Your domain name isn’t something that usually keeps you up at night. That is, until it quits working suddenly.

I wish I could count how many times we have seen people locked out of their own domains and being forced to scramble to get them back.

Here is a simple do’s and don’ts of keeping your website domain (this includes your email as well as your website) functioning.

Don’t use an email address you never check to register your domain.

If there’s ever any expiration notice or ICANN requires some verification, you will find your domain will quit working along with your email.

Use Different Passwords

Don’t use the same password over and over again. If someone guesses your master password, you have possibly given everything away. Website, bank, login to your computer. That’s a really bad idea. Use Evernote, OneNote or even a spreadsheet on your phone and computer to keep up with your passwords. Evernote and OneNote will automatically update between your phone and computer.

Don’t let anyone else register the domain in their name.

This is where I see the most problems. A business lets their web developer register the domain name. And then they end up firing him or her later. Then you will be on hands and knees begging them to release your domain back to you without any trouble. Yes, you can grab all your bills with the business name on it and send it all to the registrar, but what if your web developer hates you? He or she could get the notice that you want to change the name and shut it down immediately, putting your domain into a locked status. Just don’t let anyone else register it in their name or have any ownership of it. It’s recipe for disaster.

Web Developers, stop registering domains in your name! At least use the business owner and the owner’s email address as the registrant. What if your company folds and you no longer have access to the email address associated with it that you registered? (Seen it happen).

You think you’re saving time by using your account, but in the long run you are just making yourself look shady. You’re the one saying you own your clients’ domain names. You don’t. You just work for them. That is what the technical contact is for. Take the extra 2 minutes and fill them out separately. Business owner as the registrant and you as the technical contact.

Do register it to your personal email address.

What if have and then there’s some failure at your domain name? It’s not just your website that will go down. The email address @yourname doesn’t work anymore.

You may say, “I would never let my domain expire. I check multiple times a day.” Good, I am glad. Just make 100% sure you do. Because if you were to somehow let it slip, all the recovery is now at a defunct email address. Your personal email address is not tied to the business. It will allow you to correspond with the registrar regardless.

I personally use an email address that I check often and it is not associated with my domain.

(update to this post.) Endurance Group properties (most commonly used hosts) are now requiring people to not register their accounts through their domain. ICANN will hopefully follow suit soon in no longer allowing individuals or companies to register email addresses at their domain name.

Tucson SEO Pros will never register your domain name in our names. You will always 100% own your digital properties and we will never hold any aspect of your business for ransom. It’s part of our commitment to doing business differently.