The Flow

Composing and Cogitating

Reflections and tips on tech, websites, the economy, investing, and other insights that come my way

Protecting Your Domain Name and Webhost Assets

Protecting Your Domain Name and Webhost Assets
While polishing up a post about free investment resources, I came across a small, essential but potentially overlooked piece of internet marketing housekeeping for small business owners. As with most of my small business advice, this one sprouts from real situations.

Most small business owners don't like to be distracted from their passion with the nuts and bolts of internet marketing. Hire an expert to build the website. When the webhost or domain name subscriptions are due, pay them and get back to the fun work! But do you know when your webhost and domain name subscriptions are due? (Often they won't be up for renewal at the same time.) Who receives the notification that your subscriptions are up for renewal? If you aren't receiving the notification, you're taking a BIG risk. This is particularly true with your domain name registration.

 

Many small business owners rely on their website consultants to let them know when the subscriptions need to be paid. But what if something happens to your web consultant? Make sure that your email address is on the list for renewal notifications. And of course, be sure to update the contact information for your domain registration and your webhost if you change email addresses. If your domain name registration is part of someone else's account (your best friend, a relative, your web consultant), ask them to set up a separate account for just you and transfer your domain name to that account. It is not wise to depend on someone else, even your most trusted friend, to keep track of your website's subscription renewals.

What's the worst that could happen if you don't renew your domain registration before it expires? First, your website will disappear from the internet. Second, you'll have to pay a reinstatement fee of at least $25 to get your domain name back and the renewal fee will probably be at least twice as high as it was last year. Third, you could lose your domain name to a hijacker. The hijacker will be happy to sell the domain name back to you for an exorbitant price, sometimes as much as $2000 or more.

If you don't want to pay the extra fee for a private domain registration (I don't), there's another good reason keep track of your domain subscription expirations and registrar. You will probably receive phishing* emails from scam companies offering to renew your domain name registration for quadruple the typical fee. I often receive inquiries from my clients regarding these renewal emails. ("I have a notification about my domain name renewal. Didn't I just pay this?") If you know the name of your registrar and when the domain registration will expire, you'll know to just send these emails to the internet ether. Your domain name registrar will typically send you a renewal notice 30-45 days before your domain name registration expires and your registration fee should be less than $20/year for a .com, .net or .org. (If you're paying more than $20 per domain name per year, you're being ripped off.) If you receive an email with a renewal rate of over $60, just hit delete.

If you don't pay for your webhosting subscription on time, the consequences generally aren't as drastic. Your website will go dark until you've paid the annual subscription. You might miss some early payment discounts but that's about as bad as it gets. 

I provide all my website development clients with a list of the companies used for their website and SEO with logins, passwords and comments. If you don't have a list for your website, ask your website consultant to send you one and be sure that it includes the webhost, domain name registrar and any email accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo. This information is your property.  You've paid for it.  

One of my favorite literary passages is from Tom Robbins' "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates" when Switters derides the compulsory routines of "showering, shampooing, shaving, and flossing and brushing his teeth". I cringe at "housekeeping" chores – filing, balancing my bank statements, filing, dusting, styling my hair and putting on make-up, filing, sorting the closets, etc. Keeping track of website related subscriptions is another annoying little bit of business housekeeping. However, when you consider how much time and money is saved by ensuring that you are the primary recipient of subscription notifications, you might reclassify the time spent as an investment. If not, you can go back to Switters/Robbins. "There's birth," he grumbled, "there's death, and in between there's maintenance." 

Next on MT Nerd, great free investment resources that can be had for the cost of an IRA account.

Best Wishes
Investment Firms Are Handing Out Freebies

Comments 2

 
Guest - Sheila on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 11:21

For the non-nerds/geeks in the world, what the heck is an SEO? I'm sure it will be a palm-forehead revelation.

For the non-nerds/geeks in the world, what the heck is an SEO? I'm sure it will be a palm-forehead revelation.
Debra McNeill on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 12:27

I'm glad you asked that question because, for some, it may not be a palm-forehead revelation. "SEO" stands for Search Engine Optimization and it covers all the stuff that's done to improve a website's ranking on Google, Bing and other search engines.

For this article, the reference to SEO companies isn't limited to just Google and Bing but also industry specific websites. For example, a Bed & Breakfast would want a business listing with Google, Bing, TripAdvisor, Yelp and other social media sites. Each account requires a login, password and probably some information about accessing the account. Business listings with these sites makes a big difference in improving a website's ranking with all search engines.

Please feel free to let me know if I'm not clear and I'll try again :).

Thank you for posting your question!!

I'm glad you asked that question because, for some, it may not be a palm-forehead revelation. "SEO" stands for Search Engine Optimization and it covers all the stuff that's done to improve a website's ranking on Google, Bing and other search engines. For this article, the reference to SEO companies isn't limited to just Google and Bing but also industry specific websites. For example, a Bed & Breakfast would want a business listing with Google, Bing, TripAdvisor, Yelp and other social media sites. Each account requires a login, password and probably some information about accessing the account. Business listings with these sites makes a big difference in improving a website's ranking with all search engines. Please feel free to let me know if I'm not clear and I'll try again :). Thank you for posting your question!!
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Thursday, 21 September 2017