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Recently, while helping a few new clients with some of their Internet marketing, I was astounded that none of them knew anything about where or who had control of their web hosting and domain name(s).
One client had several domains registered by a partner who registered the domains under Domains By Proxy, a Godaddy company that does private registrations. They could not confirm that the partner had indeed registered the domains or any recourse to try and obtain them easily.
One of my most recent clients had hired a web development company to help them set up their online presence and they registered all of their domains using Godaddy’s Domains By Proxy service. Unless their is a specific reason for keeping your registration information private, there is no reason for a business to do this. Matt Cutts of Google has stated that private domain registrations raise a red flag with Google.
Is Your Business Web Hosting at Risk?
The client had no idea where his site was hosted…he thought that because it was registered through Godaddy, that it was hosted with them. After contacting the web development company, they informed me that another person was responsible for web hosting and that person was unavailable until Monday to provide login information to the domain’s web hosting account.
Reducing Business Web Hosting Risk
It is imperative that business owners have full disclosure on their domain names and web hosting. I’ve always adhered to the “If I get hit by a school bus” philosophy…If something were to happen to me or my company, does my client have enough information to have someone else take the reigns with regard to managing web hosting or domain registrations.
Here’s a quick list of questions or information a business owner should have with regard to their web hosting and domain registrations:
Domain Name Registrations
- Where is my domain(s) registered?
- Do I have login information for my web hosting account?
- Was the domain registration set up in my company’s name ?(If you let someone else register a domain name in their name, you don’t technically own it as the registrant)
- How long was my domain(s) registered for?
- If my business partnership breaks up, who owns the domain? Think about this before you let someone arbitrarily register a domain for you.
One last tip on domain registrations; make sure your domain is registered with a major registrar such as Godaddy, Network Solutions, or Register.com – Network Solutions and Register.com have been around since the advent of domain registrations to the public.
- Where is my domain hosted?
- What type of machine is my site hosted on? (Windows or Some flavor or Linux)
- How many websites are on the machine my website will be hosted on?
- How much bandwidth does my web hosting server have? (typically a 10mb or 100mb connection)
- What is the IP address?
- Do I have login access to my domain? (request it)
- Is my domain name hosted in the United States? If you are a small business working primarily with local clientele there is no reason your website should be hosted on the other side of the planet even if it saves you $5 bucks a month.
A good web hosting provider will be in a major data-center with redundant power and Internet backbone connections.
Adhere to some of these tips and you can ensure that your domain registrations and web hosting are trouble free. If you are a small business and have questions about web hosting or domain registrations, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.