What’s in a (Domain) Name?
Your domain name, and its all-important registration, is the life-blood of your organization’s online presence. If you’re the one responsible for your online presence, you better take responsibility for your domain’s registration, as well as understand who else is key to keeping your website active on the Web.
Most people who own a domain name, such as MyCompany.com, can be faced with a number of different providers to contact when it comes to their site. That said, there is usually confusion, angst and frustration associated with the technicalities surrounding anything involving their website. Understand who the following providers are for your domain, and you’ll be on your way to smoothing out your website issues if they occur.
A Quick Who's Who
The providers responsible for keeping a website online are:
- DNS Provider (Domain Name Service)
- Website Host
- Email Host (possibly)
The Registrar, such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions, holds the “title” to your domain, like a bank does with your mortgage.
DNS Provider (Domain Name Service Provider)
The DNS Provider may be the same as the registrar, but it may be your web host instead. The DNS provider is like the phonebook of the internet telling all of the computers where to find your website.
Your web host is where your website actually “lives”, i.e. this is where all of the image, text and programming files reside.
Your email host is the online post office for sending and receiving your emails, and it may also be the same as your web host, but many times it can be yet a different provider.
Do you have access to your registrar account?
If not, you better determine who does. Typically, the Number One (#1) reason for a website to go down/offline, or for email to stop functioning completely, is that the domain name registration renewal lapses. Without understanding who controls the registrar account, you may be doomed to miss a renewal, and pay the price of losing your domain entirely, or losing the confidence of your co-workers when your website goes down.
Has this ever happened to your organization?