Here Are Some Tips To Help You Stay In Control of Your Domain.
We see it far too often. We begin working with a client and need to access their domain name, and the fun begins. The domain is registered with one service provider, the primary name server (what routes all internet, web, email traffic on the internet) points to another provider and the website and/or email are hosted somewhere else. And the worst part is, the client has no idea how or where anything is registered, no account credentials, etc.
Your domain name is extremely valuable and businesses should take management of their domains seriously. This means understanding, or at least having an idea, of how their domain is setup, but most importantly, have any and all credentials on file to access their domain and any related services such as email and website.
Most web developers want to control everything for a domain in their web hosting control panel. While there is technically nothing wrong with this, and it may be useful at times, it is not ideal.
Here is what we recommend:
- The business owner should create an account at a reputable domain registrar, such as Go Daddy or Network Solutions. There are several domain registrars available, however, our experience with Go Daddy and Network Solutions lends to the best service and support. Be sure your web developer or IT provider does not register your domain in their name and link all verification to their account, email, phone numbers, etc.
- Keep your DNS nameservers with your registrar so you can easily control where all of your related web traffic points.
- Update your MX record and SPF record per your email provider’s specifications, which, ideally, is either Microsoft Office365 or Google G Suite, or better yet, your email security spam filtering service.
- Ask your web developer what DNS records they need to manage the website. This is typically done with an A record or CNAME record to point website traffic to your web hosting server.
If all of this sounds foreign to you, enlist your IT manager or IT service provider to help. There may be other business use cases that may cause you to configure things differently, and that’s OK. In fact, we have started housing all DNS management with Microsoft in Office365
The most important thing is to ensure you have the correct credentials to access your domain registration, email and web services.
Other useful tips:
- Register your domain names for as long as you can. Minimum registration length should be 10 years. Registering your domain name for a longer term helps with your search engine optimization since search engines can see you plan on sticking around for awhile, plus you will not have to remember to renew your domain every year.
- Secure your domain management login with 2-factor authentication. This will help prevent your account from being compromised, which could allow an attacker to hijack your domain.
- Consider private registration on your domain. This is typically an additional fee, however, it will keep your domain registration info private.
Curious to know what registration information is visible to the public for your domains? Visit https://www.godaddy.com/whois and enter your domain name to find out.
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