Over the years, I’ve seen numerous clients put themselves in a bad spot because they gave an outside vendor (i.e., programmer, consultant, etc.) or the wrong employee control of their website and domains (ex.: www.acmecompany.com). When the relationship with the vendor goes south or the employee leaves the company, the client is left scrambling trying to regain control of or access to their web assets.
This two-part series is going to focus on protecting your company’s website, domains and other valuable assets.
First up is domain registration and management. Websites are relatively easy to replace. Good domain names are not, especially when they incorporate your company or brand’s name. It’s important to make sure you have control at all times.
1. Register all domains yourself. All you need is a free account at GoDaddy.com to house all your domains. If an outside vendor has registered any of your domains, make sure they transfer all of them to you. Make sure all your domains are within one account---they’re much easier to manage that way.
2. Avoid signing up for services (i.e., hosting) that give you a free domain. I’ve heard stories of companies not being able to transfer the domain if they cancel their service.
3. Make sure the email address associated with the account is working and accessed on a regular basis. The domain registrars will send you important emails about your account including upcoming product expirations and renewals. If possible, create an email address that forwards to multiple people within the organization to ensure that the email isn’t missed.
4. Register the domain name for multiple years. The domain registrars will typically give you a discount for multiple-year registrations anyway and you won’t have to worry about the domain name expiring.
5. Set the domain to auto-renew on expiration. This will make sure that your domain name never expires. The only stipulation is that you have an updated credit card on file.
6. Log in to your account on a regular basis to make sure you haven’t missed any important notices.
That’s it. By maintaining total control, you can keep control of one of your most important assets.
Next time, we’ll be focusing on maintaining control of your website and related assets.