Who Is Managing Your Domain Registration? Here is the question of all questions. Do you know who has control of your domain registration? This is very much like that public service announcement that asked, "It's 11:00 PM, do you know where your children are." It seems like a silly question but then again maybe not. Just like a vehicle registration you have a web site domain name registration. Without your car registration and tags you can't drive on the street; without a current domain registration you cannot keep your site on the web. Take charge. Make sure you know who is minding your domain registration. You would be astounded by the number of phone calls we get from terrified individuals who go to their web site only to get the following message: ________________________________________________________________________________________
The requested URL was not found on this server. Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Has that ever happened to you? I certainly hope not. It must be a gut wrenching feeling to lose your web site. Here is how to avoid ever seeing that message when you go to your web site. Track down your domain registration. Often time, if your site developer purchased your domain name, they will list themselves as administrative and technical contact. That is not recommended for a several of reasons. When the domain name comes up for renewal the developer alone will be contacted. In this situation you are relying completely on your developer to insure that you maintain your domain name registration. You will receive no notification from the domain registrar that your domain name registration is about to lapse. In an ideal world, the developer will contact you to secure your new domain registration contract. If the developer for some reason does not respond to the domain registration renewal notice you have no idea that your domain is about to expire. If the renewal is not executed your domain name will go back into the database of available domain names. What are the consequences if the registration lapses? In the best case situation all you do is contact the domain registrar, find out your domain name is still available, and renew your contract. This time remember to put yourself down as "administrative contact" at least. Within a short amount of time your site will be back on-line. In the worst case, your domain name becomes available and the web-bots, programmed to hunt down abandon domain names, snatches up your domain name and registers it under their company name. They have now abducted your domain name for either resale or ransom. Yes my friends, RANSOM. Resale is not so bad, it's the ransom situation that will tie you in knots. These domain name kidnappers have scooped up your abandon domain name so that they can see just how much you want it back $$$$$. And at this point you go through an auction process to see if you can bid back your name. Where do you stand if you can't get your domain name back? Your emails are flying through cyberspace with no place to go. Every stick of print material with your domain name is now obsolete. If you have an e-commerce site you are losing business with every tick of the clock. Need I say more? It is a nightmare. One other important note. The domain registrar will contact you by email only. They will only contact you using the email address you register with them. Warning: if you change your email address, before you abandon your old email address, you must contact the domain registrar and go through the process of updating to your new email address. If you don't, the renewal notice will go to your non-functioning email address and ultimately you will never get the renewal notice. We've already covered what happens at that point. Keep your site on-line. Make sure your domain registrar has you listed as a contact. If your registration is in your developers name only, work with them to change the registration to include you as a contact. When you get the domain renew notice, handle it promptly. Don't take any chances you might put your domain name in jeopardy. In part 3 of Your Web Site Is Like Your Car: we will explore just what type of web mechanic are you?