Best Practices for Domain Names

Issues with domain names are quite common, and as a business owner, relying on your domain to stay active and working is critical. While domain names don’t cost a lot of money, when they stop working it can cost your business thousands of dollars.

If you domain goes down, or expires not only does your website go down, but most likely your email as well. While some businesses can afford to have a website offline for a few days, many, many more cannot go for even a few hours without email.

The following are the key components to making sure your domain stays active and working:

  1. Purchase Multiple Years: Instead of paying for your domain each year, buy 2, 3 or even 5 years of service which will reduce the chance that your domain will expire. Don’t forget about it though, set a reminder as you probably won’t remember to renew in 5 years.
  2. Auto-Renew: If you can’t purchase more than one year, enable auto-renew with your registrar. Each year, your registrar will bill your credit card and your domain will stay active.
  3. Current Credit Card: If you enable auto-renew you need to make sure your credit card is active and not expired. Expired credit card are one of the top causes of unwanted domain expiration.
  4. Accurate Contact Information: Every domain has what is called a “WHOIS” record which is contact information associated with the domain. If this information becomes outdated you can be locked out from making changes to your domain.
  5. Username and password: Another common issue we run into are business owners who don’t know their domain login. Sometimes a domain is purchased by your tech provider, family member or someone else – make sure they give you the password and make sure you record it!
  6. Fake bills: Almost every domain owner gets fake bills in snail mail and via email. These “bills” are meant to confuse the domain owner into transferring the domain to their company. Don’t fall for it! Know who your registrar is, and check with your web provider if you’re unsure.
  7. Private registration: Your WHOIS record (see #4) is public, and can be used to trick you, or your employees into transferring the domain away or can be used to attack your organization using phishing techniques. While not essential, private registration hides this contact information from the public.
  8. Email links: Both your legitimate registrar (where you purchased the domain) and scammers will email you asking you to login, or confirm your domain information. The link within those emails could direct you to a phishing site, looking to steal your login credentials. Instead of trying to determine if an email is legitimate, open your browser, type in your registrar URL (example: godaddy.com) and then login from there.

There you have it! 8 easy tips to help you eliminate domain headaches down the road, and ensure your website, and other reliant servers like email stay active.