Do you own a blog or some other type of website?
If so, you should know that it’s a very dangerous practice to assign control of your domain name and/or website content to a third party.
If you allow someone else to take control of those vital assets, you just might have a very difficult time regaining control of them if your relationship with that person or company goes south.
In fact, it just might be impossible!
Former Congressman Ron Paul found that out the hard way back in 2013 when he lost control of his own RonPaul.com domain name and website.
What happened was Congressman Paul’s relationship with the political supporter who maintained his website went sour and the man refused to turn control of the domain name back over to him. I wrote this post about it at the time.
To this day RonPaul.com points to a website that doesn’t belong to former Congressman Paul.
Caution: I won’t link to that site because the current owners have implanted malware on it. DO NOT vist that website. Just sayin’.
In short, former Congressman Paul lost control of his own website. Even worse, he lost the right to use the domain name that consists of his very own proper name: RonPaul.com.
Unfortunately, this form of website and domain “hijacking” happens all the time, and I’m afraid the situation will likely get worse in the future.
Most of these horrible situations arise when an unethical web developer or web hosting company gets upset over a customer’s decision to sever their business relationship and give his/her business to a different developer or hosting company.
If the jilted developer/web host happens to control the customer’s domain name and/or website content, regaining control of them can be very difficult indeed.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, these “hijackings” happen all the time.
That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you keep your domain name and website content under virtual “lock and key”, and keep the “key” in your own virtual pocket!
If you own a blog or other type of website, I recommend that you DO NOT assign control of your domain name and website content to any third-party, including your web developer and/or web hosting provider.
If you have already assigned control of those assets to someone else, I strongly suggest that you take steps to regain control of them right now while your relationship with that entity is on good terms.
If you’re still in the planning stage for a new blog or website, you can potentially save yourself a lot of grief down the road by simply heading over to Godaddy.com and registering your domain name yourself.
It’ll only cost you around $20 and a few minutes of your time to register your domain yourself at Godaddy, but the peace of mind you’ll enjoy will be priceless!
When you register your domain name you’ll be asked to enter contact information in three places:
1 – Registrant Contact
2 – Admin Contact
3 – Technical Contact
You should enter YOUR name, address, phone number and email address in the fields for all three of these contact types. Your web developer’s info doesn’t have to be in there at all!
All you’ll need to do is ask your web developer for the NameServer info that points to the server that’s hosting your website/blog.
You’ll then provide that info to your domain registar (Godaddy, NameCheap, etc. – whichever registrar you used to register your domain name). Their tech support rep can help you enter the info in the correct place.
Once the NameServers have been set with your registrar, visitors will be able to find your website/blog by typing the URL into their browser’s address bar.
Whatever you do, DON’T register your domain name with the same company that will be hosting your website, even if they offer to give you the domain name for free.
Domain registration is dirt cheap these days (about 18 bucks a year at Godaddy, for example) so getting a domain for free simply isn’t worth the potential trouble!
And now, one other very important point…
If you plan to start a blog using your own name as the domain name, I recommend that you register that domain name ASAP to prevent someone else from registering it first – especially if you are well known in your community.
Case in point: Former Presidential candidate Jeb Bush was apparently asleep at the wheel when he was planning his 2016 Presidential run.
Inexplicably, he allowed the domain JebBush.com to be registered by someone else who ended up redirecting JebBush.com to Donald Trump’s official campaign website. That had to really sting, and no doubt it left a nasty mark!
He ended up having to register Jeb2016.com for use with his official campaign website. Of course the election is long over but JebBush.com is little more than a blank page today and the domain is still owned by that third-party.
If Jeb ever decides to run for office again he’ll have to find yet another somewhat suitable domain name to use with his campaign website.
And finally, once your blog/website is up and running, insist that your web developer or web hosting provider set things up so you’ll receive copies of your website backup files in your email.
Bottom line: Maintaining control of both your domain name and your website/blog content will ensure that you’ll be able to keep your site up and running smoothly if you ever decide to take your website maintenance and/or hosting business elsewhere.
Bonus tip: If you’re planning to create a new blog, this post explains the differences between Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated Servers.
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