This is a subject we have covered in the past, but a situation that arose this week and this post on the e-consultancy Blog made me think it is a subject worth revisiting! If you are serious about using the web as part of your marketing then your domain name is key. If you are starting out in business, the availability of a .com or .co.uk domain name (and yes, I would HIGHLY recommend that you go for at least one or prefereably both of these domains) that fits with your company name is vital. The availability of a suitable domain should be a significant factor in naming your business. If neither .co.uk nor .com for your preferred domain are available, I would recommend you seriously consider a different name, or at least a different trading name. If, as is more common, you already have a business and own the domain name, then make sure that you hang on to it. Domains need to be renewed on a regular basis, and if they are not websites & email will go off line and the domain will become available to other web users & once taken, it is virtually impossible get it back without their consent. Some domains can be renewed for up to 10 years and there is a view that a domain registerd for a longer time can perform better in search rankings. We take the issue of domain retention seriously. We ALWAYS set clients domains to autorenew so by default domains will renew until we are requested to cancel them. This can occasionally mean we end up with a domain that a client no longer wants. Even so, we are happy to stand the cost of this to ensure that domains are NEVER lost by mistake. It may seem obvious but think of where your domain is the primary route by which people can contact you:
- Business cards
- Leaflets & Fliers
- Sign written vehicles
And the effort you may have taken in developing a presence for the domain across the web:
- Registration with web directories
- email addresses
- Search engine listings
- Your website
Lose your domain name and you will need to start from scratch and potentially someone else can pick up the benefit of all your hard work. Here are key points to make sure your domain is safe:
- Make sure you own the domain – A simple Whois search using the free tool on www.dnsstuff.com will tell you the name of the registered owner. If this is not you then you need to get it changed. We and any good Internet company should be happy to register the domain in your name. Then if the worst happens & you fall out or loose contact with the company hosting the domain, you can always retrieve it via the registrar. This will be nominet for .co.uk domains. A Whois search on www.dnsstuff.com will tell you the registrar for .com domains
- Make sure that your key domains are set to auto renew – Again any good Internet company should be happy to do this, and even if it means you have to pay for an extra year should you no longer need the domain, the cost of this is insignificant compared to the cost of losing your primary domain name.
Follow those 2 simple steps & you should never be in the position where you lose control of your domain. If you are concerned about the security of your domain, give us a call and we would be happy to talk things through.