Makes Sure You Own Your Domain Name

Don’t Risking Losing Your Domain Name

Imagine this scenario. Business hires web designer. Web designer registers domain name for business and creates and supports a website. Things are great until they aren’t. Business no longer wants original web designer. Web designer holds domain name hostage. Refuses to transfer domain until business does X. Normally X involves paying a fee of some kind. Sometimes web designer just refuses to hand the domain name over period.

Sometimes if the business already has a domain name, but hires a new web designer, the new web designer will insist the business transfer the domain name to the web designer. Then when things go south, the web designer doesn’t want to hand over the name. Which it now owns.

In no way am I suggesting that most web designers would behave this way. But why risk it? Keep control of your domain name.

Make Sure You Control Your Domain Name

If you take your car to a mechanic, you don’t give him the title to your car, do you? If you hire someone to work on your  house, you don’t give him the deed, right? So why would you give someone the ownership over your home on the web? The thing through which you send your emails, and most of your customers contact you. The thing that lets potential clients find you where most people these days do their searching.

Your domain name is an incredibly valuable piece of real estate. You should never, ever let anyone have control over it.

Who Owns the Domain?

Here’s the problem. Technically speaking, the person or business with his/its name on the domain owns it. If you allowed your web designer to put his name on your domain name, he owns it. If you have documentation proving that you really own it, you can try to get the registrar to transfer the domain name to you. Whether you will succeed depends on the registrar and your proof. Why risk it?

Prevent the Problem – Keep Ownership of your Domain Name

But do you really want to go through this? Do you want to deal with having your website down, not being able to send and receive emails and goodness knows what else? All of this trouble can be prevented if you simply insist on registering or keeping the domain name in your own name, in your own account.

Protect your Password

If you need to give your web designer access to your domain name, give him a temporary password. Then, after he does whatever he needs to do, change the password. I realize this sounds a bit paranoid, and for the most part, web designers are completely honest and you can trust them. But you don’t want to risk being the one who has the angry designer who will hold your domain name hostage.


There is no legitimate reason for a web designer to require control of your domain name. Yes, it might be easier for him to be able to make all of the changes from within his own account. But the risk to the domain’s owner is much too great for the web designer’s convenience to outweigh the domain owner’s security. A good web designer is more concerned about the domain owner than about his convenience.

When I design a new website  I insist that the customer register his or her own domain name. If the person really wants me to do the registration, I create an account for the business and buy the domain name with its credit card. If I take over management of a website, I keep the domain name where it is, or transfer it to the ownership of the business if the business doesn’t own it.

I never want to own a domain name that is not really mine. And no business should want me, or anyone else, to do so either.



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