We’ve got to get on a soapbox for a minute.
Please, please own your firm’s domain name. Don’t let your IT company own it. Don’t let your SEO company own it. Don’t let your web designer own it.
It needs to be in your name, with your contact info, with a username and password you have, paid for with your credit card at a registrar you choose and have a direct relationship with (we love Hover!).
We’ve seen a couple of firms come to us over the past year with “rented” domain names, and many times they don’t even realize they don’t own it. Or worse, they end a relationship with their IT provider or “web guy” on a bad note and their domain name is held hostage.
What we see occasionally on the “rented” side is a marketing firm may provide you with a turnkey package including an already ranking domain, generally something generic (yourcity-divorce-lawyer.com or something similar). It sounds good – a domain name that’s already ranking well, complete with content they can customize for your firm – voila, skip the hard work!
But, it comes at a cost. Usually, firms that engage in this type of thing will be doing other grey/black-hat items as well, that will penalize your site in the long run.
And, what happens when you stop paying that exorbitant monthly fee? It’s all gone.
So, all this to say, make sure you own your domain name – it’s your firm’s identity on the web, and should be protected as much as you protect your personal identity like a social security number or bank account number.
Have questions about this, or are you in a similar situation and need to get help? Tell us about it and we’ll see how we can help!