Website tip #1.

This should be a no-brainer, own your domain name! We’ve recently been involved with projects with clients who let other designers or webhost providers register their domain name “as a courtesy to them”. Great – what happens when you want to switch providers or the designer who used to do your work goes out of business, leaves town, or just won’t return your call? You let someone else have control of your intellectual property and now you are going to have a hard time getting it back.

On one of our projects the client had to secure a new domain name – which sucks for them because all of their collateral material, (cards, letterhead, brochures, etc.) were branded with the old domain name. Luckily the site is down because the server is gone but what if it wasn’t? You would have your customers going to your old site, with outdated info and not much you could do about it.

So the key lesson here is register your own domain name – you own it, you control it. If you need to change webhost providers it’s a simple case of updating the nameservers. It doesn’t take a lot of time to register a domain, the expense is relatively small (especially if you register for multiple years) and it might save you a big headache down the road. Any questions feel free to contact us!

2 thoughts on “Website tip #1.”

  1. A very good point and unfortunately not really a no-brainer for unsuspecting people who don’t have experience with domain name registration, hosting and such.

    This very thing happened to a friend of mine who wanted me to set up a site for him that his old designer forgot about. My friend was paying the designer an outrages hosting fee as well. Turned out the designer simply picked an affordable shared hosting plan, paid the monthly fee and kept the difference.

    Back when I was designing websites, I would provide these services for people, but I would open separate accounts for them and register the domain names with their contact information. So they had the option to renew the domain, or have it auto renew after a year. So their options where the same as if they had done everything themselves.

    I have also seen shady registrars contact people before their domain name expired, trying to fool them into switching to them for a marked up price. To bad this stuff goes on, but it does.

  2. Tim,

    Excellent point about greedy designers collecting the difference on hosting fees. My policy is that we will assist the client in obtaining/registering domains and hosting, and not force them into a “domain hostage” situation.

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