I’d like to tell you some horror stories about clients of ours who’ve had a hard time dealing with web designers and domains.
The thing is, not everyone is a techie and knows how to buy/register a domain. And some clients are very busy and don’t even want to spend the time on it. So this is something that most website designers will be willing to do on your behalf.
The problem comes about when said web designer doesn’t deliver as promised and then, when the client complains and wants to find someone else, the web designer holds the domain to ransom because the client doesn’t have the login to where the domain was registered.
This recently happened to a client of ours who we shall call Tom (because that’s his name). He engaged a web design company to build him a small e-commerce site so he could sell goods he imports from the far east. He paid a deposit and the web designer registered his desired domain on his behalf in Tom’s name.
So far, so good. However, after a few months the web designers still hadn’t completed the website and weren’t replying to emails or calling back after Tom left voice-mails.
6 months down the line and Tom still didn’t have a completed website. So he called us to discuss the matter. We told him that he’d have to gain control of the domain in order to be able to move or rebuild the site and then complete it without interference from the old web design company.
And when Tom told the web designers that he wanted to move his site they started paying attention. First of all they wouldn’t allow him to move the site until he’d paid in full, even though the site wasn’t even finished.
Then they refused to release his domain since Tom didn’t have access to the domain registration website. Thankfully, in Tom’s case, the web guys had registered the domain in Tom’s name so he could contact Nominet and have them transfer the domain to a host account that Tom owned.
When Tom had moved the domain the web designers decided that settlement would be a better option, probably realising that they had less real leverage.
This was all hassle and money that Tom could have done without wasting, his online business should have been up and running months ago.
But that’s not the only story of its kind. We have another client called Liz who is having similar problems with her domain, which was registered by someone else. Thankfully, again, the domain is in Liz’s name and we should be able to get it sorted through Nominet.
However, another client is less fortunate. He runs a printing company and his domain was registered by his ex business partner in his own name. Then his web designer went out of business so he can’t even get to his website, let alone get the domain sorted.
The moral of this post is this: make sure you have access to your domain host and certainly make sure it’s in your name.
Registering your domain is no more complex than buying anything else online.
Sadly this isn’t a new problem and we’re regularly being asked to help clients who don’t actually own their domain.
Here at Buzz we go so far as to setup a registration account for clients and then send them the login details when the domains have been bought. It only takes a few minutes but gives clients that peace of mind that they own their domain properly.