We’ve had two separate issues with clients this week based around www addresses. In one case, the people who registered the client’s www address are now missing in action, leaving the client struggling to launch their new website. In the other case, an unscrupulous provider is holding them to ransom (we are talking five figures) over releasing the name.
So what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
1. Go to http://whois.domaintools.com/ and enter your www address
This will give you a lot of information but, most importantly, the registrant details. This should always be your company name and address. The admin and technical contact could be your providers, which is fine. If this is not the case, contact your provider ASAP and ask for the details to be changed.
2. Hold all your www addresses in your own account, which you control
From there, you can “point” any address to any website, but you will always hold the “master key”. It is usually a very simple process to move addresses to your own account. I recommend using www.123-reg.co.uk. In the case mentioned above, the client had made sure the domain was registered under its own name, but the provider decided to change the details!
3. Try and register all www address variations so you’re not brand high-jacked
For example www.twitter.com it should really own www.twiter.com but it doesn’t, so when a typo is made, it loses the visitor. Are any of your competitors doing this to you?
if you lose a www address, it’s not just branding and stationery reprints that you’ll have to contend with. Google places emphasis on how old a www address is, so going from a nine-year old domain to a one-month old domain could be catastrophic. Google also places a lot of importance on how many other sites link to your www address. Losing your address could mean starting from scratch. Again, this could mean going from 1,000 visitors a day to none.