Have you ever been hit by a bus? It can happen in domain management..!
At Dotkeeper, we often say that domain names are among companies’ most important assets. Our reasoning is that, in today’s digital world, domains serve as the thread that ties together a company’s websites, email and communications. Domains also play an important role in protecting your trademarks.
Despite the obvious value of domain names (in terms of both money and usefulness), I still see many companies being extremely careless with their domain management, leaving themselves unprotected and vulnerable to serious damage.
Let me give you an example. The most common cause of unintentional domain expiration is when renewal fees aren’t paid on time. You wouldn’t believe how often this happens, and when it does there can be major consequences. For starters, you can lose email and web functionality in an instant.
You’ve probably heard the expression being hit by a bus. It’s a common term in our line of business, and it gets used to emphasize the extent to which critical services can stand or fall depending on a single person. We see it surprisingly often with domain names – one individual assumes responsibility for them and if, for whatever reason, they’re not able to keep up with the demands, well, chaos ensues.
Approaches to domain management can be split into two categories – do-it-yourself and outsourcing. The first approach means that you’ll have one or two people inside your company tasked with managing domain names, maybe with the help of whatever software is available. The second approach is to hand over responsibility to a company with long-established and continually updated processes and fail-safes.
With the DIY approach, you might hand over a few dollars every year (or Euros, kronor or pounds) to a domain name registrar. In all likelihood they won’t have the resources to track down every customer with an unpaid bill or an expired credit card to check whether they’re intentionally giving up their domains. This is a common scenario that frequently sees companies’ domains released into the marketplace – often with vital web or email services tied to them.
For many companies in today’s digital world, being offline in this way is the equivalent of pulling down the shutters and sticking up a Closed sign.
As domain names become increasingly critical to businesses, there is an increasing need for a strategic partner to help customers obtain and keep hold of the right domains – a partner who can eliminate the risks and pitfalls of domain management through established processes, experienced administration, and a commitment to security.
Of course, there’s more to domain management than just keeping an eye on renewals. Ownership information can often be unclear or disputed for example, or domain registrations can be out-of-date. If you don’t have a dedicated domain manager, and especially if you have several domains to keep track of, you could quickly run into problems.
Basically, you need a tactical, process-driven approach to domain management and a comprehensive safety-net.
An important distinction between Dotkeeper and the kind of domain marketplaces that cater to the DIY approach, is that we aim to have a close relationship with our customers. The insights that we pick up through these relationships, help us to deliver the right strategy and the appropriate level of support. Our day-to-day interactions mean that we can help our customers take a proactive approach to their domain strategy, which can be crucial for your safety and security. Also, if something unexpected happens, you’ll want immediate support from a partner who already understands your business.
Another straighforward but important distinction is that we take responsibility for domain name renewals in accordance with your wishes. It sounds simple, but in the domain name industry this is an extremely valuable service.
Think about it – what would happen if your website or email stops working?
Hjalmar Antonsson, CEO at Dotkeeper