whois result

Email and Website Spaghetti

I am sure that you know how much your business depends day to day on email, many businesses also now see their website as a critical part of their business strategy, however very few actually know whether they are in control of the building blocks that these systems work on or not.

Investigating problems around email and websites, particularly domains and DNS issues over the past 20 years has shown that a large majority of Companies do not know if they own their own domain, on which their email and web presence is based.

Only yesterday I was asked to look into the configuration for a potential new client, this showed that 5 separate providers were involved in the provision of their web presence, but more importantly, their domain, mycompany.co.uk  ( not their real one !) was owned by the IT provider that purchased it for them and not by the business itself or even the business owner.

I like the odd scenario to hammer home a point, so imagine the IT Provider goes into liquidation, this brings up several problems:

  1. Your domain becomes part of his assets as it is in his name
  2. Their domain account will not be paid and therefore will be frozen
  3. The email service that they resell will also not be paid and will stop
  4. The web hosting service that they resell will stop
  5. You lose your email
  6. You lose your website
  7.  …..

So if we look at this, you now have to get control of your domain by appealing to Nominet and providing the relevant documentation and paying the fee to transfer the domain into your name and also to transfer it to a registrar (one of many companies that look after domains for clients), you have to setup the services you require for email and web hosting, and then connect them all together through DNS.

To a non-technical person, this means no email or website for (on average) 3 weeks, but the majority of this time is proving that the domain is yours and not part of the assets of the company who have gone into administration. We have seen this take 6 weeks for a  .co.uk and up to 4 months for a .com because of various restrictions that are relevant to Gtld or top level domains.

IF … the domain was in your name, the process could be completed in 24 – 72 hours as far as email is concerned, if you have a backup of your website ( that’s another story! ) then that can be back up within 24 hours in the majority of cases.

So how do you know whether your domain is in your name?

You can check in a “whois” service, this will give the name of the “registrant” which is the one you are interested in, you should be aware that some people pay for this information to be hidden from general view so if there are no results for a search or the name is obscured then you will need to dig further.

What do you do if the registrant is not correct?

Contact the person who registered it on your behalf and arrange for it to be changed, Nominet charges a small fee for this, but it is worth it!

Once you have got the domain owner sorted have a look at the different people that look after different areas of your online presence and consider whether having these over one or two providers would be more beneficial to your business.

If you would like to discuss your hosting or domain presence, feel free to get in touch and we can check the basics for you and give you advice on a way forward where you and your business are protected – 01948 820787

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