If your domain has unexpectedly expired or become victim to a disgruntled former colleague, I share your pain as I’ve witnessed this happen many times to our customers since 2007.
Unfortunately, managing your domain is not a “set it and forget it” task, and we hope this message provides suggestions to help you prevent a fire drill.
If you have a website, then you have a domain (or website address). Each domain originates at a registrar (ie., Godaddy, Network Solutions, etc.) who handles the reservation and configurations of domain names. You can reserve/rent a domain annually or multiple years at a time. However, if your domain expires, your website and email will stop working. Once you renew your domain and go through the registrar’s expiration waiting period, everything will start working again. A few suggestions to prevent this:
- Ensure your domain is under your (or your company’s) ownership. Don’t let anyone outside of your organization secure a domain on your behalf. The consequences are painful.
- Apply two factor authentication (2FA) to all online accounts, especially a domain. This multi-step method will add a layer of security and is more difficult to let your domain get in the wrong hands.
- Many companies delegate the domain management to a team member. We encourage you to have a company process (and be aware of it) as the leader of your company. At your registrar, ensure an email group and multiple active email addresses are provided to be alerted in case there’s an issue with your domain, security risk, or upcoming expiration. Most cases of expired domains that I’ve observed have been because old, inactive email addresses are registered with the domain registrar.
- We suggest renewing your domain for 5 years to prevent this being an annual situation. Set an annual reminder in your calendar to check-in on your domain and ensure there are no upcoming expirations and that your contact/billing info is up to date.
- To decrease the chance of something falling through the cracks, have all of your domains at one registrar, and under one account.
- If you do extend access to 3rd party organizations (ie., web designer), don’t give them your log-in credentials. Instead, there should be an option to delegate and manage external access through your account.
Your domain isn’t a problem, until it’s a problem. If you have any questions or need any guidance, feel free to contact us.