7 things every business owner should know about their domain
By: Scott Hendison   �   October 2005

This article is a bit outdated, and has now been rewritten on my blog.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...


  1. 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 http://www.betterwhois.com/


  1. 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.


  1. Domain registrANT � 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.


  1. 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 �WhoIs� lookup.


  1. 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.


  1. 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 website.


  1. 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.



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Scott is the CEO of Search Commander, Inc. and owner of Portland Technology Consultants, MPH computing, and Get WordPressed. He is a on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Computer Consultants Association, and an active member of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce.

His website is filled with nearly 100 computer & technology related articles, he writes a search marketing blog, and he is the creator of automatic SEO consultant software.


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