Domain Name Owners Beware!

It is your Domain Name!

Everyone who owns a domain name (which is just about everyone today), needs to be aware of how the domain names work, and not in a technical way. That is to say that there are three parts to every domain that you need to be aware of and where it is. There is a lot to be said for keeping everything in the same place but it not necessary and can sometime be beneficial to have them in different places. As long as you know where each of them are, and you keep control of them.

If you do not know too much about them then it is worth learning where the most important parts are. The most important parts can be different to different people, but make sure you know how each part is affected by the other. Here is a brief list of each part and how it is currently in relation to our hosting platform.

Registering a Domain Name/Renewing a Domain Name & DNS Server Location

We have a billing website (www.yesDomains.co.uk) from here you can register any domain name you like (from the supported list see: https://www.yesdomains.co.uk/whmcs/domainchecker.php for our current list and prices), it is important to note that this is one of the most important parts to the domain as your website, email and any other service will use this. From here you can control ownership of the domain and where the DNS servers are to be held, as well as the billing/ordering/cancelling of any additional add-on products. You can also preform transfers in to and away from our servers in this section.

DNS Servers

The next part which is important is the DNS servers. These are the servers that tell anyone on the internet how to find you. By default these are pointing to our DNS servers as they work with our hosting control panel but they could be pointing to anywhere. The DNS servers contain a list of the resources and where your computer (or any device) can find them. So you want to get to your website; you type in www.your-domain-online.com and your computer will then go and ask the DNS server how to get there. It will then be told to go to our hosting server and there it will find your website and display the pages on your computer. In the same way, when someone send you an email the senders email server will look-up your email server by querying the DNS server. You will have received another control panel login when you opened your hosting account and this is where you will be able to add email addresses and find the details to add your website and crucially, control what is in the DNS servers. Many of our customers have their own email server or they use one of our dedicated or cloud servers for their website, this means that they are no longer in the default location and these resources are in a different place. This is all made possible by DNS. By adding a record to the DNS server to tell computer to find your website at a different location and to send email directly to the server in your building. These sorts of things are usually handled by your technical team or by us on your behalf.

So as you can see it is possible to have the resources in different locations and even with different companies. It is therefor important that you keep control of and have access to the main parts of the services you need the most. Looking at it like this there are three levels:

Level 1

Access to the domain name billing and DNS server location. If you lose control of this then you probably do not own the domain anymore and the website and emails can be diverted away.

Level 2

Access to the DNS servers them selves to add or delete resources (www, email, etc.) Lose of this section would be a disaster but not the end of the world. Using the Level 1 access you can retake control of your domain and re-setup the DNS server settings. It would require some help from technical people but it can be fixed, and perhaps even put back to the way it was.

Level 3

Access to the resources themselves. This is to the actual pages on your website or to setup and remove email addresses. Loss of this could be each resource or if on a standard hosting platform they would be together with the DNS, Level 2 above. If the website is important and you have a copy then you can reset it up again, the same for emails. This is where most developers of websites would need access. If you have a company that looks after all your IT then they would probably need access to this and level 2 access. Unless they are a registrar they would probably not need access to Level 1. A registrar is bound by the rules of each Registry that they support and should act accordingly. Ensure you check that they are an authorised Registrar or a reseller of an authorised registrar. If they are only a reseller then check with them that any domain names that they hold for you are:

  1. Registered in your name
  2. You have full and complete access to the domain names registry level functions namely:
    • DNS server addresses
    • Transfer Key (also known as EPP key or Authorisation Key)

If you have someone who does your website for you then they will need access to the webserver (usually through FTP) and possible to the MySQL or database server. They may also need access to the DNS servers to add resource locations. They probably do not need access to the billing side or the DNS server location settings. In any case it is down to the owner of the domain name to ensure that they have the correct username and passwords to get access to the resources that mater the most to them. In most cases I would say that your domain name is important. You need to make sure you have record of the following:

  • Control panel address (ie www.yesDomains.co.uk)
  • Username
  • Password
  • Renewal date

From this information you can protect your domain name; don’t leave it to someone else. You do not need to be technical to know these things. As long as you have this information a technical person can help you to get the rest going.

If email is important then know where it is hosted and ensure you have control panel access to it, even if you do not use it, make sure you have it. Also true for websites; you may have spent a lot of money having your website built and it would be a tragedy if it were lost because of a billing error or even a technical error. Have a backup of the website and access to the control panel. (ie control.ccc-solutions.co.uk).

As long as you have these then you can find a technical person to put it back together for you and make things work, but if you lose control of any one of these then you will lose your investment: email, website or even the domain name itself.

With our hosting solutions you have control over your domain name, even if you are not technical you need to know you are in control. We provide you with the technical support your require, we can do all the complicated DNS resource location settings for you, but you still have the power. We give you control panel access to your billing and DNS server location that is fully automated and doesn’t require anything from us. If you decide to move elsewhere you can (we hope you would stay) but it is your choice, also you can move domains in to our control panel for safe keeping.

Keep control of your domain name!

We recently had several people try to move their domain name and resources to us from other providers. In one case the web developer had gone AWOL and the owner was not able to get the changes done that he required. We tried to help him to move across and managed to get the website and emails setup but he did not have access to his domain name itself and then the domain name expired. His resources and domain name and DNS servers were with three different companies, which he did not have all the access details to and when he finally managed to convince the right company that he was the owner of the domain name, it was too late, someone else had managed to buy the domain name after it had expired. He has now got to buy a brand new domain name and make everything work with that, including getting all of his customers to the new website address and emails to the new address, all in all a complete nightmare, and all because he did not keep control of his domain name. He though his web developer was taking care of it for him and relinquished control of his entire online life to his web site developer.

Our domains are registered in your name, not ours, we are a Registrar, you are the Registrant, owner of the domain name. Make sure you choose a company that will look after you and your domain not you and their domain.

If you have any questions please submit a support ticket here.

Keep a look out for the new domain name extensions coming soon.

The Support team

CritchCorp Computers Ltd