Who Owns Your Domain & Hosting?

When you set up your website you paid the previous web guy for your domain registration, you pay them annually for hosting, your website is live… but do you actually own it? The unfortunate and surprising answer may be no.

We ran into this recently with a new client of ours…. the sad fact is that this happens too often and we honestly said ‘Ack! Not again…seriously…not again.’

laptop with website

I hang my head when I am talking to a new client and they tell me that their domain name was registered by their designer.  WHAT?  (Designers/web peeps please listen as well…..).  Never, ever, EVER should your domain name or even your hosting be registered to anyone else other than YOU!

That is right.  Walter the Web Guy that you had design your webpage years ago registered your domain, your hosting and heck, even your premium website templates.  And where the heck is Walter the Web Guy now?  Out of business?  Or you no longer speak to Walter the Web Guy, so he isn’t about to give you what you need.

Our #1 Rule

If we had one rule of thumb to ANY business, big or small, please, please make sure your domain name, hosting, premium template elements are in YOUR name!  I can’t say it enough.  And after you are done reading this,  you are going to email your amazing Walter the Web Guy and tell him that you need to transfer all your digital assets to your name now.  Like right now.  Like go.

Why Is This SO Important?

Well, glad you asked! If you want to make changes to your website and don’t have access to your domain and host information…. you can’t. You could completely lose access to a domain, website and emails you have invested in, a domain name you have added to all of your marketing assets and has possibly become part of your branding. If you have a great relationship with the company or person who registered this for you then you likely won’t run into a big issue… the headache starts when that relationship breaks down and they go MIA – which sadly is a reality.

This is one reason why Green Monkey Creative encourages clients to register their own domains and hosting. We completely understand that the process can seem complex for non-technical people, and we’re happy to help you do it!

Who Owns My Stuff?

Domain

Don’t know who your domain name is registered to?  Head  over to whois.com  and have a look.

Hosting

If you don’t receive a hosting invoice at all, check if it is even in your name and if that isn’t, get it moved over.  From the bottom of my heart, please do this.

Other Digital Assets

Also, your digital assets don’t just end there.  Don’t forget about these:

  • Online accounts registered to your business (like your hosting)
  • Online store that you manage (etsy, ebay, etc)
  • Mailing lists, newsletter subscriptions (Mail Chimp, Constant Contact)
  • Social media accounts (everything you own should have you as an admin or you have the recent login creds….)
  • Online storage accounts (Dropbox, Google Drive)

Now that you have some organizing to do with your digital assets, I am going to try and figure out how to get these domains for my client, as her Walter the Web Guy is MIA.

– Julie