Studio 544 believes one of the most important aspects of creating a successful online presence and branding strategy is selecting the right domain name for your business or organization.
Purchasing a domain is also typically the least expensive piece of the online marketing pie. There are a ton of reputable domain registration (registrars) companies out there and for the most part, a .com domain will run you about $10-15/annually. Of course, there are always add-ons to consider like domain privacy and some hosting companies will actually offer to waive the cost of your domain registration if you host your website through them.
This article is going to discuss the importance of owning your own domain name.
To put it simply, if you don’t own your own domain and run into a conflict or issue with your current web designer or web company that results in you wanting to switch to a different designer or company, you will be at the mercy of the previous company to release the domain to you.
There are a number of very important reasons why you need to own your own domain and here are just some of them:
- Most domains are renewed annually. If you don’t have access to your registrar account, you will be at the mercy of the previous registrant to renew the domain for you and risk the chance of not only having your site go down but also losing your domain altogether.
- If you want to switch hosting companies, you will need access to your registrar account in order for you to point the nameservers over to your new hosting company.
- If you want to keep your domain registration information private, you will need access to your registrar account and find out if this option can be added to your domain. Nearly all registrars offer this option. Some charge an additional fee while others include the privacy for free.
Luckily most web designers and web companies out there are ethical and adhere to professional standards and will (albeit many reluctantly) relinquish a domain they may have registered on your behalf back to you but unfortunately this is not always the case. I have heard of horror stories from clients where they were told if they wanted to own their own domain, they would need to pay an outrageous fee to purchase it back from the person or company who initially registered it for them.
Studio 544 feels very strongly about ensuring our client domains are owned by our clients!
Not only is this the right thing to do but also makes it easier to make changes such as hosting and other domain-related functions much easier and less stressful for both you and the company you choose to work with in the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Lewandowski is a freelance web designer at Studio 544 in Hutchinson, MN specializing in setting up websites for small businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations.