The Importance of Owning and Controlling Your Domain Name as a Small Business Owner

Your online presence plays a significant role in your success. One critical aspect of that presence is your domain name - the digital address where customers can find your business.

This post has come about because not once but twice this month I’ve had potential clients comes to me looking for some minor work carried out. This work requires me to have access to their domains DNS, and shouldn’t take no more than a few hours at most to complete but in both cases it’s over a week now and I’m still no further forward because the people who control the domains are being unresponsive and awkward. Not only does this frustrate my clients but it also makes me look like a complete tool and amateur.

As a small business owner, your online presence plays a significant role in your success. One critical aspect of that presence is your domain name – the digital address where customers can find your business. I’ve lost count now how many times a potential client has come to me looking for a new website or they want to switch their email provider only to discover that their domain name is registered in someone else’s name. Most times it’s in the name of their previous web designer. Usually this leads to a lengthy process of trying to get access to manage the DNS and in most cases I always recommend getting the domain transferred into my clients name so they have full ownership and control. I’ve had instances in the past where the previous web designer or developer has held the domain name to ransom and wouldn’t release it until an invoice was paid! While it may be tempting to let your web designer just to take care of everything, it’s crucial that you maintain FULL control and ownership of your domain name.

Here are a few reasons as to why you should be in charge of your domain name.

1. Ownership Equals Control

Having control over your domain name means that you have full access to and control over your online presence. It’s much like owning your storefront property rather than renting it. If you don’t own the domain, you’re at the mercy of the person who does.

2. Business Continuity

What happens if your web designer or developer leaves the business, moves away, or just becomes unresponsive? If they control your domain name, you could be left in a difficult position, potentially losing access to your website, email, and other critical online services linked to your domain.

3. Branding and Reputation

Your domain name is an essential part of your brand identity. Having control over your domain name means you can protect your brand, ensuring that your business presents a consistent image and message across all platforms. You can also prevent any unwelcome changes that could harm your brand’s reputation.

4. Flexibility and Freedom

Owning your domain name gives you the flexibility to switch to a different web hosting or email service if needed. It also ensures you can modify or expand your online presence as your business grows and evolves. If your web designer or someone else controls your domain, they will limit your ability to make these important changes in a timely fashion.

5. Security and Privacy

In the hands of an unreliable web designer, your domain name could be at risk of cyber threats, such as hijacking or unauthorised changes. By maintaining control of your domain, you can ensure it’s properly secured and take steps to protect your customers’ data and privacy.

6. SEO Ranking

Your domain name is a crucial factor in your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ranking. Over time, your website will build ‘domain authority,’ improving your website’s ranking in search engine results. If you lose control of your domain, you might have to start from scratch with a new one, which can impact your SEO ranking.

While it’s understandable to delegate tasks to professionals, it’s essential that you retain ownership of your business’s domain name. This will allow you to protect your brand, maintain continuity, and ensure the flexibility and security of your online presence. So, make sure you are the registered owner of your domain name, and keep all the login details in a secure place. Most platforms allow you to delegate access to your domain so your web designer can still do all the work, but under your supervision.

Do you need a new website? I'd love to hear from you!