Your website, your domain registration, your DNS control? Do you know who actually owns it, and are you sure?
I had a conversation with a business owner last week who was a little upset and wondering what to do. She felt she was paying a lot for hosting her website and she didn’t think she was getting anything for it. So, she was looking into moving to a new host, and her current host was not prepared to let her take the website. And she wasn’t sure if she had access to her domain registration or DNS control.
Turns out, the folks hosting her website, and managing her domain registration and DNS control, felt the online assets were theirs. In fact, they are the registered owners of the domain and have full control over her DNS; that necessary service that gets the searcher to your website.
This isn’t the first time I have run across this problem. I don’t think it is a common practice but it does happen. Now, in defense of the provider, it probably was in the contract to build and host the website, maybe in the fine print, but I am going to guess, it was there. And yes, the customer should have read it more carefully (buyer beware after all) and they did sign it.
We have a number of our customers (in fact, most of them) who trust us to manage these assets for them but my thinking is that we are only the managers, even when we have actually completed the registration for them. It’s theirs and they are the owners. After all, most website URLs are a part of the company brand, usually use the company name so that if people search for the name, they are the ones to be found.
Make sure you know and trust who actually owns these assets and if you are not sure, ask your provider. Ask them what would happen if you decide to move to another service provider. Hopefully, you won’t be in for a surprise but if you need some help figuring things out, give me a call.