I know a business owner who had to change his website address because the jerk who built and hosted his website disappeared.
The site went down, and when the owner tried to move it to a new server, he couldn’t do it…
…Because the web developer registered the domain, controlled where it pointed, and never gave the owner the registration information.
So the owner was stuck. And he chose to create a new domain for his business and move his website, email and all else to that domain.
What a costly hassle.
Even after establishing the new domain, the old domain was still a problem. Emails sent to the old domain were bouncing. Web traffic going to the old address got “site can’t be reached” errors.
Who knows how much this affected sales and customer service?
You Can Avoid This Fate
There is a simple way to prevent this from happening to you:
If you haven’t already done so, set up an account with a reputable domain registrar — such as Hover, Network Solutions or GoDaddy.
Register all of your company domains through the same account under a name and email that your company controls.
If your existing domains are registered under an account you don’t control, contact the person who controls the registration and arrange to transfer the domains to your company’s registrar.
This will take a little time in the short run. But it will help you avoid a ton of long-term pain.
Should You Give Developers Access to the Registrar Account?
Many web developers will ask for access to your domain registration account so they can make necessary changes when moving a site to a new server or changing email servers.
You can share registrar login information with a trusted partner. But you should always remember to change passwords if you part ways with that partner.
Some registrars enable you to create multiple logins for a single account. In this case, you can create a login for the developer — which you can delete if you part ways.
Is It Really Impossible to Acquire Control of a Domain If You Are Not The Registration Contact
In some cases, depending on the registrar, you might be able to acquire control of a domain — if the registration contact has disappeared.
But you’ll have to jump through many hoops to make it happen. If your site is down and your email is not working, you won’t have time for all that hoop-jumping.