So, you’ve got yourself a fancy little website for yourself or your company and it’s all going pretty well.
Until you start having some problems with your website hosting provider, or you decide to have a redesign with a different company, and you then realise that you actually don’t have any control over your domain, or worse; don’t even own it.
This is something we’ve seen a few times at Storm, and something I’ve experienced with many friends personally. It’s all too easy to sign up with a web host who will happily register your domain, sometimes even for “free”, but the price is that they actually own your domain and if you’re not very careful, you’re going to be facing a battle to get it back from them when the time arrises.
Here at Storm, we don’t register domains on behalf of clients; We’ll always guide you through the registration yourself with a trusted registrar to make sure you never have this problem.
How Do I Check?
If you’re not sure who owns your domain, you can look up the registered data with a whois tool, such as the one provided by Network Solutions (who will cover the results in adverts trying to sell you their products!)
You’re looking for the “Registrant” field to contain your name, or your company’s name, rather than your web host or provider.
If it doesn’t, then it’s a good idea to check the small print of your web hosting contract, or even contact them to ask if you own it, and how to transfer it into your own name.
In the worst case scenario, you may be able to contact the top level domain provider (such as nominet for .uk domains) and ask them for help recovering your domain – but that can be a lengthy and expensive process!