The Importance of YOU Owning Your Domain

So as a business owner, entrepreneur or the like who is seriously considering carving out some space on the web, you may have come to the realization that there are a lot of decisions to be made & information to be understood about how to make your digital footprint come to fruition. In this day and age it just comes with the territory, that is if you’re serious about building a robust presence online.

One aspect and I might argue that might be the most important and doesn’t get talked about a whole lot revolves around the actual purchasing/registering of a domain that you’re going to start building your web presence on.

Why it is so important you own/reigster your own domainI’ve been in the digital space in some form or fashion for over 10 years. Over that time I’ve heard the good, the bad and the ugly and it seems that more of the bad and the ugly are a direct result of unknowing and uneducated individuals allowing a person or entity other than the website owner to purchase/register a domain (www.mybusiness.com) for them and placing it an account not owned by that same business owner.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that all website build shops who offer to do this for their clients are bad and evil. A trusted and reputable one may in fact register it for you and then willingly transfer it over to you in an account owned/managed by you.  But hear me on this and understand the potential ramifications and I’ll try to not get overly techy and attempt to break down into more simpler terms.

OK – so in order to purchase that desired domain you must do so through what is called a domain registrar and you may be familiar with these names – GoDaddy, Register.com, Network Solutions, etc. These are all entities who are accredited by ICANN and are fully licensed and set up for this express purpose.

If you can try and think in terms of real estate this is one of those prime pieces of property that you want full ownership of.

Trust me, you will want to have your own account set up with a company like the aforementioned and that will include your own login information whereby you can purchase with your own credit card.

Going this route will afford you full access to the variety of settings (DNS records) that come with your domain purchase that have a direct bearing over essentials such as where your email is to be delivered and also particulars surrounding who provides hosting to your website. It is in what is called your ‘domain’s registrar account’ where there are a multitude of levers and controls that are at your disposal and are vital. Don’t stop here!! Please keep reading and you’ll hear a real world example of why this is so important.

One rather unfortunate case that I heard recently involved a small business owner who is having his domain/website held ‘hostage’ by a web development company who originally built his company’s site. At the present he is wanting to sever this business relationship in order to have someone else provide web related services on his site but is unable to do so because he is not technically the owner of this domain – the original web developer is and is unwilling to transfer full ownership of the domain to the business owner. Ideally, the business owner could simply go in on his own or with the help of a trusted professional and make the necessary changes to his domain’s settings in order to make what he wants happen. At present that’s not the case.

Think about the potential consequences and the route this business owner may have to take:

  • His business could potentially lose a lot of traffic and leads because interested parties can no longer find his website.
  • He now has to go back through the process of developing a new website
  • All on/offline marketing collateral now has to be changed to reflect the change in the domain name.
  • Whatever ground was gained through search engine optimization efforts is now down the drain because the original domain is no longer active and visible.

What all this translates to is considerable time, money and potentially good reputation lost.

Allowing someone other than you, the business owner, to use their own registrar account in order to purchase a domain for your business in all reality can serve as a major choke-point. It may seem like it solves a problem for you initially and removes some hassle from your life but as you can see from this one case study it is not a route that I’d encourage you to go. Any domain registrar worth their salt has customer support people available to help you navigate this process and in so doing you will save you & your business a world of potential problems.

Comments

  1. Great post. This is actually encouraging me to make a business decision to change how I maintain my client’s domains. Thanks!

    • Ben Boykin says:

      Thank you Jonathan for dropping by. Sure appreciate it and glad to know you found some insight here. This post was also a result of some mistakes I made early on : ) All the best to you sir!

  2. Nice post. Yea I used to use subdomains from the likes of weebly and blogger, until i figured I might as well actually OWN my blog. Turned out to be such a hassle, especially for all the SEO machines and Google to redirect all the links to my blog.

    • Ben Boykin says:

      Thanks Tony for stopping by to comment. Yeah…I’m strongly encouraging potential and existing clients to build a solid, robust ‘home base’ on your own website as you never know what will take place with some of these outfits even like as of recent with Posterous shutting down. Copyblogger has a great article about this re: what they refer to as ‘digital sharecropping’. All the best to you!

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