At Full Serve, we feel that it is very important that your hosting and domain are registered to your name.
Your domain name(s) and your website are valuable company assets.
If your hosting and domains were part of a package you purchased from a service provider, what happens if that service provider closes their business? Or what happens if you decide to change service providers? What happens if your site disappears off the internet and you can’t reach your service provider?
Hosting – Just like you might have a brick and mortar space to do business in the real world, hosting is like your real estate on the internet. It is where you put your website files and it allows it to be viewed online.
Domains – The domain is the name of your site (fullserve.ca, todaysworkshop.com). You register your domain name and point it to your website.
If you didn’t purchase your domain and hosting directly, make sure you are listed as the owner on the accounts.
If you have backup files of your site, it is easy to move the site to hosting in your name. If your domain is not in your name, that is a bigger problem. Your domain is a valuable company asset and should be protected accordingly. It should be registered in your name (not your web designer’s name or one of your employees). You should be aware of when it expires. If it expires and you are not the contact for your domain, you can lose it.
How do I find out if my hosting and domain is in my name?
Here are some ways you can see if your hosting and domain is in your name:
If you have access information for your hosting and domain company, log in and look at the account and billing information. Make sure the correct names are listed as owners of the account, remove any names that are inappropriate/out of date. While you are in there: confirm you have a valid credit card number and a current email address.
If you’re not sure what hosting or domain company was used, check your emails/invoices. You may have your domain registered at the same company as your hosting, or it may be two different companies. Domains are usually renewed annually, while hosting might be a monthly or annual charge. (Some names to look for: Hostgator, GoDaddy, Namecheap, Canadian Web Hosting)
Check Whois to see where your domain is registered, when it expires, and who owns it. (If you have privacy settings on your domain it may just show the name of the company where it is registered, not the owner’s name, but that is a good place to start).
Full Serve Can Help
If you don’t have access to your hosting and/or you are unable to confirm whether the domain is registered in your name, we can help you figure this out.
Last year, Full Serve helped a client whose site disappeared off the internet and their original service provider was unreachable (not answering phone calls). We discovered the service provider had stopped paying for their hosting reseller account. In this case a back up would have been very helpful, but did not exist. We were able to prove to the hosting company that the site belonged to the business and move the site files to a hosting account in the client’s name to restore the site, but it was very time consuming.
We also helped a client transfer domains to their name, with great difficulty, from a previous service provider whose delays caused a site move to be disrupted. It is much easier to make sure the domain is in your name and you have access to the account right from the start.
Project Delivery Checklist
When a Full Serve project ends, we deliver all project assets. If you have a hosting account or domain(s) as a result of a Full Serve project, you were provided with the following (if applicable):
graphic design work and image files
a back up of the website
access to all accounts (hosting, domain)
licenses and purchase codes for anything purchased on your behalf