration expires? If you aren’t sure then read this article to learn how to avoid the possibility of actually losing your own business website address!
As a small business owner you should be aware of two common risks to your website domain name (commonly called its web address).
- Losing your domain name because you simply failed to renew it. Do you know when your URL registration expires? You should! The worst case scenario is you accidently let it expire and someone else immediately registers it and you’re SOL.
- You aren’t the registered owner of your business website domain name. It’s very common for website developers to register your business domain using their name. The problem with this is if you ever have a disagreement they (or your hosting company) may freeze your site until resolved. If this happens you can basically be held hostage.
Luckily, it’s easy to find out who the registered owner of your domain is and when it actually expires. Simply visit this site that uses the internet function WHOIS:
Enter your website name (without ‘www’ at the beginning). If you look under the Domain Name section you should see the ‘Expiry Date’. If you fail to renew your domain by this date you risk losing it. There are people out there waiting to jump in and register domain names that expire and resell them so don’t let this happen to your business.
Now look under Organization Name to see who the registered owner of the domain is. Hopefully it’s you but if not, at least somebody you know. You may see the name of the firm that manages ‘private’ domain registrations and keeps your contact information private (to avoid SPAM, etc). This is OK if your name is there also.
So what should you do? First, take steps to make sure your domain name doesn’t expire accidently. This can be done with your hosting company or 3rd party services. Secondly, make sure you are the registered owner of your domain. It’s OK to use a respected company to manage it for you (and keep your info private) but be concerned if someone else is the registered owner of your domain.
There are numerous 3rd party ‘domain management’ companies (just do a Google search) that allow you to keep all your domain names in one location and prevent some of the issues discussed. This is highly recommended if you use many different domain names and/or if you use more than one hosting service.
For a review of domain registration and management services check out this site:
– Steve (www.SPMsolutions.NET)