MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN
Your site’s been up for a while, generating traffic, leads, perhaps even profits. Suddenly you notice a dearth of activity. You visit your Web site to see if you can determine the cause of your problems and under your URL you see someone else’s Web site! Maybe it’s a search engine you’ve never heard of, maybe it’s a competitor, maybe it’s an adult site. (Better take a screen shot just in case there’s a court case.)
This happens more often than you might think. Although your registrar (a company that handles domain registrations) should contact you when your domain’s expiring, some aren’t as professional as you may like. Other times they may have attempted to contact you but your contact information was out of date.
There’s even a service called SnapNames which allows people to grab your domain the moment it expires! Then they may try and sell it back to you at a ridiculously inflated price. Depending on the size of your business and what they think they can get for it, it could be tens of thousands of dollars. If you choose not to buy it back you may need to reprint your stationery and business cards. How about if the book you wrote lists your domain? How about those newspaper/radio/tv ads? How about all those incoming links you’ve gathered?
So what can I do?
An ounce of protection is worth a boatload of cure. Look up your domain information using a tool called WhoIs. This will tell you who are the contacts for your domain and when your registration expires. If you don’t see your name or your information is out of date take steps to rectify the situation immediately. If you’re unsure of how to change it contact your registrar or your Web developer.
But this can’t happen to smart, attractive people, right?
Wrong! I lost an old domain, writeitdown.com, which is now a lousy looking Web site with annoying popups. According to the page the domain is for sale…for $2,288! (I’m sure there’s a line out the door.) Admittedly, I was considering letting it expire anyway, but I was caught napping. You can be sure I’ve triple checked all the other domains I own.
If you have any concerns about the status of your domain(s) please feel free to contact us.
President, flyte new media