SMEs, it’s time to protect your online identity

October 11th, 2009
One of my relative is a book publisher and seller, he is running this business for decades and most of the sales is through the traditional medium. Like any other Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), he registered a .com domain name for his busines years ago. He consulted a local web design and development company to do the domain registration and hosting. The web design company registered the domain name for him, but they were the registrant and administrative contact for the domain.
An year passed, either the web design company didn’t exist or they failed to inform him about the domain renewal or that he didn’t give much attention, the domain name expired and went into the hands of some domain name┬áRealtor. They kept the domain for sale for a high price, which was unreachable for my relative and his enterprise, he had to seek another domain name / domain name extension for his business.
Similar was the case with another friend of mine, who registered a valuable .com domain through a web design agency and lost it.
Well, they are not exceptional cases you might see when you look around.
The domain name and web development industry has changed, if you had a domain name exactly conveying the name of your business and you lost it like what is mentioned above, you may not be getting it back or you may have to pay a large sum to get it back.
Following are some tips for SMEs to avoid situations like above.
  • Be serious about your online identity such as a domain name or website. They are no more items made just to be shown on your business cards, they can bring business to you.
  • As much as possible, try to maintain a reminder about domain renewal if you have paid for the domain for just one year.
  • 10 years is the maximum duration a domain name can be registered for, for now. You may go for the maximum duration for your firm’s branded domain name, considering your firms operation for years to come.
  • My advice is that you learn to register domain name yourself and to manage it. Domain name is an asset, gone are those days where it was nothing for SMEs.
  • If you cannot do register and maintain domain name yourself, seek help of a┬átrust able web design company and keep an agreement that they register the domain name mentioning you as the registrant and technical/administrative contact so that the notification about domain renewal reach you through the email id mentioned as part of these contacts.

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