A domain name has become invaluable to running a modern business.
In fact, many new companies decide on their new name based on the availability of a suitable domain.
Here are some tips to help you manage, keep and secure your domain assets and online presence.
1. Domains expire
With very few exceptions, each and every domain has an expiration day.
Do not wait for the registrar to send you a notification. Some registrars and ISPs are notorious for sending you vast amounts of marketing stuff and promotions, and you may inadvertently mark their incoming mail as spam, missing the domain renewal deadline.
Instead, mark down in your electronic calendar the expiration days for your domains.
If you have more than one domain, some registrars let you consolidate the expiration days for several domains into a single day, and also give out considerable discounts on larger payments. Use this feature if you are comfortable with paying a single annual sum.
2. Domain ownership matters
Make sure that you are the registered domain owner, rather than the design studio that did your web site.
You should also control the domain administrator email, and register a third party only as the technical contact. More than once I saw how a simple business dispute turned ugly and a whole domain, including the web site and the email, were held hostage by an unsatissfied vendor.
3. Use a generic account for domain administration
Setup a mail group called something like firstname.lastname@example.org and add to it the people who may be of assistance when necessity dictates it,
like your network engineer, the IT consultant, or the web master.
Instead of using a personal email like email@example.com for the administrative contact, use the mail group defined above.
If you use a real person’s name as the admin contact, you risk having to go through a tedious procedure of account recovery when that person’s email is not available for any reason. In a previous workplace, Benny, an IT procurement clerk, used to register his private mail as the domain administrative contact. When Benny unexpectedly died we were in the midst of moving the admin contacts out of his mailbox and into a generic account. Due to internal procedures and privacy issues, We had to wait nearly 2 months until the legal department cleared our usage of the deceased clerk’s mailbox.
This simple procedure will assure that when the person responsible for domain management is not available or has left your organization, someone will always be there to accept the mail. You should also setup your mail client to be able to send email on the mail group’s behalf.
4. Consider moving the DNS service away from the registrar
If you bought the domain from a registrar like Godaddy, you get a gratis DNS as part of the deal.
However, it is often best to move the DNS management to a professional DNS service, especially if you have multiple ccTLD domains from multiple registrars.
A professional DNS service will let you consolidate the DNS management for all of your domains, add your networking experts to your DNS management console, as well as give you advanced tools like APIs, DNS load balancing and more.
5. Sound check your domain
Is the way your domain is written ambivalent? Can it be mistyped into the URL address or into a google search?
Consider doing a protective registration for possible typographical errors.
Take the domain “wobbly.com” for example. This domain redirects to a cattle grower’s web site. However, the “woobly.com” domain is a parked domain designed to cash in on typos, eventually to be sold to the owner of wobbly at an extraorbitant price. So are “wobbli.com” and “woobli.com“.
You should do your best to register a domain with no such problems, but if you are stuck with what you have – try to register those typos, it may save you a lot of reputation damages and costs down the line. After you have them don’t just leave them laying around. Redirect those domains to your main web site and gain the additional traffic.