One important yet often overlooked task is keeping up with your domain name. Your business is associated with it just as closely as your business name! And most likely, it is so much a part of your business that it’s on your business cards, in your letterheads, on your email addresses, in your advertisements, on the top of your contact information that you give out in conversations, on your business cars, trucks and semis if you have them, etc. If you registered your domain name, then you should take care of it, just like you would take care of your LLC or Incorporation status, or keeping your business name registered with the state. If you didn’t register it yourself, and someone at your company didn’t do it, can I ask you why let someone else take care of something this important? I don’t understand why any company wouldn’t take care of their own domain name. It doesn’t make sense. Find someone in your organization that you trust, and make sure you know every detail about it.
Here is a checklist for domain name management. Know:
Where is your domain name registered.
Who registered the domain name and when.
The Account information – who’s name is on the account? Do you know how many situations clients get into because they can’t access the account for their own domain name?
The username and password for the account, the pin number and the password hints. Keep these somewhere, like with the rest of your passwords.
When your domain name is due for renewal.
Who is responsible for the renewal (like taxes, ultimately you are if it’s your business).
If the credit card is still valid on the account. You might want to put about 3 credit cards on that account.
If you have automatic renewal enabled for you domain name (so that when it approaches a renewal date, it will automatically renew – remember that your credit card has to work for this to go through, and if it doesn’t, someone who still works for your company or yourself will need to be notified).
If you have notifications turned on, so that you can get updated about the status of your domain.
Be aware of expiration dates for all of your domain names, and understand what they are used for – are they forwarding to your main domain name? Test occasionally to see what’s up with them.
We do register domain names and provide domain name management for clients from time to time, and we use GoDaddy (a company that we’ve worked with since we’ve been in business) as the registrar, although we aren’t very happy with their constant up-sell practices and occasional phone calls by pestering employees to up-sell or scare you into a sell. Getting back to the point, we can be your domain name management company if needed. We register the domain name in the client’s name, not ours, and we send them the registration information and let them know that they are responsible for maintaining these records, unlike some of the other domain name management companies around. An analogy of this relationship would be how a business takes care of taxes – they hire accountants but the business is ultimately responsible for the numbers on the paper. We will do our best to take care of you as a client, but ultimately it’s your responsibility.
Therefore, you need to be aware of expiration dates. When does your domain expire? Because like food, it will expire sooner or later, but unlike food, you can reset the expiration date! We recommend that you put the expiration dates on a calendar. Use the advanced registration features provided by your domain registrar that will allow you to automatically pay for your domain when it’s within a designated range. I pay automatically for mine when they reach 3 years of the current date. For example, it’s 2012 and your domain is set to expire in 2015. You can schedule to pay for another 3 years when it gets to that point. It’s a great safeguard to protect you from losing your domain name, which could be very painful. Also, make sure that you have a current email address on file so that your domain registrar can contact you and let you know the status of your domain names. GoDaddy does a great job with this.
If you need some help taking care of your domain name, we can assist you, so please contact us. We will make sure it gets put into your hands and that you know how to keep up with it.