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Your business’ domain name is the most prominent part of your digital presence, and is just as important as your logo or name in terms of company branding.
Your domain name is the first piece of branding that potential clients will see when interacting with your business online, and it significantly impacts organic search ranking.
Given the crucial role your domain plays in your business’ identity, there are some key steps you must take to protect it.
In this month’s Vortex Marketing Blog, we will review guidelines to ensure that you stay in control of your domain and keep it safe from hackers.
What Can Happen If You Lose Control of Your Domain?
Why is it important to protect your domain? As your domain is how users find your business online, if you lose control of it for any reason (which we will cover further in the article), the new controllers will then be able to cease delivery of your email, take down your website, interfere with your marketing funnel, your rankings, your eCommerce business, contact form communications and more!
These ramifications sound scary, but there are some simple guidelines you can follow to ensure this never happens!
Figure Out Where Your Domain is Registered
The first step is to figure out where your domain is registered. If you have an IT company that manages your website and email, they will know where this is. If you personally manage your business’ online resources, you can easily find this information, too.
Some of the most common domain registrars are GoDaddy, HostGator, Google Domains, Enom, BlueHost, and Network Solutions. If any of these websites look familiar, you can try logging in to their client portals to manage your account.
If you are unsure, you can perform a WHOIS lookup on your website. Simply visit https://whois.domaintools.com/ and enter your domain. Under the registrar section, it will tell you where the domain is registered and when the domain name is up for renewal.
Keep Track of When It Expires
Once you know where your domain is registered, you can keep track of when it expires and how to renew it. The most common way we’ve seen clients lose control of their domain is they let it expire, and before they renew it, someone else purchased it.
Many registrars have an auto renewal option, which will automatically renew your domain when it is close to expiring. Be sure that the credit card and email address at your registrar is up to date! Automated emails can also be set up, notifying you if it is going to expire soon. Whichever option you choose, it is important to know when your domain is set to expire and ensure that it is renewed before someone else has a chance to purchase it.
Invest in Privacy and Protection
In addition to domain auto renewals, there is an extra layer of protection many registrars can offer: extended privacy and protection.
Going back to the WHOIS lookup, if your domain is not protected, you can see a wealth of information regarding the domain. This information may include when it expires, where the nameservers point to, the admin email, and creation date.
Many malicious domain scalpers utilize bots that search for domains through these lookups, and take note of the expiration date. Then, when that expiration date arrives, they will buy the domain and try to sell it back to the admin email address listed. This is extortion, and reprehensible, but unfortunately not against the law in many states.
Domain privacy and protection will protect this public information during a WHOIS lookup, giving you an extra layer of security and protection from hackers. Prices and features will vary depending on the registrar, and we recommend speaking with their support to learn more.
At Vortex Digital, we manage many of our clients’ domains, and seamlessly keep them up to date and ensure they don’t expire. If you are in need of domain or website services, visit VortexBusinessSolutions.com or call 319.621.0191 today.