28 Sep Things You Need To Know About Your Website
I help many of my friends in the wedding industry with all kinds of computer needs. I have an extensive IT background, unlike the vast majority of people. Anyone who I’ve worked with knows I don’t make a big deal out of it, or charge much if anything. Many things are simple and quick for me even though they may be daunting to the average business owner, and I never mind doing favors. I have run across many things over the past few years, some of which are very critical and everyone should be aware of no matter what your level of involvement with your company or knowledge of your website.
I COMPLETELY understand that websites, domain names, hosting, servers, registrations, renewals, etc. can be absolutely overwhelming, confusing and just plain undo-able for most people. Even I get confused sometimes when I have a particularly complicated client or situation. But one thing I have seen quite frequently is so important that I’m putting out a plain English warning so I can try to help prevent big future problems for others.
The big problem I want to talk about is you, the business owner, not owning your own name. Again, I completely understand that most people have to hire help when it comes to setting up their website, making changes, Circulo Marketing etc. But what some less professional people do when hired, is register the domain names under themselves instead of the client. What this means is, you are giving ownership of your own registered domain name, to someone else.
To put it simply, your website has two key parts – the domain name, and the hosting. The domain name is what you type in your browser to get to your site such as bgpictures.com. The hosting, is the server your physical website files are on. It’s where they live to be put out on the internet. Both of these things require an annual fee, usually $20 per year for each name, and anywhere from $50 to $1000 per year for hosting so be sure to read some hosting reviews first. Again, some of the more unprofessional people will take advantage of you and charge you WAY too much for hosting. Some of you I’ve helped already know this first hand.
These two things are the same as your actual business. You registered your business name with the state, such as BG Pictures, LLC., and you have a physical address, such as 5318 Bob White Dr, Holiday FL 34690.
Every so often we have to renew our name with the state such as filing our annual report. We also pay rent or a mortgage for our home or storefront. We can choose to move our place of business at any time; if I chose to open a studio I could change my business address with the state. Likewise you can change your website host at anytime. If you are getting poor service or getting screwed on the price, you can switch hosts.
That’s all there is to your domain name and host, it’s really simple. The problem is when you hire someone to register your name for you – and they use their own information instead of you. It would be like me hiring an accountant to start BG Pictures, LLC. and he registered it under Joe Schmo instead of Bryan Glynn. I wouldn’t even own my own company! Likewise you NEVER want to be in the situation of not owning your own domain name!
Twice this year I have helped people who had their websites shut off on them – no site, NO EMAIL – GONE. Why? Because they did not own the name and something happened between them and the guy they hired to register then name, but the guy used his own instead. So these people had zero recourse, they didn’t own anything! They were at the mercy of the guy they hired to help and had to do whatever was needed to get the name transferred to them like it should have been in the first place.
You might not even be aware of who owns your domain name – but it’s easy to check. Go to this site: http://www.whois.net/ and put in your domain name. It will then show you all the information on file so you can verify it’s you and that it’s correct. If it’s not – give me a shout, I can take a look and tell you what you can do about it.
Any yep – that’s me 😉