— Who owns it?

You came up with the perfect dot com, dot net or dot org for your business, and woo hoo! – it was available. So you quickly purchased and registered it, signed up for a hosting package, and launched your online business.

Two years later, when it came up for renewal, you signed on for another five years and went about your business.

That’s the best case scenario. Here’s the worst.

This recently happened to one of my clients, a tile contractor.

Seeking to simplify the process, the web designer registered the domain name and purchased a hosting plan under his own account. That way, Mr. Tile wouldn’t have to worry, and when it came up for renewal the designer would notify him and take care of it.

Sounds good, right?

A year later, the unthinkable happens – the designer suffers a massive stroke and doesn’t survive.

Now what?

Time was running out on the contractor’s domain name and he did not want to lose his site.

After a few calls to Network Solutions he was told he needed to get a copy of the death certificate. Well…that was out of the question. The next option was to make me, as the writer on the website, an account admin which would enable me to then turn the domain over to Mr. Tile.

Bottom line, after lots of back and forth, the contractor was able to work it out with Network Solutions, save his domain name and purchase a hosting plan in the nick of time.

Moral of the story: Register your own domain name and closely monitor your account so you don’t risk losing it.

Be sure to renew your url and hosting package in plenty of time before they are due to expire. Don’t be like a friend of mine who wasn’t paying attention to her renewal notices and bingo – someone scooped up the name and turned it into a porn site!

Have you had any hair-raising experiences around your domain registration? We’d love to hear about and learn from them.

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