It may seem like a simple question but if you don’t know who owns your domain name or if you don’t have control of it you may come unstuck at some point in the future. It is not uncommon for those who have control of your domain name to make it very difficult for you to transfer this if at some point in the future you decide to stop using their website maintenance or hosting services and move your website elsewhere.
Without wanting to name names, let’s just say that if you have bought a website from a company that have also offered to purchase that domain for you and host that site for you there may well be small print that gives them the right to hold onto this domain or charge you a small fortune should you ever want to transfer it into your ownership.
If you haven’t done so already make sure you purchase your domain name directly with the registrar – such as Monster or 123 Reg – this way you won’t pay any mark up on the cost of the domain name and it belongs to you! You can choose to host it where you want and you have control at the end of the day. You may think you own your website but if you don’t own your domain you are not wholly in control of that site.
Getting the right domain name is one of the primary factors in online marketing as many people will look to get a domain that is keyword rich or contains their brand name. It is best to avoid strange domain extensions and stick to the main ones such as .co.uk if your market is UK based, .com if your business operates internationally or any of the main country domains if you operate in these markets, etc. Many of the more bizarre domains are not so memorable. Also, .net domains have been bought over the years by those who want to spam the world so in purchasing such a domain you could be reducing your chances of getting that site ranked.
Posted by Frances Berry