Are You The Master Of Your Domain Name?
Just click your heels three times and repeat after me, "There's nothin like owning your own domain name…there's nothin like owning your own domain name."
Just recently, I was approached by a client who thought it odd that they never received any renewal notices on their domain name. A quick WHOIS confirmed my immediate reaction. The domain was registered under the name of the web geek that did the site design. Luckily, after a few frantic phone calls this site owner was a happy camper again because he had the domain ownership transferred to him without a hitch.
Domain Name Fact: A Domain Name is "owned" by or licensed to the person or entity shown as the "registrant" in the WHOIS database. Any person or entity listed as the administrative, billing or technical contact has the power to affect changes to the domain name including the transfer of ownership and registrars.
I'm sure there is no ill will intended on the part of most webmasters, company employees and ISP's who are commonly listed as the "registered" owners of some domain names. It used to be common practice to just "get the damn name registered," but cyber-slap yourself if you've got your domain registered under anyone else's name except your own and get it transferred to you pronto. Without the ownership of the domain, the only thing that's rightfully yours is the content, the HTML code and some graphics.
Imagine building a successful e-commerce site with a steady stream of repeat customers and oodles of walk in traffic and then lose it all when your domain name is swiped right out from under your "deviated septum" by the listed "registrant" or just plain taken away from you because you chose to use a free or virtual domain. You'll feel like you've just been "mugged" when you find out your business was built on a house of cards because of an oversight or just plain ignorance of domain name ownership law.
Your domain name is just about the only vital thing you can control.
It's bad enough there aren't many things you can control when it comes to this untamable beast we call the Internet. Your hard earned search engine rankings could be severely penalized or even eliminated with one lightning-quick change of an algorithm or an over-zealous SEO strategy.
A lot of your traffic resides in that same search engine "bubble" that could burst in a nano-second and I'm not gonna pile on the doom and gloom with a "rats nest" of other scenarios that could dry up your traffic faster than a Sunday afternoon in the Sahara.
If you haven't already done so, make it a point to start today and change your "cameo appearance" domain registration ways and register your domains under your own name with your own credit card.
If you currently have any domains that show up in the WHOIS database as anyone or any entity other than the rightful owner…get the information corrected ASAP.
If you're just starting out, you might be tempted to use free or virtual domains that are popular on portal sites. Don't do it. You don't have ownership of a free domain and it could be taken away at any time. In a nightmarish scenario, you could spend a heck of a lot of time and money building a site with a free domain and lose all your efforts if the company that provided it goes belly-up.
ws Website Domain Name Tutorial
Domain Name Tutorial
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