Losing Your Domain...And Your Mind.

Here's an interesting dilemma.  One morning you log into your firm's web site to find that it is now home to a porn distribution site. Or even something not even vaguely related to your firm.  Or a competitor. Here's how it can happen.  If you choose to register your domain through your web hosting service, and that service runs into administrative or financial troubles -- not uncommon in today's economy -- their wholesale account can be frozen.  That means that your domain renewal notice doesn't get sent to you.  Even if you find out that the domain needs to be renewed, you can't do it -- because the wholesaler owns the account, not you.  Even if you are listed in the WhoIs database as the account holder. And when Network Solutions puts your domain name up for auction, you don't even get notified.  You simply lose the domain name.  No recourse.  So sad, too bad. Doesn't happen?  Wrong-o.  Happens all the time.  So here's how to prevent it. Immediately go online and make sure that you are the administrative contact for your domain.  You can do that through whoever the registrar of the domain is.  Keep this information current at all times. If yours is a "wholesale" account registered to an ISP or web hosting service, change this status (the domain registrar can help you do this) to a "retail" account that you have control over it. Make sure that the email address you list for the account is always active, so that you get notices for renewal or inquiries. This may not be the most common of domain problems, but it can be a very serious one -- your web site down, email not working, clients confused and thinking you are out of business, and loss of reputation, to say the least. This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of aggravation.