If someone is starting a new website, or even looking to create a second website, one of the most popular requests we get is to help them register their domain. Of course we can do this for you, but is it a good idea? We think not and here is why.
1. Your domain name is a part of YOUR Brand
Your website domain is an extension of your brand. It should always be in your control.
2. You can be held hostage if things go bad.
If things go bad between you are your web design company, and they own the domain, it might be difficult to get it back. I have heard of companies threatening to turn off your website if you do not keep paying them. You do not want to be in this position.
Once you figure out where your site domain is registered (you can do a whois lookup), you will have to prove that you should be the rightful owner of the domain name. Be prepared with any supporting documentation you might have. This would include:
- Proof of business/tradename registration in your state, city, etc. All of it.
- Receipts proving that you paid for the web design and paid for the domain name.
- Any contracts supporting that the domain name is for you.
- Any correspondence that might show that the designer was registering the domain on your behalf
It might take 5-10 business days for them to approve or deny the request.
3. It takes a while to transfer a domain
If you get your old company to agree to transfer your domain over, it can take a week to get it done, and it is a pain in the butt. You have to get the domain released and accepted on the new end. I have had this process take well over a week to be completed. If you are looking to launch a new site, this can put a big delay in your plans and cause a lot of frustration.
4. You old company might be out of business
So you have been very happy with the design and service you got for your site, but now you need to make a change and the people you worked with are no longer in business. This is going to be complicated. Why put yourself in that situation when you can simply own your domain. Again, you will need to follow the steps above to gain access back to your domain.
We have seen all three of these scenarios, and none of them are a lot of fun. You can avoid all of this by simply registering your domain yourself. Then you are always in 100% control.
Let’s say you not happy with your old website company and want to move to a new company. Your relationship is very rocky and you are afraid they might just shut your site down if you cancel. If you own your own domain name, all you need to do is change the A record and you can point to the new site without ever letting them know. Then you can cancel your contract and not worry about the old company.
Purchasing your own domain is very easy to do. We typically use GoDaddy for easy of use and the pricing is competitive. GoDaddy recently removed a lot of their coupons for domain registration, which ends up costing you more money, but it is still competitive. One thing we do not like is GoDaddy will try to sell you everything under the sun before you end up getting your domain. We typically suggest saying not to everything they offer and just get the domain alone. Five years is a good length for a registration.
Hopefully, this has helped you realize owning your own domain is the best way to go. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.