If I had a dollar for every time I was working on a new website project and ran into domain name problems…
In the past, it’s usually been due to some IT guy behind the curtain who nobody understands and just magically makes web stuff happens. (If only it were that easy!)
Today, with the influx of easy to use website solutions like Wix and inexpensive Wordpress website developers, it’s becoming more and more common for companies and entrepreneurs to simply look past the minor detail of physically controlling and owning the domain name they build the site on.
Let me ask you this, would you ever build a house on a location you didn’t own? If you’re thinking yes, stop reading, I can’t help you.
Still here? Good, then here are 5 ways not owning your domain name will doom you biz…
1. You Need to Upgrade Your Website
For simple website builds, solutions like Wix and Squarespace are actually good options. But let’s say your site is growing and there are some features you need these solutions don’t offer. Or maybe you’ve discovered that these managed, shared solutions present site speed complications that are harming some of your digital marketing efforts.
When you signed up, you took the easy route and just registered that domain name with one of these solutions. Guess what? They own it.
Sure, you can transfer it, but you’ll have to jump through more hoops than a clown at the circus – on top of account or transfer locks that can last 60 days. Hope you didn’t need that new site up right away.
2. You Need to Change Website Developers
I run into this more than you think. You let your agency or website developer register the domain. Instead of them setting it up under their name, they just added it to their main registrar account (think GoDaddy).
Everything is going great but then, all of a sudden, it’s not. And it’s time to start using a new agency or website developer. Break ups never go bad, right? Wrong, I’ve literally seen companies having to sue or use ICAAN dispute resolutions to get their trademarked, branded domain names back. This can take months and get expensive.
3. You Need to Change Domain Names
It happens… lawyers, trademarks oh my. No matter the reason, chances are you’ve built up some good SEO traffic and links. Why oh why would you not take advantage of that? You can setup 301 or canonical redirects to transfer all that wonderful SEO “juice” to the new domain, which can help jumpstart it.
4. You’re Selling Your Website/Company
You’ve spent years building your company or website and you’re getting ready to sell it. You’re asked for all your website details, including the hosting and domain access and you’re not sure what to say. You dig deeper and realize you don’t own your domain, the web developer who you’re no longer speaking to does…good luck!
5. You Just Let the Domain Name Go
It was simply taking too much time and proving more difficult than you thought, so you just gave up and let the domain go. You took the site down by removing it from the hosting environment (if you owned that) and forgot about.
You got your new site going, then you noticed your old domain name is still showing in search, but the title and description is different. You click on it, and boom, completely new website making money off what you built.
If those 5 reasons won’t compel you to make sure you own your own domain name, you should have stopped reading this a while ago. If you’re starting to freak out, don’t worry, there are ways to get control of your domain name, but it’s better to do it now, while you don’t have any pressing needs.