Domains and emails are critical to running your business and showing up online when you need to. Over the 10+ years in the industry, I’ve witnessed many terrible scenarios in which people lose their domains, or lose control over the domains. Here are a few key tips on managing this well:
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Domains should be registered through a generic email address
Using a @gmail or @hotmail type of public email (that you will always have access to) is your best bet when it comes to domain registration. Domains are essentially owned through an email address – not a phone or physical address. That email address is essentially the owner. Any renewal notifications, lost password recovery emails, and other important communication is done through such email.
Imagine a scenario where I own www.brixwork.com and change the ownership email to firstname.lastname@example.org, thinking I’m being clever by matching them up – that’s a nightmare scenario because if by any chance the domain is expired or locked, I cannot even receive emails to the registrar email (email@example.com) and I would have to go through a lengthy process to prove ownership of my domain. If you’re not sure who is the owner of your domain, look it up on who.is.
Check Your Domains Regularly!
Often we end up with different credit cards – whether through theft/misuse, or simply as the expiry dates change. I’ve seen many people who think that registering for 5 years at a time is a good idea so the domain does not expire – wrong. In these scenarios, more often than not, I’ve seen people who completely forget to follow up on their domain registration statuses and miss the renewal (having the same credit card on file 5 years later is almost impossible). I regularly observe emails from my registrar, Namecheap, through a designated @gmail account, to ensure nothing expires. A domain expiring means the website & email attached to it all goes down until it is recovered.
This is especially more important if you have any domains that you don’t actively use yet, but hold onto, as an investment or for future usage! Inactive domains are easy to expire without noticing, and once it goes into redemption period (after the initial expiry period) the recover cost can jump up to several hundred dollars if you don’t want it released for public purchase again.
Pick The Right Email Provider
The days when hosting a website with a domain and using the included free email system is over. Your domain can be registered just about anywhere – Godaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost etc. But your email must be registered at a reputable corporate email provider if it is for business. Not only do you get more space & storage with a proper email system such as Google Suite (formerly Google Apps) but also you get better deliverability with less chances of your emails ending up in spam.
If you have questions about the best way to set up your email addresses on a private domain you just obtained please check out my other post about using Google Applications and Gmail as your primary email and collaboration system.