We’ve long been believers that our GreenMellen clients should keep control of their digital assets. Among other things, their domain name and website hosting should always be something that they own and that they pay for. There are a lot of tricky technical pieces that we handle for them on a daily basis, but in the end they’re completely in control of their business.
These aren’t major expenses (typically around $10/year for a domain name and $10/month for hosting), but it can be awful if a business lets someone else have ultimate control of those assets.
Two recent incidents really brought this to life.
We were recently finishing a new website and it was almost time to go live. The previous website hosting and domain name were with their old company (who was sold to another company), so we were working to get that straightened out.
Hosting was fairly easy to solve — we built the new website on new hosting that the client (now) owned. The problem was the domain name. The old company had it, but wouldn’t respond to anything. Our client reached out to no avail, so then here’s what I tried:
- Wednesday: Emailed them; no response.
- Monday: Call them; disconnected number. Found another number, they answered, and they’d “call back in an hour”.
- Tuesday: Called them again; no response.
- Wednesday: Emailed them again; no response.
- Friday: Called them again; no response.
Eventually our client was able to text them and get some of the info we needed and we’re moving forward, but it doesn’t always end so well. Domain names can expire (and be purchased by others), websites can disappear, email can go down, and things can get real bad. We got lucky on this one.
This is certainly much more rare, but equally challenging for a business. I saw this post recently in a Facebook Group:
It’s a horrible situation! I don’t know the details of their relationship or passing, but once this person tries to settle back into work — they can’t. With security always getting more strict (in a good way), it’s going to be very hard to get those assets back under control since he didn’t technically own any of them.
Other users in that Facebook group were very helpful and offered some great ideas, so hopefully they’re able to eventually get things squared away.
Being “good” isn’t good enough
Our team has challenged me on this before. “We’d never do that to anyone“, they say, and they’re right. We respond quickly to any requests, and we have redundant systems in place to be able to help in case one of us were to have an accident (or even just move across the country).
But even if we promise to be good and do the right thing, you’re always in the best shape if you have full ownership of your stuff. You don’t have to understand the technical details — that’s why you hire people like us — but you should have complete control so you can always do what’s in your best interest.
If your website is important to your business (and you’d have to work hard to convince me that it’s not), then take stock and make sure you have control of what you need so you can always do what’s best for your company.