Risks of Outsourcing Domain Management

In the rapidly evolving world of ecommerce, businesses often rely on external experts to handle various aspects of their online presence. From website design to digital marketing, outsourcing can be a boon.

However, there's one area where this trust can lead to unexpected pitfalls: domain registration and management.

Imagine this scenario

You've hired an agency or freelancer to not only design your ecommerce store but also to manage the technicalities, like registering your domain and setting up hosting. Everything seems to be running smoothly until disagreements arise or the relationship sours.

Suddenly, you realize that the domain, the very identity of your online business, is registered under their name under an account they control...

Screenshot showing kraymitchell.com is already a registered domain.

So, what are the implications of this oversight? Worst-case scenario, you might find yourself locked out of your own website. Without the proper credentials or ownership rights, regaining control can be a daunting task.

It's important to understand that domain registration operates on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that even if a domain contains your brand or corporate name, whoever registers it first essentially owns it.

This system has given rise to 'domain squatters,' individuals or entities that purchase domains they speculate might be valuable in the future, hoping to sell them at a premium.

Protecting Your Identity

If you find yourself in a situation where someone else owns your domain, legal recourse is an option, but it's not quick nor guaranteed. Legal battles can also become quite expensive. Smaller agencies or individual freelancers might relent under the threat of legal action, but there's no assurance.

So, how can you safeguard your ecommerce business from such a predicament?

  1. Always Retain Control: Even if you're not tech-savvy, ensure that any domain related to your business is registered under your name or your company's name. The cost of a domain for a year is a very minimal cost in most cases, even for multiples.

  2. Clear Contracts: If you do decide to outsource domain management, ensure that the contract explicitly states that the domain will be registered on your behalf, and they have no ownership claims. While you may still have to go to court, this will help show you have full ownership.

  3. Maintain Professional Boundaries: While it's great to have a friendly relationship with those you work with, remember that business is business. Even long-standing relationships can go south. Always be prepared and ensure your domains are under company control at all times.

It's too easy and too cheap to get domains to NOT cover your bases. For a few hundred a year, you have no worries of people trying to steal and knock-off your brand as you get more successful.

Don't Take Chances

While outsourcing can be a strategic move for many aspects of your business, when it comes to domain registration and management, tread with caution.

Your domain is more than just an address; it's your brand's identity in the digital realm. Protect it!

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