Website down? 404 error?
What is all this Gobbledygook!!!
I’m sure everyone has heard of someone who lost control of their website. They decided to get someone else to build their website who said “Hey! You need to do XYZ or there might be problems!” or they didn’t update their websites security and someone hacked it or perhaps someone left the company and forgot to hand over the keys.
I covered a lot of the worst-case scenario here in our blog which highlights the risks of losing control of your digital marketing.
This blog post is about something that I’m fixing for people more and more as things get more and more complex.
Domains, DNS, Caching, Name Servers and all that jazz.
This is going to get technical, but I’m going to try and explain it as simply as I can.
Everyone has a domain, it’s probably the name of your company or a version of it. Our company is Clikk, our domain is Clikk.com.au. You might have purchased more domains like Clikk.com or Clikk.melbourne from companies like Crazy Domains or GoDaddy. You pay these companies for what could be considered a yearly lease for that name. A registrant is assigned as you purchase the domain, which is the person who is effectively in control of your domain.
Imagine you own a multi-million dollar business called ABC Stuff. Your marketing manager buys a domain called ABCStuff.com. Your business triples in size through online sales and your spending $50,000/month in digital marketing which all goes to ABCStuff.com.
One day your marketing manager leaves and no one thinks anything of it until the website goes down. Emails stop working and there’s a big black hole in the internet where your business used to be.
Eventually, someone figures out that the domain lease has expired but it was registered to the personal email of the ex marketing manager. No one can reach them and your business is losing $1000’s a day and your reputation is getting damaged.
You can’t change your domain to ABC-Stuff2.com as all your marketing relies on ABCStuff.com and all your emails rely on ABCStuff.com too. Unless you can get the domain working again, you will lose money and your company is going to struggle to function.
Then, the final nail in the coffin, someone else leases ABCStuff.com before you can recover it, your business now has to rebrand whilst it tries to legally reobtain its domain, your I.T. team are going insane and your clients are looking elsewhere.
Okay, this is a little dramatic, but all of these scenarios can and have happened over the years. There are more safeguards in place than before but it is still possible to have outages which can damage your business.
Domains are the absolute top of the tree and it’s imperative that you know:
- Who you bought the domain from
- Who has access to the logins
- Who is your domain registrant
This is Clikk’s domain information. AUDA.org.au has a tool for checking your domain ownership information here which we use to help business rescue their domains.
- Keep a secure document which tracks where your domain is purchased from (you should get invoices from them).
- Ensure that the Domain Registrant is someone high up in your business, NOT your digital marketing company, NOT an employee.
- Make the email address for the registrant generic like email@example.com to make sure anyone important in the business can access it.
- DO NOT leave your domain in control of an external digital marketing team or website designer. Even with their best intentions, it’s safer in your control.
If you have done a check of your domain using the link above and you DON’T have control of your domain, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice or to get details on our domain recovery service.
Click here for “Website Down? How to manage your website Pt 2 – Domain Name Servers (DNS)” – Coming soon!