This article is a bit outdated, and has
now been rewritten on my blog. Please read:
10 things a business
should know about their domain name.
There is an entire
industry of businesses that do nothing but buy and sell domain names.
The majority of their inventory comes not from thinking up new words in
the English language, but from scooping up the expired domain names of
businesses just like yours. Knowing these seven items below could save
you hours of time, and hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Domain name - Your url or address on
the web. www.domainname.com
Registrant - This is the legal owner
of any domain name. Contrary to popular belief, this can is not always
the business owner or company that is using the domain name
Registrar - This is the online
service for registering domain names. There are dozens, perhaps even
hundreds to choose from.
These are, in my opinion, the seven things
you absolutely have to know about your companies domain name...
Domain registrAR company name
– This is the company that your domain was purchased from. The
registrars website is the only place you can update or renew any
domain information – look this up at
Domain registrAR username and
password – Wherever your
domain was registered, there IS a user name and password required
make any changes. This username and password is crucial to know.
After looking up the details at
http://www.betterwhois.com/ visit your registrar’s website to
attempt to log in.
– Whoever possesses the registrar username and password is
effectively in control of the domain. The registrant is the legal
owner, but many companies find out too late that they’re not the
registrants of their own domain names! Often, it is an ex-employee,
or the web hosting or design company hired to create the website.
This leaves the site owner out in the cold if they ever want to make
hosting or design changes.
http://www.betterwhois.com/ will also show this information.
Domain registrANT contact
information – The contact
information of the registrant MUST be kept current at the website of
the registrar. If you register a domain name and then change your
email address or ISP, you will never be notified that your domain
name is expiring, and you will lose your domain name. Verify the
registrant contact information at the registrar’s website. This is
how most domain names are lost.
http://www.betterwhois.com/ will generally show this
information. If not, visit the registrar website and use their
Domain Expiration Date
– For obvious reasons, you should be
well aware of when your domain name is set to expire. There are
jackals poised on every tree branch waiting to pounce on
unsuspecting businesses by registering their expired domain names,
then selling it back to the rightful owner at 20, 50, or 100 times
their actual cost.
Domain “Locked Status”
– New domain name registrations are
“locked” by default at the registrar. This means no changes can take
place without an email notification getting sent to the registrar.
If you’ve had your domain for a couple of years, your registrar may
not have your domain name locked. Check this at your registrant
FTP Username and password of your domain –
Of course it’s important to know the
company is that’s hosting your domain (website). You should know
their phone number, email, and their website at all times, as well
as any pertinent login information for your FTP access and your
control panel (if they offer one). This is where you’ll add or
remove email addresses, FTP access and more to your domain.
Scott Hendison is
a computer and internet consultant based in Portland Oregon. He
specializes in search engine placement, web hosting, web design, and
Retail Point of Sale (POS) systems, with customers in seven countries.
Client & Web