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8 Tips to Be the Master of Your Domain

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 by Erin Peters

Do you know the name of your domain registrar?

How about your login information?

Are you even the registered owner of your domain?

If you’re not sure, it’s time to take action. As a business owner, the loss of your domain could be devastating to your company. But by being proactive, you can prevent the potential disaster  of losing your domain.

Whether you worked with a web development firm or a freelance web designer, it’s up to you to ensure that you have full control over your domain name. Here are eight tips to be the master of your domain:

 

1. Know who your domain registrar is. Do you know which company your domain is registered with? You should, as you’ll need to go through the registrar to renew your domain or switch web hosts. A few popular registrars include Go Daddy, Network Solutions and Register.com. If you’re unsure, use a free look-up service such as whois.net.

2. Make sure you are the registered owner of your domain. Who owns your domain? You or the web developer that set up your site? All too often, we see clients come to Graphtek needing to reclaim domains that were registered to disappearing web developers. Fortunately, this can be prevented by proactively ensuring your web developer registers the domain under your or your organization’s name. Your domain is an integral part of your business and should never be owned by a third party.

3. Know your login information for your domain. One of the advantages of working with a web developer is that they’ll handle the setup and maintenance of your domain. This can be great—until you decide to switch developers or your developer disappears. Unfortunately, we see this happen a lot. Don’t let a web developer hold your site hostage—make sure you have the login name and password to access your account.

4. Keep your contact information current. If you no longer use the email address associated with your domain registration, you’ll never see the expiration and renewal emails your registrar sends. Not only is keeping your contact information current required under ICANN’s Whois Data Reminder Policy but it also helps prevent an unintentional lapse in your registration. Make sure the email address on file is one you check regularly so you don’t accidentally lose your domain.

5. Set your domain to auto-renew. Do you know when your domain registration expires? Most people don’t, and if you forget to renew your registration when it expires, you risk potentially losing your domain to another buyer. Don’t gamble with the rights to your domain name—opt for your registrar’s auto-renew option bills you automatically before your registration expires.

6. Set a registrar lock. Also called a domain lock or transfer lock, a registrar lock ensures your domain isn’t accidentally transferred to another owner. It also prevents your domain from being illegally transferred to another owner without your permission. With a registrar lock, the only way your domain can be transferred is if you log into your account and unlock the domain.

7. Avoid domain registration scams. Scammers love to target domain owners with false claims of domain expiration, such as Domain Registry of America’s recent domain renewal scam. While the company name may sound legitimate, they were actually sending false renewal notices that, if paid, actually transferred ownership to Domain Registry of America! Never respond to letters or emails about your domain registration, expirations or renewals from anyone except ICANN or your domain registrar.

8. Add domain privacy to your registration. If your registrar offers domain privacy for free or a small fee, we always recommend that our clients opt in. Domain privacy prevents your personal information, such as your name, phone number and address, from being publicly linked to your domain registration. If you don’t opt for domain privacy, your personal information could be used by scammers, identity thieves and direct marketers to target you and your domain.

As a full-service web development firm, Graphtek Interactive never holds client domains hostage. Whether you need help with an existing domain or are ready to set up your company’s web presence, contact Graphtek Interactive today to get started.







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