So you own your own business domain.  You registered it when you first had the business idea for 5 years and you are now running a successful business almost 5 years later.  Suddenly things start to go wrong with your website, email etc.  Ensure you have completed the 10 items below to avoid issues of poor domain maintenance.

  1. Dead email addresses with your registrar

You initially registered your domain using your Hotmail or gmail email account.  Since then it has been hacked and you no longer use it.  This is a scenario we find often with our clients.  To avoid this ensure your domain admin and technical contacts are updated to be registered with an email from your companies email system so you can be sure you will always have control of it.

  1. You have not updated your contacts with the registrar.

You got your domain registered by one of your employees who no longer works for you and the email address is no longer active.  Another common error so ensure your contacts are checked and updated regularly to ensure they are current.

  1. Domain was registered by your old website provider or comsec.

If your web company, comsec or IT company registered your domain for you they may have registered it under their name, especially if your business registration did not exist yet.  If you no longer use them or have had an acrimonious split you may lose control of your domain.  Ensure all contacts point to your company before something goes wrong.

  1. You have not documented or forgotten the answers to your registrar “secret questions”

When you register a domain you normally enter some secret questions and answers to help you log in or verify yourself at a later date.  If you do not write these down the chances of forgetting the answers are high.  If someone else did them for you then log in and setup your own and write them down with the rest of your documentation.

  1. Domain is set to auto renew and your credit card has expired.

Ensure you maintain an active credit card on file at your registrar for when renewals are due.  They will send reminder emails but if they go to your spam or for another reason you don’t get them your domain may expire and then you can have difficulties renewing it.

  1. You don’t know who is hosting your DNS (name servers)

This is a very common problem in that you don’t know who controls your DNS.  This is what tells everyone in the world where your email or web server is.  It is important you know who hosts your DNS and that you keep paying for this service.  Document who hosts and the contact info.

  1. You don’t have DKIM, DMARK, SPF records for your domain.

Ok, well this is a complex one.  Basically to reduce the chance that your domain is used to send or receive spam email you should ensure your domain has all three of DKIM, DMARK and SPF setup on your dns.  Ask your IT department to confirm this.  If it is not done then get it done.

  1. Don’t try to change registrars with less than 60 days before the renewal.

If you are looking to change domain registrars and need to update some info on the old registrar first ensure you are not within the last 60 days otherwise you will not be able to transfer and you will have to renew with your old registrar.

  1. Your SSL Certificate has expired.

Nowadays you can get SSL Certificates to secure your site that automatically renew every 90 days.  Ensure your website is secured with one of these to avoid missing a renewal and your site going offline.

  1. Documentation to keep you out of trouble.

Finally document all your passwords, contacts, details of your domain registrar, dns hosting company, website company, email company etc to be sure you don’t loose control or miss something.

If you need help with any of the above please contact FunctionEight for assistance.

written by Phil Aldridge