Today I have a public service announcement. There is a very simple check that could save your company, and I bring it up because I am working with a number of companies going through this very issue.
To start off I will pose a question. Do you control your domain name? You have a website and the domain name works. You pay to renew it but…do you actually have control of it?
Here is what I have seen happen. You start-up a company and you choose your domain name. You have your web person, or maybe someone in the office register the domain name and set up hosting. All is well until you want to change hosts, move the domain name or change the contact information. Then you discover the domain name is registered in the name and email address of someone you don’t talk to anymore.
Now you’re stuck.
The problem is that often web designers and assistants, often with the right intentions, register the accounts using their personal information. When you, as the company owner go to make changes to the domain you are restricted because you are not listed as the owner. Sometimes you can get that changed but the biggest problem is when the email address used for the admin contact is not accessible. Any changes, especially in regard to transfer or redirecting, get approved through the admin contact email so if you can’t receive the email you can’t make the changes.
How can you avoid the problem?
Look through the information listed for your domain names (yes, all of them). Make sure the contact information, especially the email address, is generic enough that you would always be able to receive it. Don’t let it be a personal email, unless it is a company controlled email address, because if something happens to the person you still need to get the email at that address.
I have seen companies nearly lose their business, and others had to go through a re-branding process, simply because their domain was unchangeable. Don’t let it happen to you.