Client: “I’m so excited to get the new site launched! How soon can it happen?”
Cymax: “As soon as we get your domain name transferred.”
Client: “But I own my domain name! I bought it, didn’t I? It belongs to me.”
Cymax: “Not according to Enom…”
Things can get pretty tricky when you don’t own your domain name. Increasingly, webmasters will purchase the domain name of their clients for them. Web hosting and domain names can get confusing to clients, so often times they are eager to have their webmaster take care of that. So they won’t object to someone else shouldering that burdan for them.
Over the 14 plus years Cymax Media has been in business, we’ve seen this a lot. But we don’t own the domain names of our clients websites, and after you hear why, you will probably be very grateful.
A Question of Control
Right off the bat, it’s important to understand that the Domain Registrar really owns all of the domain names. They simply “lease” them to whoever wants to use one. Thus, anyone who needs a domain name for their website to reside must pay an annual fee to the Domain Registrar in order to use the domain name.
Few people actually understand what it means to have someone else owning your domain name rather themselves. Yes, they don’t have to pay the bill directly or worry about it much at all. But…
The domain owner has the ability to shut down your entire website at their whim.
The domain owner has the ability to refuse your petitions to transfer ownership if you decide to go to another webmaster.
This can mean a big hassle and a pain for the client and puts them in a vulnerable position. Even though they may be the rightful owner of their company and their domain name has their company name in it, Enom (which tells you who owns what domain name) may say otherwise.
If your old webmaster has your domain name registered under his or her name, you will need to ask for a domain name transfer. Hopefully they won’t refuse.