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Sannah Westerlund — 02/12/21

Where is the domain?

A pitfall we see growth companies all too often fall into, is to complicate the management by having a widely spread domain portfolio (that is, using several different providers for domains and DNS).

Of course, it is not intentional.

Because it is a little bit complicated, and not a top priority, so there is not a focus on the domains – instead, the responsibility is internally shuffled from person to person, each taking different decisions at different times. It is also because you want the cost to be as low as possible, and because the low-budget suppliers usually only offer a few selected top-level domains (as the other domains do not fit into their business model). There are hundreds of different domain name providers, and most of them sell the “common” domains, the ones without specific requirements, and they sell them to a low price, sometimes at loss, and then earn the margins back by selling additional services e.g., hosting, email, and so on. The Swedish providers are for instance likely to have Swedish Top-level-domains, and probably a few other European ones. But, if you want a German domain, you will need another provider, and if you need something outside of the EU, you need more providers yet again.

This leads to us sometimes seeing companies with 3-6 different domain providers, and then add another 2-3 DNS providers on top.

Such an arrangement is unmanageable and, in the end, risky. There is a natural breaking point when the money saved is not worth the risk you are exposing yourself to. In addition, there is a breaking point at which the money which would have been saved on the domains instead is lost to the extra time required for management. If you are growing fast, at some point, sooner or later, this will be incredibly difficult to manage. We have seen it repeatedly: how companies lose control and realize they have different login information everywhere, some of which might have been forgotten when an employee quits, or an invoice or renewal is lost and forgotten – and, in the worst case, the domain is lost.

Unfortunately, many of our collaborations start too late in the company’s domain journey. Meaning, they turn to us because they have already fallen into the most common pitfalls and now need help to rectify the situation. The collaboration starts off with large expenses for the company – not coming from us – in the shape of payments to a third party who has taken over their lost domain, or from the revenue lost when the websites are down.

Therefore, this is the piece of advice that we cannot stress enough: Outsource the management and reduce the number of providers. Choose a partner you trust.

Below is a quote from one of our clients, e-retailer Nordic Nest, who has had an amazing growth journey. We think they adequately put into words the challenge many companies are facing.

“As an e-commerce, a really big challenge, which everyone has, is the management of the digital brand and above that, all domains linked to it. It is easy to manage when you are a start-up and only have one domain name. But it gets significantly harder when you go from 1 to 10 to 100 to 200 domain names to manage.”