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How to Manage Your Domain Name to Retain Your Competitive Advantage

More people are using the Internet today for convenience – to shop, manage their bank accounts, book travel tickets or just to keep in touch with friends. And the numbers speak for themselves. More than 81 million Indians have access to the Internet1 and 1.9 billion2 Internet users exist worldwide, making it a rich and powerful medium for any business to use.

To be competitive in today’s Internet-reliant world, a business needs to have an online presence. And it all revolves with your domain name.

Establish the Right Online Presence

The first step in creating an online presence is to select and register a domain name so customers can find you online. And once you’ve registered your domain name, you can leverage it in several ways, like building a website or branding your business e-mail.

When you’re selecting a domain name, choose carefully because it reflects your company’s brand and identity. A .com domain name, for example, offers instant visibility and credibility for your brand, and is appropriate for businesses of all sizes. Best of all, it is one of the most widely used domain name extensions around the world3.

Manage Your Domain Name to Retain Your Competitive Advantage

Your domain name is your identity on the Internet and needs to be protected. Similar to a bank account, you need to manage it carefully, or risk losing your domain name, along with all the time, effort and resources you used to build up your brand.

To help you manage and protect your domain name, consider the following 10 tips:

  • List your company’s name as the owner of the domain. When you register your domain name, information about the owner, contacts, registration and expiration date gets recorded in the central Whois database. The name of the owner should be your company and the contact information should be trusted individuals in your organization.

  • Take full control of your domain name and the information pertaining to it. If you’re working with a website designer or reseller who will be purchasing your domain name on your behalf, be clear on who needs to be listed on record as the domain name owner. If they accidently list themself as owner, they legally own that domain name.

  • Keep your domain name access password confidential. Treat your domain name access password as you would with passwords to your online bank account.

  • Update your domain name details. The link to the ‘Manage Domain’ section on the domain control panel will take you to a page showing all your domains booked through that date. By clicking on any domain name, you can edit the owner, administrative, technical or billing contact information. It is advisable to keep your domain name information updated at all times.

  • Pay attention to your renewal date. You can register your domain name for a period of one to 10 years but pay careful attention to the renewal date. You run the risk of losing your domain name if there’s a delay in renewing it. Many registrars or resellers will send you a renewal notice 15 to 30 days before the domain name expiration date. Keep in mind that there will be a fee for manual reactivations if you fail to register before your expiration date.

  • Be aware of your registrar’s or reseller’s renewal procedures. Renewal procedures and prices for domain names vary depending on your registrar or reseller, so be sure to check with them about their renewal procedures.

  • Offer accurate and valid contact information when registering a domain name. Providing false registration information is against a registrar’s Terms of Use and could result in your domain name being cancelled. Provide a valid email or physical address for the registrar or reseller to use for communication means during the registration process.

  • Keep a list of all your domain names. If you own multiple domain names, keep all necessary information together in one central location for easy management.

  • Keep hard copies of correspondence with your registrar or reseller. It may be wise to print out all receipts and related information that’s been sent to you by your registrar or reseller.

  • Inform your registrar or reseller of any suspicious activity. Alert your registrar or reseller if you receive any emails that indicate a change to your domain name. Forward any questionable emails and material to them, along with details of your concerns. This will aid them in tracking down and correcting any problems.

Just remember, the discipline required to manage your domain name is similar to that required of you to manage paperwork in your physical office. You wouldn’t forget to renew your office lease, right?

Welcome to the Internet World!

1, June 30, 2010
2, June 30, 2010
3 During the fourth quarter of 2010, the overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to reach a combined total of 105.2 million names, according to the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief (Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2011)