What your web designer doesn’t want you to know. This is the most important piece of information you will find about websites and hosting. Registering your domain name.
The domain name is how visitors will get to your site. For example, the domain name for this site is www.ontraxweb.com. Each site must have a unique name. If you permit a web designer or hosting company or any third party to register your domain for you and you have no access to the account, you could be in for big problems. If the third party goes out of business, files for bankruptcy, gets seriously ill or even dies, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to move your site to another service. Keep reading to learn how this all works.
In order to direct visitors to the site when the domain name is typed into a browser (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, etc.) the directions to where the site is stored on the Internet is held at Domain Name Servers or DNS. When a user types in a domain name as in http://www.ontraxweb.com the information is passed on to a DNS and the request is sent to your site.
There are several options in purchasing a domain name. Some cost more than others. It is relatively simple to register a domain but can be a bit confusing if you have never done it before. So, many web designers or hosting companies offer to register the domain for you. Wow, that seems nice. No it is not!
The domain registration information is the keys to the castle. If a third party holds the key, you can end up being held hostage to a service you no longer wish to use. Imagine if you decide that you would like to change the hosting service to one that offers more features or any other reason. The first step is to notify the DNS where the new site will be hosted. Where do you do that? It is in n the control panel of the hosting company. If you did not set up the service you most likely do not have access to that control panel. So, you will need to tell the current company that you want to leave them and go elsewhere. How do you think they are going to react? Do you think your request will be at the top of a to-do list? Probably not. I know of some sites that have taken years to get their domain names moved.
The solution: Register your domain name yourself, no matter who is hosting the site. At the very least, if you have someone else register the domain for you; make certain that they give you the user name and the password to access the account. Do not let them talk you out of this.
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!
Ontrax Web Design is happy to either set up an account for you or to talk you through setting up your own account to register your domain name. Either way, you will have complete control of you domain.