Ceci and I moved this past weekend, along with our small tribe: Little Ruben, Santiago, Adan, Carmela, and Joaquin. You can probably imagine why we moved. We were running out of room!
So we went from a 3-bedroom to a 4-bedroom, though Tiffany suggested a 5-bedroom would have also been a good option!
Even so, I fought the move. I don’t like moving, change, or having to pack and unpack. The perfect storm trifecta.
Once the move became inevitable, I was lost trying to figure out where to start. And that’s exactly what happened with some of you when we recently wrote about protecting your digital assets.
Today you have a starting point to help overcome the overwhelm.
The first digital asset you should protect and control right away is your domain name
It’s time to dominate your domain name. Let’s first address what a domain name really is. I have a background in real estate, so it’s easy for me to think of the web in real estate terms.
Say you want to find a nice place to unwind with a few margaritas.
Instead of looking for longitude and latitude coordinates of 31.786285 and -106.417029, you can look for 1310 Magruder St, El Paso, TX 79925 on a map.
You can send a letter to that address, and the mail carrier knows how to route it there for you. To make it even easier for you to remember, you can just look for the Carlos & Mickey’s sign. Margaritas, here we come!
Your domain name is almost the same thing on a virtual/digital level. You type 8signal.com into the browser instead of 220.127.116.11, and the digital mail carrier knows to route you to where your website is located.
How not to register your domain name
Technically, you don’t own your domain—you’ve simply registered it, giving you the right to use it. What you do want to own is the account with the company that registers the domain name to you. These companies are registrars.
Two popular ones are Bluehost and GoDaddy. We like to use and strongly recommend Namecheap. Now let’s talk about how to get a domain name and where many business owners get it wrong.
You need to register your domain, the process seems overwhelming, and you blindly trust the person helping you set up the website.
Unfortunately, it happens more than it should. A business lets someone else buy a domain for them and never asks for it to be transferred to them. If something happens and they want to change services, the original buyer is uncooperative, slowing down their former client and inviting arbitration or a lawsuit.
Don’t let someone else register your domain name, or they can hold your domain hostage.
What if you don’t control your domain name?
You don’t control your domain; now what? There are a few steps you can take to get you through this:
- Contact the person who registered your domain. If they didn’t do a private registration, go to https://www.namecheap.com/domains/whois.aspx to get the name, email address, phone number, and address that was used to register the domain name.
- If they are friendly about releasing the domain to you, let them know you will be requesting a transfer and you will need their help. They need to release the domain through their registrar and provide you with a code. Otherwise, you’ll need to go down another path.Grabbing a great domain name is the one thing you should do as soon as possible. Disputes over entitlement to a domain-name registration are usually resolved by tedious court litigations between the parties claiming rights to the registration.Sometimes, proving that you are the owner of the business and that the 3rd party agent registered on your behalf, but under their account, gives you enough ground to recover it. But at that point, you need to provide business and personal identification so that the registrar can reclaim the domain from the other party and give it back to you.
- Go to namecheap.com (affiliate link) and purchase a domain name transfer. You are not registering a domain, you are transferring one to them. Though the end result is the same, purchasing a registration rather than a transfer will require that you come up with a new domain name.
- Once you’ve provided Namecheap with the information they need, it’s just a waiting game while they do the work to request the transfer so you can control your domain name. It’s critical that you check your email every day to make sure there aren’t any hiccups in the whole process.
Those are the exact steps we follow to recover domain names for clients. If you don’t feel like dealing with it or just don’t have the time, 8 Signal does this for a one-time convenience fee of $200.
How 8 Signal registers domain names
At 8 Signal, we like to do things differently and place the power in the hands of our clients:
- If our client doesn’t have an account with the registrar, 8 Signal will create it on their behalf using an email address owned and controlled by the client.
- We share the URL, username, and password to every new account with our clients.
- We place the order using the client’s account and payment information.
- The only thing we need a client to do when we register a domain name is to verify that the email address on the account is a valid one.
Whether 8 Signal does this for you or you decide to do it on your own, take action today to get your domain back.
Now back to you: what’s been the greatest frustration with your website domain name?