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Retaining ownership of your domain

Over the weekend I received emails from two clients, concerned about their websites and domains.

For one their website wasn’t visible and a quick check with http://whois.melbourneit.com.au/ showed me that their domain had expired last week. So the website wasn’t lost but with the domain not being active, the site was no longer visible. So important that domains are renewed by the due date. If I am your domain registrar, I do not have control over this either – late payment means it expires.

The other had been receiving emails to say their domain was due to expire but they weren’t sure how to renew it.

When you own some real estate on the web, it’s very, very important that you have on record the following information:

  • A list of the domains you own and when they are due for renewal (Aussie domains are bi-annual, and other domains are annual).
  • Login access to your domains – are they with different domain registries or with the one?
  • Know who your domain registrar is so that you don’t get duped by fake emails.
  • A record of when your web hosting is due and with whom.
  • Login access to your web hosting account.

While these type of things may feel like they are beyond some of you, it is so important that you have this information stored safely away so that your web host, or someone else you trust that has the relevant knowledge, can assist you when there is the need. Claiming back a domain that has expired is costly (often around $80USD to get it back while during the grace period) but if someone else has bought it you will have lost it entirely.

On the point of domain registries above – I recommend you shift all your domains to the one registry. That way you don’t lose track of what you have and where they are, and you’re less likely to get tricked into renewing your domain with another service – just because they say you need to. I do provide domain registration services at http://domains.acs-webhosting.com if you have that need.

If considering purchasing hosting or email services, please do contact me first to discuss so that I can explain the different options available to you.

Why you should have two email addresses

If you’re in business, and especially if you’re using your own domain address for email contact (as you should be), it is also important to have a secondary email address – not attached to that domain. Why is this?

A few reasons:

  • I believe it’s important to separate business from personal.  I have a personal email address for family and friends to use to contact me.  I like to keep things separate.
  • If your domain is being transferred to a new server, your email will be down for a small period of time. Would be good for your host to be able to contact you still via the other address, as a backup.
  • When your domain is due for renewal, good to have the renewal notice going to both email addresses.
  • If your server is down (for whatever reason) it is good to still be able to get email in and out via another service

And I’m sure there are other reasons too. While I have a personal email address that is mostly for personal use, it does become useful if something occurs where I need to be able to access another address. Of course, as a web host and owner of more than one website, I actually have more than one email address via different servers. However, some of my clients don’t and if I need to contact them via email to advise a transfer has taken place, I’m unable to contact them if they only have the one address.  At least not till business hours when I can give them a call.

Worth thinking about.