Your domain name is the address of your website. It’s heavily involved with your marketing and probably used for your organisation’s email addresses too. It is likely to have been brainstormed, researched and carefully chosen. But – do you actually own it?
The legal owner of a domain name is the person or organisation who is the domain’s registrant. Usually, domains have four contacts:
These contacts can be the same person or different people. If you are the registrant contact for your domain, you are the legal owner. It’s common for organisations to believe they own their domain names when actually they don’t. This can be problematic and expensive.
5 Domain Name Issues
Paying for the domain name and for domain name renewal is not the same as owning it. You need to be the registrant as well as the billing contact in this instance.
Some hosting packages include domain name registration and renewal. The hosting provider’s details are often listed as the registrant and administrative contacts. The registrant details should be changed to show your organisation’s information.
3. IT Support
Many IT support companies help with registering domain names as part of their managed IT support service. “You can tap into this expertise and convenience while retaining ownership of your domain name,” explains Eric Hughes of EMH Technology.
4. Website Development
Most organisations outsource the development of their websites to access best practise and innovative technologies. Domains are typically registered by the agency involved. However, it is important the account details they enter are yours – not theirs – so the domain name is registered to your organisation. The agency can be the technical contact and you should be the registrant/owner.
It’s important to future-proof your account so your organisation has domain ownership and full access should the employee registering your domain leave your company. By ensuring that the organisation’s name and contact details appear within the account and registrant details, you should be aware of renewal requirements and be able to access your information… before your website and email stop working.
First, check who is listed as the registrant of your domain name. Online checkers are available, or you may be able to see these details by logging into your hosting account.
Next, update the registrant details if your organisation doesn’t already appear. You may be able to do this within your hosting account, or you may need to ask the current registrant to update the details. (This is probably your web agency or IT support company.)
Finally, should the current registrant be unhelpful, you may need to engage a dispute resolution service.
“Hopefully, updating the registration details can be achieved amicably,” says Eric. “Some unscrupulous companies charge a fee to release or update domain name details, especially as they know it can cost thousands of pounds to enter an official dispute resolution process.”
To find out more and discuss your domain name and IT support requirements, contact EMH Technology for a discussion without obligation… or IT jargon. We’re here to help.