There is nothing that defines your web presence and online brand more than your domain name. You NEED to own it.
When you own your own domain name, you can leave anytime. You can go to a new designer, a new company. You can use another email system.
You can login to your domain registrar account and in a matter of minutes do whatever you need to do with it.
More than anything… you will own your name, your brand, the center of your online presence.
If you “bought” your domain name through your web design company and you don’t know how to access or transfer it without asking their customer support, you don’t own your domain. You are merely renting.
At the first chance possible, you should transfer your domain to an account outside of the site itself so that you can own it.
The Bad & The Ugly
I have had way too many new clients tell me horror stories about trying to get a domain name back because they originally bought it through their last web designer.
Sometimes it is just poor communication skills, occasionally the designer is no longer in business, sometimes it is just lack of motivation because the web designer or company has to put forth effort to LOSE a client.
Once in a while, it is even downright malicious, unprofessional behavior when someone decides they will hold a domain name hostage. No matter the reason, this is wrong.
But you can avoid all of these things if you just purchase your domain name outside of the place you hire to design and build your website.
Where to buy domain names
We recommend a few companies that we have good experiences with:
Share your domain name Experiences:
Have any good domain registrars to recommend? Bad ones to avoid? Web company horror stories? Please share by leaving a comment…