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Do you really own your domain?

Recent conversations with a couple of clients have shown that they really did not have control over their domain, or hadn’t considered how important it was to track when their domain might be due for renewal. Same with web hosting. This can cause big problems if you wish to shift your site or get work done and the designer disappears or hasn’t given you relevant information.

I often ‘rescue’ clients from situations where previous hosts or designers had registered the client’s domain name in their own name (instead of the client), presumably to keep track of when these things were due. The reality is that a domain name, and the web hosting, should be in your own name, or business name.  As your web host and/or designer I usually make sure I’m added as your tech contact to ensure I can also get notification to prompt you, but the reality is all billing notifications should come to you. Two clients have recently lost access to their sites because their domain name expired and was snapped up by someone else, or because they didn’t have login access at the domain registry relating to their domain name.

A simple search at a WHOIS site will assist you. Two are WHOIS Lookup and Melbourne IT WHOIS. Simply enter your domain name and it should tell you where your domain name was registered (the domain registry), whose name it is registered in, when it was last updated and where the site is being hosted (your web host). Make sure you check and know when your domain is due for renewal and ALWAYS renew it before the due date, NEVER after. There is an $80 charge for retrieving domains that have expired – or could be more, depending on the domain registry.  You should get notice at least a month out, but often long before that, with reminders 4, 3, 2 and 1 week before expiry.

Need help to determine the real ownership of your domain? Contact me today via the form on this site.

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