Why you should never let a website designer register your domain name for you

uh-ohWe work with a lot of technophobic clients, and we take good care of them. It’s what we love to do, because we enjoy explaining technical concepts in a fashion that can be understood by anyone.

Many of these clients have been in business for decades, but are just now facing the fact that their business needs a website.

What this means is that they don’t really grasp the difference between a domain name registration, a hosting package, and a honey badger.

That makes the entire process really scary, and if we can win their trust, they’d just love to turn it all over, including the registration of their domain name.

Why this is a very BAD idea

Despite the fact that it can feel intimidating to dodge all the upsells (no, you shouldn’t pay money for email) and flashy things on a registrar’s website, it is of paramount importance that you register your domain name in your name, and have the billing set to auto-renew on your credit card.

If you then want to host with your designer or web marketing company, and let them bill you for that, that’s a different story – but you need to keep your sweaty palms all over your domain name registration and pay for it directly.

We have dealt with countless sad stories involving the following:

“The designer registered the domain name for me and then disappeared and I can’t get in touch with them – and it doesn’t expire until 2020.”

Consequence: You would like to update your website from its old 2005 design, but you don’t have any of the logins and your new designer can’t build it in a new location and assign the domain to it because you don’t control it.

This means that you are (a) stuck with the outdated design with the old address and phone number, or (b) have to start all over again with a new domain name that lacks the credibility your old one has.

“My web company let the domain name expire and then my competitor/domain reseller grabbed it.”

Consequence: Ouch – now you have a website that is down due to an expired domain name, AND your competitor, or a domain reseller, just grabbed all your Google juice for $15. Not pretty.

Where is the easiest place for newbies to register?

I just ran through Hover.com‘s domain registration process, and it was ridiculously clean and easy – no upsells, like GoDaddy is famous for.

Just search through the domains until you find one that’s available, click the (+) next to it, and it drops into your cart which shows up on the right hand side. Check out when you’re ready.

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