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Why (and How) to Protect Your Domain Name

July 13, 2021
Jay

Your domain name is one of the most integral parts of your business – It’s how people find you online, where your content lives, and the virtual hub of your digital presence. 
So, what happens if you lose it? 
 
Let me tell you a brief story. 
We have a client who had two domain names. For the sake of this story, we’ll say the primary domain was called namelawfirm.com, and the secondary domain was partnerandpartner.com
Well, a few years after these domains were set up, the credit card expired in the GoDaddy account. Unfortunately, the GoDaddy Account was set up by an IT guy that ended up leaving the company, and nobody had forwarded the email he used to someone else. So, partnerandpartner.com expired and went on the open market.
As it turns out, the domain was purchased by a television network because the firm name existed within the fictional universe of one of their TV shows! So, this client lost every piece of content that existed on that site, along with the site itself and every backlink that led to it. If people searched for his business by looking up partnerandpartner.com, they were led to a fictional firm from a TV show. 
Sounds like a sticky situation, right?
It was. 
 
In my experience dealing with many situations like that, I’ve discovered a few key things that every business owner should do to protect their domain. 

  1. Purchase your most important domain names for a minimum of ten years. It only costs $10 a year, so this is a very worthwhile investment.
  2. Make sure the email you use to manage your registrar (GoDaddy or Network Solutions) is regularly monitored, so if a domain is expiring or credit card information needs to be updated, it is taken care of.
  3. Move all of your domains (and web hosting) to one registry. Many companies we meet have multiple assets in multiple places.
  4. If you cycle through IT folks, make sure you retain their contact information or have an alternative way to reach them. 
  5. If you have other domains (like partnerandpartner.com), keep them in the main domain registry and keep emails and credit card information linked to those domains updated frequently so you don’t lose them. 
  6. Buy alternatives of your main domain to protect your brand. For example, namelawfirm.co, namelawfirm.us, and frequent misspellings that might occur with your business’s name.

 
These steps should only cost a handful of dollars each year, and are vital to protecting one of the most important business assets you have. 
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