Domain registration is a fairly simple procedure. Virtually every web hosting company has a step-by-step process where you enter your information, create a website URL, decide how long the registration period will be, pay for everything, and then forget about it. As simple as registration can be, if done incorrectly it can come back to haunt you.
Even though registering a website is easy, most businesses do not go through the process themselves, this job is usually outsourced. There is nothing wrong with outsourcing an IT company to build your website, you pay them good money so you do not have to spend time registering, making content, and dealing with maintenance issues. Outsourcing your website is great, it enables you to spend time rocking your business, and you end up with a nice website, everybody wins!
But there is one snafu we have seen during the registration process that, if overlooked, will be a problem down the road. This involves making sure your website is registered under the name of your business, and not the name of your website designer. If you do not specify this to your website designer, they might default to registering your website in their name. This is likely not done with malicious intent, perhaps they are trying to speed up the work or minimize bothering you with an extra phone call. If a web designer loses half a day playing phone tag, in order to ask you one question about registration, then that is half a day lost on a project with a deadline.
This registration problem will not be apparent the day your website launches, you are just happy to finally have an internet presence! The website looks great, it may even surpass your expectations. You happily cut the check to the guys who designed your site, and go back to doing whatever it is you do for a living. But after the hype from the launch is over, you will eventually want to go back and make changes; or at the very least, you will need to register the site again when the registration period expires.
If the website designers were only hired to build your site, they are now out of your life, and tracking them down for your registration information could prove rather cumbersome. There is also the possibility of the website designer going out of business. If the designer goes belly up, and your website is in their name, then you have a major registration headache in your future.
Like most problems, this issue can be preempted with communication. When you are working with a website designer, make it very clear that you want your website registered in your name, or the name of your business. Do not assume that just because your business name is in the URL, that your business owns the site. Double check whose email address is used for registration, make sure it is yours. Be sure to look over the registration paperwork, have your web designers point this out to you if you are unsure.
We also recommend that you go with a company you trust and have a relationship with to build your website. If your go-to IT Company does not offer website design services, then ask them for a recommendation for a solid designer that will not leave you high and dry. Michell Consulting Group works with websites every day, we will be happy to walk you through the registration process to make sure all of your information is in order. Feel free to call us at 305-592-5433 if you have any questions about your domain name.