Trust and Knowledge blog post hero image

Trust and Knowledge

OK it’s been a while, blogging sometimes is a chore but it needs to be done and sometimes there is something I feel strongly about and this makes writing easier, so this time it’s about trust.

Firstly lets get the elephant in the room out of the way, It is OK to trust your web guy (or girl). However and there is always is a however, knowledge is no bad thing.

So let me get to what prompted this post. We have just finished a site for a client who has lost a domain they have “owned”, well been paying for for many years. They have had to invest in a new domain, endure a loss of traffic and try to repair the damage. Like many people in this business and probably in general they just trusted someone to handle everything for them. Now this can be fine, we purchase 90% of the domains our clients use and hold them in our own name. This is basically for client privacy reasons and the clients preferring to let us handle it. However we always give a guarantee that the domains can be transferred at any time providing all our fees are paid to date. not all are so scrupulous though.

In the “old” days of the internet it was common for any old details to be put on a domain registration, often fictitious names etc. This may still go on in this industry, I would not be surprised considering how old practices tend to linger but anyway. This is (sort of) fine, until of course there is a dispute which requires you to prove ownership. You probably can’t, and this through no fault of their own is the problem my client faced.

So, on the basis that knowledge empowers, here are some basic facts.

Domain names are bought usually through a third party domain seller, 123reg or Godaddy for example, and domains depending on their type are administered by a governing body, for UK domains such as .co.uk that is Nominet.

When you buy a domain yourself you are usually given access to some sort of control panel to administer this domain, things such as the billing, contact details and various technical things, where the domain is pointed to (site hosted) for example. Your web people may have a central account if they bought it for you, if that’s the case make sure you have a commitment to transfer the name to you should you wish. Also ensure you are provided an invoice for any money you pay, and you know when your sites names is due for renewal.

Once you have the domain and its pointed to your hosting choice you often have another control panel, to administer such things as domain specific email accounts, databases, sub domains and the like. These tend to come with commercial hosting set up individually, for example we handle all this as we only host our own designed sites. The most popular control panel for this is Cpanel which has just announced big price hikes so expect increased costs if you have this.

Lastly your website may also have yet another control panel, this is the “Content Management System” that allows you to edit/add/remove content from your site.

Each of these control panels will have user names and passwords, whatever your set up make sure you have these safely and securely stored and your passwords are not duplicated or easy to guess/hack. You may also have had a social media account set up for you, again make sure you have access details.

So, this is how it works, if you trust your website to someone else, as I said this is fine, however having at least a working knowledge of the system though will possibly insulate you from future problems.

To sum up make sure you know the details related to your domain, this will give you the ability to deal with potential future problems. It’s OK to trust the professionals, the trick is to make sure the people your trusting are actually professional.

Simple check, get everything in writing (invoices, work done or proposed) and if they can or will not provide it ask yourself and them why.

As always be safe!

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