Take Control, Part 1: Domains

June 24, 2015

As a web development company, from time to time we have new clients coming to us for new websites because they're either not happy or their previous webmaster or web company is no longer available. Unfortunately, some of these clients don't have control over their own domain.

Why Is It So Important?

The settings for your domain control what website URL it points to. For example, www.bettermousetrap.ca is set up to point to our website files, which means you end up on the site you're on right now. However, if we updated the settings with our domain registrar, we could point www.bettermousetrap.ca to any other website files instead, even forward it to another website like www.google.com. So basically, whoever controls the domain controls the settings, and therefore controls the website it's associated with.

Who's name should the domain be registered under? The current owner of your company. Who shouldn't it be registered under? Your webmaster, the previous owner of the company, an employ's account set up with a personal email address, a long-gone intern who had some tech experience... You get the picture. Your name should be on the account and the login should be your credentials (your email address, your password).

Unfortunately, we've witnessed disgruntled web contractors hold domains hostage from their clients and we've also seen some logins get lost between staff changes or company transfers, so it's best if you can set up your domain in your own name and account from the start. It can be hard to recover that control if the other parties involved are not cooperative or cannot be reached.

But It's My Business!

Domain security is set up for your benefit. You don't want just anyone to gain access to your domain settings and point it elsewhere (to your competitor's website for example). But that tight security can work against you if you didn't set up the domain yourself in your own name.

What Can I Do?

If your domain isn't registered in your name and you don't have access to the login information, here are the steps you can take to try to regain control:

  1. Politely ask the domain registrant to transfer the domain to you.
  2. Contact the domain registrar (for example, GoDaddy) and explain the situation. If you can prove the company belongs to you, there might be something they can do.
  3. Seek legal help. Getting a lawyer involved can sometimes be the push needed.

 

If you have any questions about your domain name or account or would like to set up your own account, contact our team and we can help!

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