Domain Name Registration - Do’s and Don’ts

Before you register a domain name take a few minutes to read through the list below.  Registering your domain name properly will save you  time and energy later on. 

The single most important thing to keep in mind when registering your domain name is to make sure that your contact information will remain current. Once you have registered your name, all changes to your domain name (such as changing to a new website hosting company) must be approved by the Administrative Contact on file with the registrar. Typically, this is done through e-mail. Therefore, it is important that you provide a valid e-mail address.  If your e-mail address is going to change (most often because of changing to a new ISP) it is IMPERATIVE that you take the steps to change your contact e-mail address BEFORE your old address becomes invalid. It is a difficult and lengthy process at best to change contact information once your e-mail address changes. 

Also, keep in mind that if you list a person as a contact and the person leaves your company, you place yourself in the position of having no one who can approve changes. Instead use a position (such as "Director of Marketing") instead of an actual person. The reason for this is that if the person listed as the administrative contact were to leave the company, the authority for approving changes for the domain name would go with that person, whereas another person can be appointed to that position and given this authority.

A quick review of the information required to register a domain name:

Organization Name – The "organization" will be considered the "owner" of the domain name.  If the domain name is being registered in your business’s name, then use the company as the organization. If the company does not exist yet, or is not a registered DBA, partnership, or corporation, you may want to use your name instead.

Administrative Contact – This is the person who has final say over changes to the domain name. If you are registering a name in your name, simply use your name and contact information.

Technical Contact – This is the person who handles the "technical" end of domain name responsibilities. You can (1) list yourself (following the same guidelines specified under "Administrative Contact") or, more commonly, (2) list an agent of the company hosting your website. The second is preferable since it gives another person the authority to make changes to your name. The Administrative Contact retains ultimate authority, however, and can "overrule" changes made by the Technical Contact.

Billing Contact – This is the person responsible for making sure that the domain name fees are paid to the registrar. Usually the same person as the Administrative Contact, although it doesn’t have to be.

May 1, 2001

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